Let’s talk listing presentations. A great listing presentation is key for winning business in commercial real estate (and residential). It’s your opportunity to turn a prospect into a client. A listing presentation is your time to go from meh to memorable.
Okay, so maybe you’ve never done a listing presentation, maybe you have but it sucked (sad-face emoji), or maybe you’ve been doing the same one over and over and still walk away without the listing (face palm emoji) –wherever you’re at, this is for you.
I want to help move your listing presentation from basic b!tch toooo….. the opposite of that.
So, since this is all about leveling up your listing presentation, let’s assume the following:
- You always make sure to show up on time (duh)
- Homework is done and you are prepared (you know the comps, the market and the property)
- Any leave behind brochures, etc. are branded and on point
- You dress profesh (unless it’s a phone meeting than pjs are acceptable)
We good? Now that we have the basics covered, let’s dive into what will make you stand out.
Know your superpower
I put this one at the top of the list because it really applies to so much more than just the listing presentation. Knowing your superpower will not only show your prospect that you have a set of completely unique skills and gifts, but it also allows you to tap into what you’re really good at and focus on those things to further move the needle in your business, and life.
Being able to harness and communicate what truly makes you different (aka your superpower) during your listing presentation will significantly boost your chances of getting the listing.
So, tell me, what is your superpower? What comes naturally to you? It might be something so automatic for you that it is hard to see it.
Do you have a unique approach to cold calling? Can you read people really well? Are you an expert negotiator? Good listener? What do your friends and family say are your greatest strengths?
The goal here is self-awareness and playing to your strengths. Get really clear about what makes you special then get comfortable communicate it.
Never knock the competition
To say that it would be easy to win a listing just by telling some stories about my competition would be colossal understatement. I know the lies some of them have told and the unethical things they’ve done. But I’ve never said a word. It’s not my place.
I truly believe I’ve won more listings because I have never knocked my competition. Commercial real estate can be a competitive and cutthroat business. I know my competitors have taken digs at me. My guess is that when they have it has just made them look bad (and me look better).
What did you think the last time you heard someone bashing their competition? Did you think that person was a real stand up guy? Or did they just look petty?
Never knock the competition.
Go high when they go low. Focus on what you bring to the table, not what they don’t.
Set realistic expectations
Of course, you want your listing presentation to be all rainbows and unicorns, and yeses and yeahs and I hope it is. However, I urge you to never say yes to something just to win the business.
You have to set realistic expectations. When the prospect asks if you can sell the property for $500,000 and you’ve done your homework (see above) and you know $350,000 is best case scenario, tell them that. Don’t agree to list for $500,000 because you are afraid of upsetting them and because you want the business. If you do, eventually you will upset them and loose the business because you can’t fulfill the promise.
It is far better to have tough conversations now and set expectations that will be a foundation for a relationship with that client.
And listen, if the prospect does go with someone else because they said they could sell it for more or lease it in less time, you can sit back, smile and watch the dumpster fire ignite.
I hate to admit it, but I get a little devious grin on my face when I drive by a listing, that I didn’t win that has been sitting vacant for months or I see a price reduction.
So, don’t be afraid to say no and set realistic expectations during your listing presentation. Honestly, more times than not, the prospect will likely respect you more and take comfort in your confidence.
Get specific and add value upfront
During your listing presentation tell the client exactly how you will sell or lease their property. Now is not the time for generalized boilerplate solutions.
For example, don’t just say “we will do a void analysis to find the best tenants for your center,” actually do the void analysis.
Furthermore, don’t just include last quarters market update in your package, instead provide them with specific comps and information that relates to their exact property.
Additionally, your marketing plan may state that you will list the property on CoStar and LoopNet and wherever else, and it will be accompanied by professional photography, don’t leave it there, show them an actual live listing and the great photos you mentioned.
I’ve made my point.
It may take a little more work, but it is worth it. Unfortunately, I think a lot of listing presentations are phoned in. If you can give specifics, make it customized and add value up front you will win.
Prepare for objections
An easy way to have a listing presentation go south is by being sideswiped by an objection you weren’t ready for. Get ahead of this by preparing for objections because they absolutely will come up.
I recommend brainstorming a list of all the possible objections then formulating and practicing your responses to them. Better yet weave them into your presentation to handle them before they ever come up.
I have an entire blog post on objections that you can check out here to help you learn ways to use objections to your advantage.
I’ll encourage you here, as I did above, to think specifically about the property you are trying to list. Play the devil’s advocate. Why could you be perceived as not being the best fit for the listing. Dig in.
Ask for the business
Seriously, just ask for the damn listing. I think you’d be surprised how many brokers just don’t ask for the business. I get it thought, it can be awkward.
It’s hard to put yourself out there in the moment. Rejection is scary. Yet, I think not winning the business is scarier. So, here are a few tips to help ask for the business.
Read the room. If all is going well and they are seeming to like you then you are probably at a good place to ask for the business. Whereas, if they are a bit cold, arms closed, still throwing out objections, then you have a bit more ground to cover. Timing is everything.
If you feel uncomfortable straight up asking for the business, you can use a presumptive close. For example, “Do you want me to date the listing agreement for today or tomorrow?” or “Do you want me to get in touch with the property manager to get keys?”
Whatever technique you feel most comfortable with use it, just never leave a listing appointment without asking for the listing.
Also, always bring a listing agreement.
This is a no-brainer really. Let’s say the meeting goes amazingly well and they’re eager to sign. Wait, you don’t have the paperwork?! Don’t make this mistake.
Fill out the listing agreement the best you can, fill in the blanks when you are there. If something changes cross it out, change it, have everyone initial and you should be good to go. (Bonus tip: always initial every page of the listing agreement, hopefully you will never have to thank me later, but if you do, you are welcome).
To recap: always ask for the business.
My hope is that you asked for the business and got it. Buuut if for some reason they need more time to think about it or whatever, your next assignment is to follow up and then follow up again.
Please do not assume that because you didn’t win the listing during the listing presentation that it is over. You just need to follow up and continue to show them that you want the listing. Send a handwritten thank you note after the meeting, call them, email them, do all the things.
Keep following up.
Heck, even if they told you they were not ready to list or make a change, keep following up. Be pleasantly persistent. I once had a meeting with a landlord and didn’t get the listing for 3, yes THREE, years later. One of the main reasons I got it was that I kept in touch, I stayed top of mind.
Again, keep following up.
There you have it. Are you ready to level up your listing presentation? You’ve got this my friend!