Stop Losing Real Estate Listings!

by Lisa Shaw

By: Rich Levin

“Gosh darn it” (or stronger) Sean McDonald (name changed to protect the not so innocent) exclaimed. “That’s the second listing presentation that I went on this week that the owners chose someone else. What do I need to do to stop this from happening?”

When Sean doesn’t get a listing he calls the seller to ask why. There is no consistent answer.

This is typical.

Sean hired me to work on his listing presentation. He knows that I work with Agents who take over a hundred listings a year. He asked me what these Agents do that he needs to learn.

Twelve Distinct Skills

There is a lot. It is all simple, not easy, but simple. There are twelve distinct skills and proficiencies below. They are listed at the end of this article.


First, the Agents are known. Most of their listing appointments are with people who know them or know of their reputation. You can easily create this same advantage.

Your marketing and networking establish the foundation for your success. It is how you become known.

Do you communicate regularly with your primary sources of business, that is, your past clients and your Spheres of Influence? Is there a geographic market you wish to dominate, perhaps just your street? Do you send them something regularly to those markets? Does it have a significant presence of you? Is the main message that you sell Real Estate?

Presentation Structure

I asked Sean to talk me through his normal listing presentation. It was obvious that he was winging it.

Do you have a structure to your listing presentation? Does that structure begin with your preparation and continue through to twenty four hours after the presentation?


Preparation is both the key to your confidence and the key to the seller’s confidence in you. How much time do you take to prepare pricing, your marketing plan and review your entire presentation as it applies to a particular client?

Your First Impression

OK, let’s say you are well prepared. You are standing at their front door as they open it. What kind of first impression do you make? Do you take subtle control with your questions? Are you careful with what you wear? Do you bring them a small gift? Do you have a structured process from the time you walk over their threshold until you are sitting down with them beginning your presentation?

Your first impression directly relates to the ease with which you get agreement and have the seller’s trust on pricing, negotiations and whether or not they send you a steady stream of referrals.

You only have one chance to make that first impression. The seller’s first impression of you will open the door to a permanent great relationship and an easy transaction or end the relationship at that appointment.

Your Opening Questions

OK, let’s say you made a great first impression and begin your presentation. Do you have a thorough set of questions that uncover the seller’s motivation and urgency, plus questions that show you care more about them than about the listing?

Actively Listening

Those opening questions, plus your ability to actively listen, and your sincere attention to them are enormously powerful and important to your success.

Your Marketing Plan

OK, let’s say you have their rapt attention. Do you have a structured marketing plan, the things you do to attract buyers and get the property sold and closed? Do you have a marketing/listing book, computer (PowerPoint) presentation, or a folder of materials to show examples of your work?

Here’s a subtle advantage that can be the difference between success and failure. Do you present your marketing plan powerfully, showing the advantages, benefits and asking for agreement as you go? Or do you simply review a bunch of items?

The strength of your marketing plan and your skill at presenting it determines whether you get a commission challenge, whether they choose to go for sale by owner, or whether they choose to interview other Agents. The strength of your marketing plan and your skill presenting it impact whether you get a priced right listing with a cooperative, enthusiastic seller on the spot or not.

Presenting Pricing and Value

OK, let’s say that so far they are impressed by you, perhaps even more than they expected. Now it’s time to present pricing and value.

There are two reasons that most listings expire. Either the Agent did a mediocre job preparing pricing and value or presenting it.

I always refer to this as pricing and value because the most common mistake of even the best Agents is that they treat the price as if they controlled it. My price they will say.

Let’s get this right. It is always their price, the seller’s price. You advise the seller on price. They choose it. When you master the language and attitude around this subtlety you will never lose a listing you wanted because of pricing.

Do you take an overpriced listing? I say, trust your judgment. There are times to take an overpriced listing and other times to pass.

Gaining Agreement and Signatures

OK, let’s say you have agreement on pricing. They like and trust you. How do you proceed to getting the listing paperwork signed? Do you use a seller’s net sheet? Do you have the paperwork mostly filled out ahead of time? As you complete the paperwork, are you involving the seller, gaining their agreement as you go?

Then do you call within twenty-four hours to reinforce their decision and assure them that you are already working to get their property sold?

The Critical Key: Practice

On the whole, there is one simple yet critical key to perfecting your listing presentation. It is the main reason someone taking a hundred or more listings a year will beat you in a competitive situation. It is this. They get lots of practice. They are conducting two to ten listing presentations a week.

The simplest and most critical key to perfecting your listing presentation is practice. Do you schedule one to two hours once a week to rehearse your listing presentation, so that those weeks when you don’t have a live one you still get stronger?

Facing Fewer Objections

Once you have a structured well rehearsed listing system objections become easy to handle. Top listing Agents confront fewer objections because each time they hear the same objection a second time, they build a strong answer into the structure of their presentation to prevent it from arising in future presentations.

The strength of your listing presentation can dictate the success of your career. A successful listing presentation is more than getting the listing. It is creating a relationship that gets the property sold with cooperation and ease. This leads to your being the Agent they will refer for as long as your marketing and reputation keeps you on top of their mind as their REALTOR®.

Sean MacDonald is getting most of the listings he goes after, now. The biggest hurdle for him was recognizing that great listing Agents don’t have to have the latest tools or the fanciest scripts.

Top listing Agents simply worked long and hard to build and practice a solid strong presentation.

Once the basic structure is mastered, you work on your sales and presentation skills. Once you get the listing you constantly work on delivering the service your promise.

There is a lot to learn. It is all simple, not easy but simple. With dedication, hard work, and practice a great listing presentation is in your future.

Following are the twelve skills and proficiencies that lead to the strongest possible listing presentation.

1. Reputation
2. Presentation Structure
3. Preparation
4. Your First Impression
5. Your Opening Questions
6. Actively Listening
7. Your Marketing Plan
8. Presenting your marketing plan
9. Presenting Pricing and Value
10. Gaining Agreement and signatures
11. The Critical Key: Practice
12. Building the answer to objections into presentation.

Rich Levin is one of the most successful Real Estate coaches in the nation by virtue of the measurable results of his clients and creator of the Real Estate Hierarchy of Success, a working model for understanding and planning your business.

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November 4th 2009

Tags: Mortgage Marketing, Real Estate Postcards