Sunday, November 19, 2017

From 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right in Any Market

By Julie Escobar

Ever have a seller who wants to WAIT to price the listing right?

Here’s a strategy that I call ‘The Waiting Game’ – see if it will work for you… 

Try this dialogue when a seller wants to wait to lower the price:  “Let me ask you, what do you think happens to an overpriced home that doesn’t sell right away? Do you think it eventually sells?  I’m afraid, more often than not, the answer to that is no.   Listings get the most traction in terms of buyer traffic, agent attention and offers in the first 2-4 weeks after coming on the market. If you wait, you’ll lose that traction. 

Worse than that, the longer it sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to wonder if there are more serious problems than price in terms of why it hasn’t sold yet.  Think about it…what’s the first question you would ask when you look at a new house? How long has it been on the market – right?  Long time on market = problem in the eyes of a buyer. In this market, or any market – that’s not a position that can give you any kind of leverage. Let’s price it right and get it sold.”

Agents and managers both –– One of the best ways to really fine tune your negotiation and objection handling skills is to get together once a month with respected colleagues and role play.  (I have the old Sweathog mantra in my head – “practice, drill, rehearse…”) Have everyone bring their best objection to the table. Then collectively come up with some dynamite dialogues, strategies and visuals for overcoming and handling those objections together.

If you’d like to learn more price objection handlers – check out 21 Ways to Price Your Listing Right in Any Market (Despite the Seller’s Best Objections!) at www.prospectsplus.com/21Ways.

Got questions?  Call us today!  Need help building your sphere or consistently marketing to your customer base?  Call our inside account management team at 866.405.3638 today!  They’re WONDERFUL!  Tell them I said hi!

For more great ideas and fun tips  – be sure to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus — we’d love to have you in on the conversation!

Dialogues to Help Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time

by Julie Escobar

Getting past what the seller THINKS their home is worth to what the market will bear is sometimes a little tap dance in sales skill for agents. To help the cause, I pulled a few excerpts from our 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right eBook, and tapped a few friends for some powerful dialogues and strategies that can help you get sellers to sign on the dotted line.

Here are a few:

  1. The Waiting Game: Use when a seller wants to wait to lower the price:  Dialogue: “Let me ask you, what do you think happens to an overpriced home that doesn’t sell right away?  Do you think it eventually sells?  More often than not, the answer to that is no.  Listings get the most traction in terms of buyer traffic, agent attention and offers in the first 2-4 weeks after coming on the market.  If you wait, you’ll lose that traction.  Worse than that, the longer it sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to wonder if there are more serious problems than price in terms of why it hasn’t sold yet.  Think about it… what’s the first question you would ask when you look at a new house?  How long has it been on the market – right?  Long time on market = problem in the eyes of a buyer.  In this market, or any market – that’s not a position that can give you any kind of leverage.  Let’s price it right and get it sold.”
  2. Pick a Price: This is a good strategy to use when a seller says another agent would take it at an over inflated price.  “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I appreciate that you want to get the most from your home, and I know the other agent told you he’s list it at that higher price.  Now, what I don’t know is how he/she could have gotten that number.  You know as agents, it’s not like we can really just ‘pick a price.’ When I brought you what I felt was the right asking price for your property it was based on many facts and factors such as what other similar homes in this area have sold for, the age and condition of your property, the location, etc.  So, it’s not a guess – it’s based on real market value. So, what I’m saying is as a Realtor who has your best interests at heart, I’m not going to pick a price out of thin air, and I can’t in good conscience just tell you the figure you want to hear in order to take the listing.  I will tell you that if you really want to get your home sold quickly, get the most money possible in this market with the least amount of headaches – we should ‘pick’ a price that’s based on those facts and figures.  Agreed?”  Have your comparables there to illustrate how you arrived at your suggested list price.
  3. The Dollar Bill Close from our friend Darryl Davis: When faced with this classic: “My home is special – I did all of these improvements myself, so it’s worth much more than what others are listed for! I would say, “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I certainly understand how you feel. But let me ask you something. If I were to give you one hundred $1 bills that were crisp, clean, beautiful, and hot off the presses – and I sent you to the mall and asked you to sell them for 95 cents you’d probably sell them pretty quick wouldn’t you? And if I asked you to sell them at 85 cents even quicker – right? Now, what if I asked you to sell each for $1.10? You probably wouldn’t sell any – am I right? The point is that no matter how crisp clean and beautiful your house is, you can’t sell a dollar for $1.10. Now let’s say there are only two dollar bills – one crisp clean beautiful and one that’s ratty, old, stained and dirty. If you had a choice which would you choose first? The clean one right? So, what I can tell you is that while all the wonderful improvements you’ve made won’t mean it will sell for more, it does normally mean it will sell before the others.”
  4. Reduce the Price or Cancel (A favorite from Floyd Wickman.) Sometimes a good way to get a price reduction is by offering to cancel the listing. This is from Floyd’s 101 Dialogues.  “Mr. & Mrs. Seller, the reason I asked to come by tonight is that we had a meeting concerning your home in our office.  And I think in attendance we had collectively, about 70 years of real estate experience and we all agreed that if we were to keep your home on the market at the current price, well, it would be like not having it on the market at all. So, the reason I wanted to come by is that I brought over two forms for you to look at.  The first form I brought with me is what we call a Price Change Form.  It was collectively agreed that if you want to get your home sold, this is the price we have to adjust it to.  Now it’s not easy for me to say that after I’ve had the house on the market for a couple of months, but 70 years of experience agreed that this is the price your home will sell for. But before you say anything, I wanted to tell you that second form I brought over is a complete cancellation of the listing form.  Now, if you can see your way clear to signing this (price reduction) tonight then I’ll be able to get your house sold and get you into the new house relatively fast.  If you decide to sign this cancellation and assuming my broker will, this will free you up to list with someone who – well – maybe doesn’t care.  So, the reason I wanted to stop by is rather than keep you tied up the way we are I wanted to stop by and have you ‘OK’ one of these tonight.  Fair enough?” Be sure you have a copy of both forms with you and stick to your guns!  This technique is not for the meek!  You may want to practice the dialogue a few times until you’re comfortable.

Pricing dialogues and negotiation skills take practice, drill and rehearsing.  One of the most powerful things you can do as an agent is to know your market inside and out, know the numbers and practice the closing skills that will help you take more SALABLE listings each month. As Floyd would say, “Worse than no listing is a listing that won’t sell.” Don’t find yourself in that category.

To learn more pricing skills head over to read more about our eBook at 21 Ways to Get Your Listings Priced Right (Despite the Sellers Best Objections!  In it you’ll find bonus objection handling visuals and tips from industry experts.

Need more marketing help? Contact our team at 866.405.3638!

Real Estate Agent Success

Insights from the Front Line with Ramona Williams

By Julie Escobar

When it comes to knowing EXACTLY what real estate professionals, and specifically our ProspectsPLUS!
customers want and need to grow their businesses in today’s market, I knew that there was one person who would be perfect to interview. My closest friend and always one of the smartest people in the room, our Director of Business Development, Ramona Williams.  With both an MBA and more thirty years of experience working with real estate agents and brokers, she’s the go-to resource for insights and ideas.

Here’s what we learned:

Q:  You are on the phones with customers every day, where do you think agents are needing the most help in terms of marketing their businesses and their listings?

A:  Consistency – hands down. That’s honestly where most agent’s marketing breaks down.  One and done listing inventory snapshotmarketing doesn’t work, never has and never will.  Secondly, what hurts agents is having no strategy at all.  That’s not a new problem of course. That’s historically where agents fail to grow their businesses, and why so many don’t make it.  Unfortunately, the majority of agents try lots of little things, including whatever the “shiny new idea” is in the office at the moment and never commit to anything consistently.  The result is they end up all over the place in terms of the message they are sending out into their market, and they’ll actually spend considerably more money trying every new thing that comes along than they would if they just put a solid, strategic plan of tested direct marketing that works in place and stuck to it.  Consistently sending branded, direct response marketing every 21-45 days to a sphere and farm is still the best means of driving results in our industry.

Q:  We’re seeing a huge rise in agents using EDDM® as a means to strategically market for less – what is your take on that and what advice do you have for others eager to do the same?

A:  I think Every Door Direct Mail® is a terrific way for agents to cover a large geographic area because of the Dominator April 16lower postage costs.  It makes it really affordable for agents to get back to those basics like working a geographic farm.  What I really like about seeing agents return to geo-farming is that it helps them focus their marketing efforts. For a long while we saw agents just chasing the next deal. They’d follow internet leads wherever they took them – sometimes driving hours to take a listing.  EDDM helps them to find a geographic market area that makes sense for them and literally get in every door. When used consistently, it creates a much more predictive business and income model than constantly chasing new business.  Here’s what else I can tell you – the great agents get that. They know that it’s not only OK to be in control of their marketing and business, it’s a must if you want to create a consistently growing business with commissions and referrals you can count on.  I think so much of the time you see agents who look at the business of real estate as risky to start with or unpredictable because it’s commission based.  So their mindset is that their business is supposed to be all over the place, or unpredictable as well.  Savvy agents know that real estate is a business and can be a very lucrative one if they treat is like it is and work a plan.

Q:  What product do you see the most demand for in today’s market?

A:  I’d say in most areas of the country inventory is still historically low, so agents are looking for any vehicle that can help them get listings.  So we’re seeing a lot of EDDM, Just Listed postcards and Just Sold postcardsjl js cards (which are great for pulling double duty – marketing the listing and the agent), our Market Dominator, Listing Inventory cards, FSBO and Expired tools, and our Neighborhood Update/Free Offer cards. The last take a little more work to input the listing data, but it’s what consumers want to see, and they make direct response offers, so they work.  Again, it’s getting back to taking control of your marketing.

We are also seeing an uptick in agents struggling with pricing listings correctly and that’s where your eBook 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time (Despite the Seller’s Objections) is a terrific tool that’s really affordable and filled with the kind of objection handlers agents need today.

Q:  You and I go way back in this business – we won’t say how far!  How do you think the market has changed and what do you think agents can do to best get in front of those changes and be competitive?

A:  You know, surprisingly, it really hasn’t changed all that much.  Our business is and always be cyclical.  What is different, of course, are the amount of technology options agents have and how many different organizations are selling to them.  Many of which are amazing and game-changing solutions for agents, no doubt. It does, however, make it really easy for agents to take their eye off the ball and look for that “magic pill” that will skyrocket them to success.  While that’s understandably tempting, the keys to being the top in your field is the stay focused, build inventory, price listing right, have a strategic plan, and find areas you really enjoy working and stay the course.

Q:  Excellent advice! You work with top producers and high volume teams quite a bit as our Director of Business Development.  What are some factors from a marketing perspective do you think they deploy that allow them to continuously rise to the top?

A:  Much like we just talked about, top teams and top agents don’t roll the dice with their results. They build their businesses exponentially by putting systems in place so things don’t fall through the cracks and understand and implement the power of consistent marketing.  In other words, they don’t wait and they don’t shy away from marketing at high levels.  They prioritize immediate lead generation, but they also have systems that allow them to build their brand and their businesses long term.  They are also typically service-minded professionals.  They take excellent care of their customer base, and communicate effectively and often with their sphere and farm.  That’s smart business.

Q:  Awesome. Any last words of wisdom for the readers?

A:  Well I guess I would say that this is truly a great industry where people can make an excellent, lucrative living that is relatively affordable to get into with a strong return on investment.  I would tell them to be strategic, consistent and be mindful of who you model yourself after.  You and I have both seen, countless times, agents who have been in this business 3, 4, 5 – even 10 years or more in this industry and have never put a sphere of influence database together.  While some may do all right at that, it makes you really wonder where COULD their business be if they had put that basic but so important piece in place? That’s a lot of missed opportunity and money left on the table.  I’d challenge agents to not do the same.  Get back to the basics.  Have a plan. Use strategic, consistent marketing (both in terms of timing and branding) to build your inventory, price them right, follow up, and take care of your book of business and your farm.

As always, you’re a tremendous source of advice for today’s professionals. What’s great for our customers to know is that you’ve done such an amazing job of both training and managing our support and marketing teams that they have incredible skills and insights as well and are wonderfully adept at helping agents and brokers figure out the best plans for them, and helping them strategically implement those plans every day.  Kudos to you for that!  Thanks for sharing!

If you’d like to connect with a member of Ramona’s team, you can call them at 866-405-3638 or email us at pmc@prospectsplus.com.  They are eager to help make your job – and your life a whole lot easier!

It Pays to Be Preparedexpireds

By Julie Escobar

Expireds have long had a relatively rotten reputation.  Dubbed ‘difficult’, ‘tough nuts’, or ‘stubborn’ by many agents – but for others – they are considered great ‘low hanging fruit’ and for expired aficionados —  they are the #1 source for increased productivity, respectable listing inventory and even long-term referral clients.  In fact, as many agents will tell you – directly after the holiday season will be the BEST time to swoop in and dominate the expireds in your market.

Here’s what you need to know first:

I believe most experts (and expired specialists) would tell you that success lies in three things:  ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP. 

ATTITUDE first, because often expireds are a little discouraged, beat up and even a little put off because they’ve been disappointed in the past.  But a strong agent with a great disposition and a handle on how to get the job done can almost always turn that around.

APPROACH without being pushy, overbearing or blameful.  We’ve always found direct response postcards a great way to capture the attention of a prospect by using questions and statements that are ALREADY in the mind of your target consumer and that lead them to look to YOU for the solutions.  And it’s an APPROACH that has worked tremendously for thousands of agents because it 1) warms the call, 2) presents you as the expired specialist and 3) offers an item of value that is intriguing and helpful to your potential customer.  (Now there’s a win-win-win!)

SALESMANSHIP is often a combo platter of things-right?  It includes the right attitude and approach of course, but also combines savvy dialogue skills, the ability to empathize with your customers and steer them in the right direction.  I’ve always found that it is also the ability to use VISUALS to help tie down your points, make your message crystal clear and lend authority to what you’re saying.  And when you are dealing with more than one seller—more often than not, one is a VISUAL person and one is more focused on the words and the details – so if you have BOTH going for you, you stand a better chance of closing for the signature!

A success strategy that many agents are using today is fairly simple and extremely effective:  

  1. Every morning (or at least once a week) pull the list of expireds from your MLS.  Put these names, addresses and contact information into your prospect database. (HINT:  Pay special attention to the first week of the new year – that’s a goldmine of expireds, so don’t wait to be prepared!)
  2. Set up a series of 3, 6 or 9 direct response offer postcards to go out to those expireds over the course of the next two weeks.  (Sending the postcards 2-3 days apart.)
  3. Follow up with a phone call, introduce yourself as an expert in expired listings and offer an item of value in return for a chance to come out and see the property and make some recommendations for getting the job done.  (If at first you don’t succeed – keep trying!)  Close for the appointment.
  4. Bring their collateral pieces with them to the listing appointment, and begin to build that relationship with them with the right ATTITUDE, APPROACH and SALESMANSHIP.

Sometimes (all right – a LOT of the times) pricing is a factor for expireds- so be sure you have some great objection handlers in your arsenal to ensure that you are pricing that listing RIGHT so you can help your clients reach a better conclusion than their LAST listing experience.

We went ahead and did all the leg work for you – We’ve put together three different expired listing packages for agents to make your job of getting in the door and walking away with the listing a whole lot easier.  Choose from our Silver, Gold or Platinum Packages which include direct response postcards, powerful brochures and the free reports that are just what the sellers are looking for!

Both the Silver and Platinum Kit have our Merchandising Review included.  Here is a little pricing dialogue you can use with that piece to get Expireds to come to the table with the right price. 

As soon as a property comes up on the MLS expired list, you should contact them by telephone and attempt to use the Merchandising Review as a reason for them to set an appointment to talk with you.  Here’s the dialogue we suggest for a phone call:

Hello, Mr./Mrs./Ms/Miss ____________, my name is _______, and I’m with ______.  The reason I’m calling is to see whether or not you still want to sell your home.  Do you?

O.K., well, I know you must be disappointed that it didn’t sell the first time, and I think I have something that will ensure that situation won’t ever happen to you again.  It’s called a Merchandising Review form…have you heard of it before?

Basically this is a special tool I use to make a comprehensive analysis of why your home didn’t sell, and what needs to be done differently to guarantee that it will sell if you do decide to put it back on the market.

What I’d like to do is set a time when we could sit down together and go over the Merchandising Review.  It takes about 20-25 minutes, and there’s absolutely no cost for this service.

Would Wednesday at 6:15 be good, or Thursday around 8:30 be better for you?

Now walk them through each item and negotiate the issues that were keeping the property from selling.  Correct these issues, and then show them your marketing plan.

Here’s just some of the pieces that are included:

expired listing package

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get yours today here or learn more by calling us at 866.405.3638.

“We want to price it at the top of the market to get the most money from our Most Common Mistakes Sellers Makehome…”

By Julie Escobar

You’ve never heard that before right?  Unreasonable sellers?  High expectations?  Zero grasp of the market?

I know, I feel your pain.  And since we are smack dab in the middle of a buyer’s market– I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite dialogues and strategies for pricing listings right in ANY market.

So when you’re faced with this particular objection – try this is a slight variation of a piece called our Price Pyramid and it’s designed to illustrate the importance of pricing the property at or below market value.

With this visual, it’s as simple as walking the seller through each tier of the pyramid, and then reviewing the most common mistakes sellers make in terms of price.  For example:

“I understand how you feel, Mr. & Mrs. Seller.  In fact, that’s something we hear quite a bit.  What I’d like to share with you however is just that same decision has cost others tremendously and I would hate for that to happen to you. 

What I’d like to show you is what we call the Price Pyramid so that you can better get a feel for how the price you choose now can positively or negatively impact the amount of money you’ll get from your investment. 

Let me explain. 

As you can see, when you price your home at the top of the market, you eliminate many prospective buyers – they are simply unwilling to look at property they deem overpriced. 

The same is true for other agents—they have an obligation to their buyers to find them the best home for the best price.  So you can see that by pricing your home at the top – you limit yourself to just 10% of the potential market. 

Now, when you price your home halfway between the market price and the investor price, you will attract the highest percentage of retail buyers – this is the most favorable range. 

Of course, if you want to sell your home in the shortest possible period of time, you’ll want to price your home below the halfway mark between market price and investor price.

This expands your buyer prospects considerably, giving you both retail buyers and investors bidding for your property.”

I would also go ahead and walk them through the five most common mistakes that you see on the bottom of the piece. 

In fact, many of our clients include this piece right in their pre-listing package.  It helps overcome the objection before you ever even sit down to the listing table.  Try it! 

————

The Dilemma Technique (Lie or Level?):  Another one of my favorite Dilemma Techniquedialogues is from National Speaker’s Association Hall of Famer Floyd Wickman. Use this when working with sellers who are already itching to price it high: 

“From what I’ve shown you of the comparables for your home, if we can agree on price, would you let me go ahead and list the house today?  Before you answer though, I have to tell you that I have a dilemma that I’d like to chat with you about. 

Remember how I did the research on what other properties have sold for in this area?  And the reason I did that was so that we could use those comparables to determine the best price for your house?

Well, see that’s where I hit a snag.  Do you remember when you told me on the phone that you thought the house was worth $200,000? 

Well, my dilemma is that when I ran all those numbers, I couldn’t come anywhere near that price in terms of comparables. 

And you know, that’s not even my biggest problem. 

I guess my real dilemma is, knowing what I know about the price your home will sell for – is that I’m faced with a tough choice – do you want me to lie to you or level with you?  You see, rather than just tell you what you’d rather hear like some agents would — I’d rather turn you down now than let you down later.  So what do you think I should do?  Lie or level?”

**Have the comparables handy and show them the facts and figures

——–

More than 90% of home buyers and sellers start their search for an agent online.  The more information you can give them, the more knowledgeable and professional you appear – the better your chances of getting their attention.

People love to get free information – and you need to develop you email database – so free downloads are a great way to help you do just that!  Have your web person create a download link which requires a name and email address to download the file with an automated thank you message which either allows them to download directly or sends an email with the file.

That allows you to accomplish two things – provide valuable information which makes you look like a hero to the consumer and you get a chance to add an email address to your opt-in database!  Talk about your win-win!

Learn more pricing techniques, get more visuals and dialogues from seasoned pros at www.prospectsplus.com/21Ways today!  Have fun – and get those price reductions!