Monday, July 16, 2018

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!