Learn about the most common mistakes being made during listing meetings and the proven ways to avoid making them.
As any real estate professional knows, listing meetings are the key element of any agent’s success. It’s a meeting that makes or breaks the sale and brings the bulk of new clients. If a meeting goes well, it is a great accomplishment that can advance the agent’s career and reputation – or seriously damage it if things go south. The devil here is in the details, and agents unintentionally make numerous mistakes during these listing meetings. Luckily, such common mistakes are not very complex to fix. Acknowledgement is the first step towards healing, so take a look at the most widely made mistakes and learn to forestall them:
1.Leaving a meeting without a signed contract.
Closing a deal during the meeting happens half the time at best. That’s just the hard truth we have to deal with. But it is imperative to try and make it happen to the best of your abilities. If a client is happy with the meeting, let them know that the contract can be signed on the spot, if they feel inclined to do so. However, most buyers prefer taking some time to sleep on it, and it’s fine given the dollar amount of transaction. Applying yourself to close a deal right away never hurts, especially while the client is still under the impression of the house and your pitch. But if they refuse, it’s totally fine – do not hasten them, let the nature take its course, and follow up at the agreed upon time.
2. Failing the homework.
On the flip side, some agents do not prepare half as well as they should. Keeping a calm, confident demeanor rarely helps in such cases because a lack of preparation compels a client to think you are not making things any clearer. It is absolutely necessary to find a golden mean between the two extremes – prepare a solid PowerPoint beforehand detailing the essential information, rehearse some pieces if you feel nervous, but leave some room for flexibility in the presentation. The meeting shouldn’t be all scripted because it never fully follows the script. You can’t think of everything, and you really don’t have to. Keep the conversation alive, let the clients know you’re there to help them, and it’ll go well.
3. Not catering to the client’s needs.
An ability to feel the atmosphere in the room while talking to a client and act upon it has a far-reaching effect on your ultimate performance. Oftentimes, agents either ignore the evidence of different reactions in a client’s behavior or fail to respond properly. Every human is different, and some may need an extra nudge to sign a contract while others may not. Some may need an abundance of information while it is but a distraction to others. Different people are interested in different aspects of a house and you can rarely predict which ones they will be focused on. You have to be good at psychology to conduct negotiations successfully. Maybe not Sigmund-Freud good, but you certainly have to know how to talk to people.
4. Bragging about past experience.
It certainly helps to mention you impressive track record to let the client know they are in good hands, but it’s a fine line. Very few people like listening to someone boasting about their achievements. Usually it evokes a feeling of doubt, and though a client can verify your claims with relative ease, no one is going to do it. They will just treat them as allegations. Keep your story short and sweet, never elaborate on your collection of scalps unless asked to.
5. Leaving out past experience.
Bragging is a strong “no,” but your past experience sure needs to be touched upon briefly. How can a client know you’re their best bet as an agent if they don’t know how successful you are? Include the most prominent facts and figures that speak for themselves: work experience, total transaction value, closed to failed deals ratio, the largest properties bought and sold with your help. It’ll show you know how to get things done, but also ensure the meeting doesn’t look like a job interview after you’ve been our of work for 5 years.
6. Badmouthing your competitors.
This is a mistake probably every agent has made at least once during their listing meetings. Saying something like “You should sign with me because %companyname% won’t deliver” usually backfires. It sheds a negative light on your personality as well as on your firm as a whole. Many would think you have to resort to disparaging your competitors due to a lack of clearly perceived advantages of your brokerage. Needless to say, it has an adverse effect on the impression you leave on the client you’re dealing with and, potentially, people who they will share this experience with.
7. Being too assertive.
You should never try to force a potential client to close on the spot. While it is undoubtedly a best-case scenario, if they have already voiced their preference to wait and think it over, the meeting ends there. No exceptions. If you are too impatient and aggressive about closing a deal immediately, a client will feel uncomfortable and opt for taking their business elsewhere.
8. Acting unconfidently.
Never confuse a polite and modest approach with being outright timid. Assertiveness can go a long way, but you have to know when and how to apply pressure. Being confident in sales is everything, and the contract will never be signed if you don’t take initiative in the first place.
9. Being overly prepared.
Prior to a listing meeting, it may be tempting to over-prepare. Some agents will memorize a speech, turn themselves into a walking encyclopedia on real estate, and brainstorm answers to all the potential questions. While it is inarguably useful to prepare for every contingency in an event of such importance, an excessive manifestation of a high level of professionalism may actually drive a customer away from the deal. Sometimes too good is bad. It is expedient to ease up on the throttle to let your client feel they are talking to a relatable human, not a sales-oriented killing machine.