One of my favorite tasks as a listing agent is to prepare for and deliver a listing presentation to a prospective Seller client. Clients love learning the process of how to become a savvy Seller. Recently, one property owner was so enamored with his newly-acquired expert status that he suggested I teach other Sellers the insider secrets.
As in all things, the first thing to cement into your mind is this: How you do anything is how you do everything. That is a credo that you as a Seller must abide, and that is also credo you must demand from your listing Firm.
Your sales success rests completely upon the consistent execution of what may appear on the surface to be the small things.
There is plenty of chatter about staging, cleaning, clutter removal, and making repairs, so I won’t go into those details here; most likely, you already know the critical importance of those items.
Instead, let’s focus on what is rarely discussed – and known – by Sellers. I’m going to call these the Seller’s 9 Secrets to Sales Success (and What to Ask Your Prospective Listing Firm). Let’s dive in!
1) Get clear on exactly what it is you want to have happen. This seems like such an obvious first step, but it is often overlooked. When I pose this question to Sellers, they have rarely thought beyond the desire to sell quickly at a premium price. Yes, those are the goals of both Seller and Firm, but comprise only a small part of the entire picture. So it is here that I ask folks to determine what is most important to them in the process, and how specifically the Seller wants to partner with their professional.
2) How does the Firm work? Find out how the Firm determines price, market position, and your property’s ideal Buyer. Probe for details here. Ask to become educated on how a market analysis is conducted and participate in the decision-making process on price and position. Who is your competition and why? How may you enhance your property’s attributes? What will the Firm do to market in a laser-like focus to those who most likely fit your ideal Buyer client profile?
3) What is the Firm’s office culture? When you walk into the office, what kind of energy is there? Do you intuit a team environment and an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you sense passion, purpose, and vision? What is their reputation on working and living with ethics and integrity?
4) What kinds of systems does the Firm employ and leverage for maximizing efficiency in daily operations, marketing, and delivering extraordinary customer service?
5) What is the Firm’s brand and what tenets comprise it? Could you readily state 8 or so words that accurately describe their brand?
6) How visible are their bricks and mortar storefront and their online storefront? What do those storefronts look like, and do they connote success? How well positioned are they in the market, both online and offline?
7) Who is on the bus? Esteemed business researcher and author, Jim Collins, notes the importance of getting “the right people on the bus” when it comes to staffing and team. Inquire about the talent on the entire team and how strengths are shared and supported toward their clients’ success.
8) When carefully scrutinizing how the Firm handles the smallest of details, what can you extrapolate about who they are and how they work?
9) What is their record of success? Ask for details on their past success and plans for maintaining/surpassing those levels of success in the future. What are they testing and trying this year that is new? Do you have a sense that there is a lot of forward momentum? Do you perceive a restless desire to discover new ways of working and moving in the sales world?
By becoming an educated Seller and partnering with a Firm that dazzles you during the interview process (and then delivers consistently), sales success will surely be yours. Look for leadership and demand it from your Firm and from yourself.