MREA Master Class: Pre-Listing Preparation to Save Time & Money

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Markets change. And although the fundamentals of real estate remain constant, there are ways to change how we approach our businesses to help us better serve our clients, earn more listings, and protect our time.
Not too long ago, I sat down with Orly Steinberg, Jennie Wolek, and Jessica Starr and picked their brains about the best approaches for the current market. Between the four of us, we’ve experienced the ups and downs of all types of markets. But no matter where the market is and where it may be headed, it’s safe to say the change feels strange after the intense seller’s market of the past couple of years.
If you want to get back to the basics with great pre-listing strategies in any market – especially this one – incorporate these three key pieces of advice into your listing systems.
1. Invest Adequate Time into the Pre-Listing Phone Call
What’s your first move when you have a potential listing? If it’s running out the door without any information under your belt – stop! Especially in today’s market, it’s more important than ever to uncover important details about your possible client and their home before you leap. Orly, Jennie, and Jessica all emphasize the importance of the pre-listing phone call. They use this initial conversation to not only find out what the client’s expectations are but to also determine whether they want to work with the client.
Expect that this call may take longer now than it did previously. It’s likely that your potential clients will have more questions and you should too. Use this time to do your own due diligence. For instance, pull the tax records of the property, review the history of the potential listing, and get an understanding of the home itself. Ask questions to uncover the condition of the home in order to determine an accurate approach to pricing.
As Jennie shared, this call is “all about them and making them feel special. Nothing about me.” In other words, it’s important to use this prequalifying conversation to learn about the home, who lives there, their motivations behind selling, and where they are moving to so that you can better serve your clients if you list the home down the road.
Our panel also recommends taking the time during this pre-listing call to explain the home selling process in detail so that potential clients are prepared for what comes next.
2. Communicate Clearly to Build Rapport and Trust on the Front End
When you take the time to get to know the potential client and their needs before the home seller consultation, you’re coming from a place of simply educating them. Because you don’t have skin in the game at this point, you are better able to build genuine rapport. It’s key to be both authentic and truthful. Explaining the state of the local market for your potential client on the front end can help you to have easier conversations as you move through the sales process.
Of course, challenges almost always arise during the process of selling a home. However, because you were proactive and invested the time early on in the relationship, your clients likely see you as an ally. As you’ve educated them along the way, they’ve learned to trust you, and when problems come up, they are more likely to choose the course of action you’d recommend.
3. Focus on your Database
After watching this panel, you may be ready to implement all of the listing advice but not know where to start. As Orly so succinctly said, “Go mine the goldmine of your database.” Chances are, you have plenty of potential business to tap into. Maybe your contacts weren’t ready a couple of years ago to jump into the market. They may be ready now. Reach out and educate your database on what’s happening locally that could benefit them and give them a reason to choose you when it’s time for them to enter the market.
If you’ve shown your professionalism and served clients well in the past, it’s likely they would use your services again in the future. These people can be a great source of both repeat and referral business. After all, when you establish strong relationships and follow great systems on the front end, it not only gets you immediate business, but it also earns you future business.
No matter the market, it’s important that we remind ourselves not to operate out of fear. Taking the time to ask the right questions, get to know your clients’ needs, and become a trusted resource for them can go a long way toward reaching all of your real estate goals in any type of market.
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