How to Successfully Nail the Real Estate Listing Appointment

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Curiosity can be a luxury real estate professional’s best tool, according to Michael Morrison, owner broker of the highly successful Morrison House Sotheby’s International Realty firm in Seattle, WA. He recently talked with trainer Tami Simms on our Estate of Mind podcast about how to find success with the real estate listing appointment.

He notes that he arrives at a scheduled listing appointment with “all guns blazing,” explaining that his firm has a custom-made “felt bag with leather handles” to present to each potential seller, adding that the other “arrows in his quiver” include tools such as a briefcase, laptop, iPad, video brochure, printed materials and other data to support the listing price, and property marketing plan that he recommends.

Real Estate Listing Appointment Tip: Do the Research

Initial research — both on the property and the seller — is key to listing success, according to Morrison, who often tries to surprise potential clients with the depth and breadth of his research. He notes that he has sometimes presented owners with a photo of a former owner, a relative, or a little-known historical fact about the property. Clients are impressed by the scope of knowledge and information that is presented, and they typically respond favorably.

Because Morrison and his team deal with high-dollar properties and wealthy buyers and sellers, his research also typically includes an OWL search (Online Wealth Lookup) that offers insight into other properties and investments of the seller. He says such information can be a catalyst for conversation about goals. OWL is a valuable resource, offered free of charge to Members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The additional marketing collateral Morrison brings to an initial listing agreement tends to reinforce and confirm his research findings.

Real Estate Listing Appointment Tip: Tour the Property

When he arrives for the appointment, he says that the first words out of his mouth, before sitting down, are “Let’s take the grand tour.”

It may seem premature to tour the property before getting to know one another, but Morrison is nothing if not casual, even to the point of removing his shoes as he enters the home. He carries a small notebook with him and takes notes that he refers to later when the conversation turns to specifics.

Real Estate Listing Appointment Tip: Ask Questions and Listen to the Stories

Morrison goes on to explain that he wants to know everything possible about the home and the property, the owners, their intentions, and expectations. He is also willing to answer their questions and respond to their concerns. The questions serve another purpose as well. The give-and-take offers insight not only about the home but also into the family.

Morrison says that he is curious about everything — and he takes notes. Who built the house, and when? Was it a newly-built custom plan, or a renovation of an older home? Does the home have a history? Who supplied the kitchen cabinets and what kind of wood are they made of? Why did they choose a specific marble or granite? What brand are the appliances, and have they lived up to expectations? Have they renovated or remodeled, and, if so, why? Is there anything to dislike about the home?

What do they love about the neighborhood? Why do they want to sell, and where will they move? All the questions are important, and you should be willing to listen to any stories that the sellers want to tell.

Real Estate Listing Appointment Tip: Begin the Discussion

Morrison likes to sit with sellers around the kitchen table, saying it is less formal than the typical dining room, and that informality makes for better conversation. Informality is another key, he believes, because it establishes rapport, and promotes honesty.

Be honest and sincere about any concerns you may have about the condition of the home or grounds. Offer your assessment of its current appeal and potential sales price, and suggest areas that should be addressed prior to listing the property. And, of course, be sure to talk about timing.

Any experienced real estate professional will develop his or her distinctive presentation, and there are, of course, specific protocols that must be covered. But these real estate listing appointment tips can be the catalyst that propels an  initial conversation from a possibility to a “done deal.”

Become a Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, and learn effective strategies for nailing the real estate listing appointment consistently. Explore the benefits of Membership and sign up for training to gain access to the tools and resources available to build your brand presence as a luxury real estate professional.


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