According to Michael Morrison, a leader in the field of luxury home marketing, “Be Prepared” is not just a motto for Boy Scouts, but a mantra that should be adopted by any real estate professional who deals with affluent buyers and sellers.
Morrison, owner-broker of Seattle-based Morrison House Sotheby’s International Realty, believes it’s critical to have as much information as possible when you show up for that initial listing consultation. Go the extra mile and research your clients, look up the property and its history, and be thoroughly familiar with area trends.
He insists that there are no hard and fast rules for new real estate professionals to follow, and that every situation is different. But, he says, you should try “to wow them before you walk in the door.”
In a recent episode of our Estate of Mind podcast, Morrison discusses some luxury property pre-listing tips to win higher-end listings. Listen to the full episode here.
While there is ample information on how to conduct a listing appointment, Morrison offers tips on how to get a head-start for the listing even before you schedule that meeting:
Luxury Property Pre-Listing Tips for Researching the Sellers
- Ask how they found you: If they came to you through a referral from a friend or former client, you likely have a base of information to build upon. Use that information to your advantage, not only to find out more about them but also as a way to engage them more fully at your first face-to-face meeting.
- Use OWL to find out more about them: Online Wealth Lookup, available to Members of The Institute, will supply valuable information, inform you in unique ways about a potential client’s other holdings and interests, and enrich your talking points in ways that are personalized and impressive to a prospective client. Use Google Search as well.
- Get personal: Learn all you can about the business and personal interests and affiliations of the family, including children’s ages, charities and causes they may support, awards, honors, and accolades they have won, and any public recognition they may have won.
Luxury Property Pre-Listing Tips for Searching Property Specifics
Find reliable information about property history and former owners. Determine what, if any, improvements have been made, when those improvements were made, and by whom.
- Check city and county records, tax assessments, zoning regulations, or building and construction records that are applicable. Learn the unique attributes of the home, and determine if there is historical information that might be pertinent to the listing, pricing, or sale of the property.
- Be fully prepared with information on local real estate trends and projections. And compile that data in a logical format to leave with the seller.
Sellers typically expect a well-prepared presentation. Being prepared also allows you to relax and build rapport to achieve the outcome you desire. It’s the best way to build your relationship on a solid foundation.
Luxury Property Pre-Listing Tips for Developing Your “Bag of Tools”
Morrison’s initial consultation includes a “listing bag” that he leaves with the client, along with all the tools — laptop, photographs, comps, sales statistics, and the like — that he uses during a presentation. He introduces himself, then immediately says, “Show me the property.” During the tour, he says, he carries a notebook, jotting down any special features of the home, and noting his reactions and recommendations. His goal is always to establish an informal relationship before sitting down “at the kitchen table” to talk about the listing.
And, he continues, “Never miss the opportunity to get a signature.” He insists that there are no hard and fast rules for new real estate professionals to follow and that every situation is different, laced with “shades of gray,” as he puts it. What’s important, he says, is to equip yourself to meet the seller’s needs and impress them with your knowledge, your commitment, and your professionalism.
If you are knowledgeable, well-prepared, and confident, and you know the area, the market, the seller, and the specific property, that initial listing appointment might turn into a “one and done.” So, he recommends having the paperwork ready to present for a signature. However, he adds that a second, or even a third meeting, might be needed to secure a luxury listing. The key is to do your homework, go the extra mile, and concentrate on the goal.
Become a Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, and establish yourself as a leader in the luxury residential real estate market. Membership is open to licensed real estate professionals in the United States and Canada. Explore the benefits of Membership and sign up for training to gain access to the tools and resources available to effectively build your brand as a luxury real estate professional.