The listing presentation is the moment where you, as a real estate agent, can convert a potential seller into a client.
However, there are many ways in which you can waste time and money on them.
Therefore, in this article, I will make the point that many suggestions you get about what to do during listing presentations actually shouldn’t be done during but already before.
In this article, you will learn…
…what listing presentation or listing appointment is
…what to include in and bring to a listing presentation
…how to prepare for it with a counter-intuitive and non-traditional approach
…what to wear for it to increase your persuasive power
…what to do during a listing presentation to sell yourself well
…how to close it taking into account 7 typical seller objections and how to handle them
…what to do after a listing presentation
…and 11 listing presentation apps and tools that help you create one
Let’s get right into it.
What Is a Listing Presentation or Listing Appointment?
“Listing presentation” is often used interchangeably with terms like listing appointment and meeting.
It could be wrongly understood as “presenting a listing”; yes, you do present the potential listing to the sellers interested in it in a sense, but primarily you present your real estate services as an agent.
So, strictly speaking, it is a sales pitch or presentation a realtor gives to sellers to get a listing agreement signed and make a good first impression for the latter goal.
Ideally, it should convert pre-qualified seller leads into clients.
It is often accompanied by a pre-listing presentation sent beforehand to the seller prospects and a follow-up afterward.
Additionally, it can and often does include presentation slides (e.g., PowerPoint slides), video, and or printed marketing materials (e.g., brochures, boxes, business cards, booklets, etc.).
It is mostly done on-site at the seller’s home or the agent’s brokerage office.
Although not optimal persuasion-wise compared to a physical meeting, it can also be done virtually.
Regarding the content of the listing presentation, the essential points you, as the agent, cover in a listing presentation are the following, among other things discussed in the next section:
- Convincing the sellers why they should work with you
- Justifying and working out the list price together
- Suggestions for exterior upgrades, fixes, landscaping, interior upgrades, and staging
- The methods of how the home will be marketed
- The handling and negotiating of offers from buyers
As you may have already read in my article “Why Are Scripts Important in Real Estate [Are They Really]?”, the (listing) presentation is actually one of the last steps in a typical sales communication, and many do it too early.
This implies that you ideally have done a good job in qualifying the seller prospect beforehand over the phone.
If you haven’t done that well enough, you may waste time and money driving around meeting unqualified sellers on-site.
These can often be sellers that like to play human resources headquarters of a big corporation, interviewing different agents and getting free marketing consultations.
Ultimately, they may not even want to sell their homes, ending up just doing the marketing themselves after receiving multiple presentations with well-elaborated marketing plans and consultations from agents.
In later sections, you will learn how to avoid this or mitigate that risk a bit.
What to Include in and Bring to a Listing Presentation? A Checklist
You could split what you want to include into two categories and bring to a listing presentation: the message and the media (the way you communicate to increase the persuasive power) of the listing presentation.
So, let’s start with the message category.
The Message Category (Contents and Documents to Include in the Listing Presentation):
- Detailed information about the property in question (e.g., from title representative), such as size, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms, property age, year of purchase, and loans on the property
- Your unique selling proposition
- Your value proposition
- Client success stories and testimonials (past sellers)
- Relevant statistics and results that align with the benefits you provide to the seller (e.g., past properties sold within a period that’s below the average)
- Track records specific to the neighborhood you are serving in
- Additional authority-building content (e.g., mentions in newspapers, content you may produce for your blog or local newspapers, etc.)
- A brief marketing plan
- Comparative market analysis
- Additional services or extras you may offer (e.g., a guarantee may be relevant to newer agents)
- A walkthrough of the selling-process
- Multiple net sheets to show what the seller will walk away with (ideally shows several scenarios)
- Listing contract
- Seller’s disclosure
I ordered the contents in a way that the further you go down the list, the closer you come to the actual closing of the listing presentation resulting hopefully in the signing of the listing contract.
The next one is the media category.
Media Category/The Way You Communicate (what to bring to a listing presentation):
- A digital/visual version of your listing presentation
- A printed version of your nicely-designed marketing materials in a package that stands out (my favorite but a bit more expensive are boxes such as these ones)
- Business cards
- The contents of the listing presentation ideally role-played and memorized
- A confident attitude
- Your tech, such as a tablet or notebook
- Listening skills/ears
- Compliments about their home/neighborhood
- Readiness to ask questions instead of having long monologues
How to Prepare for a Listing Appointment? A Counter-Intuitive and Non-Traditional Approach
I would say the preparation for a listing appointment or listing presentation already starts with how you generate your seller leads.
It then continues with the first sales call with the sellers (the prospects converted into leads) and then with what you would expect as the typical preparation.
In an ideal world, you would be able to run a lead generation campaign in a way that you attract and generate seller leads that are already high-quality.
This is provided you use the right lead generation and copywriting methods in a way that you already filter out the “bad apples.”
So, the campaign already does a bit of pre-qualification work for you.
The next level of preparation or disqualification is when you talk to seller leads you generated over the phone.
During my research, I saw in various videos and articles that agents would be at a listing appointment and not realize until then that they are actually just participating in a type of agent “casting” where ten additional realtors will be interviewed after them.
They are often expected to lower their commissions and realize that the seller is uncooperative in pricing the home in a competitive way.
This also happened to me in the past, by the way, and I think at some point in time it happens to all of us.
What a “great” way to spend your time and money.
As I mostly do in the context of sales, I would like to mention the large body of work of Claude Diamond (his YouTube channel), who is one of my favorite real estate sales teachers.
He bluntly says you either attend an appointment to pick up a check or sign a contract.
Staying with his teachings, you could have already found that out in a 5-10-minute phone call with the prospective sellers, provided you had asked the right and sometimes uncomfortable questions to qualify or fire the seller.
Here are a few of them:
- Mr. Seller, why are you selling such a lovely home?
- What do you have in mind as an asking price? What do you think the property is worth?
- When would you like to have it sold?
- Have you decided to sell on your own, or is there somebody else we should talk to?
- Suppose I could sell your home within X weeks at or slightly above the current market price of similar homes sold in your area. What commission are you ready to pay me for my services?
According to Claude Diamond’s G.U.T.S sales system, the above are some of the qualification questions you could ask.
Only after the seller answers all the questions to your satisfaction are you ready to summarize what the seller just told you shortly.
Then you give a brief presentation of what you can do for them regarding your services and then close with a question such as: “What would you like to do next?”
This is also when you can make an appointment to sign the listing agreement (not picking up a check just yet) and, in passing, also give the traditional abovementioned, more in-depth listing presentation.
As you can see, this approach is counter-intuitive and non-traditional and avoids what Claude calls the “premature” presentation and free seller marketing and market consultations.
Will you have fewer listing presentations that way?
Yes, for sure, because you will filter out “bad apples” rigorously.
Will you use your time and money more effectively and efficiently that way? Absolutely.
While other agents will be glad to get an appointment, preparing the traditional listing presentation and not having asked and basically pre-closed a seller, they will use their time inefficiently, wasting time and money with unqualified sellers.
Now, let’s get to the traditional preparation.
If the seller wasn’t fired by you over the phone, you likely already gave him a little presentation about what you can offer and now have an appointment.
This is when you start the traditional preparation for your in-depth listing presentation when you meet physically.
Based on the seller’s needs which you found out over the phone, you can now prepare the relevant documents I already mentioned in the bullet list above.
When you look closer at the elements of the traditional listing presentation documents and contents, you will quickly realize that (I am beating a dead horse here already) we are again in the world of sales copywriting.
Therefore, you may want to read my articles on that here, here, and here, to get additional inspiration on how to write, for example, a listing presentation cover letter using copywriting elements, and addressing the seller’s individual needs, wants, pains, etc.
One classic element of sales copy mentioned as the content of a listing presentation above is, for example, testimonials or using statistics and results aligned with the benefits you offer to the seller.
These are all persuasive elements you often find in different sales copies.
To get an idea of the design layout and structure, you may check the various templates for listing presentations, such as the ones on Canva.
However, what you include should be relevant to the respective seller’s needs, except the core documents, such as property information, market analysis, listing contract, etc.
What to Wear for a Listing Presentation? – The First Impression
In my article “Best Cars for Real Estate Agents That Want to Convert More Clients“, I have already discussed why first impressions matter regarding your persuasive power.
There, I mentioned that the first impression you give to someone, and in our case, the seller informs how much they will like and trust you.
This is confirmed by the science of psychology, and we can use it consciously either to our advantage or ignore it at our disadvantage.
When we take advantage of this mostly unconscious human behavior, we can increase the persuasive power in physical meetings. Overall, want to be congruent in your communication (verbal and non-verbal).
And if you know the four-sides model from Friedemann Schulz von Thun (a German psychologist), you may know that we communicate something all the time.
Sellers will doubt the contents of your communication if you are incongruent. Here are a few examples that may cause doubt:
- You want a million-dollar listing and arrive in a Toyota Corolla.
- You want a 250k listing and arrive in a Porsche.
- You communicate confidently verbally but have a weak handshake.
- Your listing presentation design layout is nice and clean, but your wear clothes as if you would go to Hawaii after two crazy nights without showering in Las Vegas.
- Or you wear custom-made suits but arrive in a dirty car and have an unorganized and sloppily designed listing presentation.
I think you get my point. Although you don’t say anything, you still communicate something.
Categorically saying that you must always dress a certain way (e.g., a business suit) wouldn’t be accurate.
The situation is similar to the ideal cars I analyzed in the abovementioned article.
You want to dress in a way that resonates with the potential seller client and doesn’t cause incongruent communication.
If your real estate niche is 200k beach condos in Florida and you know that most of the sellers wear flip-flops and shorts, you may also get away with flip-flops (maybe stylish flip-flops) and shorts.
It’s a bit like with sales copy: the more you can write a sales copy in the words of the potential target customer, the more persuasive it becomes.
The same is true with dressing for listing appointments, in my opinion.
What to Do at a Listing Presentation to Sell Yourself Well?
Most of what you do or should do at a listing presentation ties into the preparation I discussed two sections prior.
To make a long story short, what you do is you give the in-depth (sales) presentation you have prepared until that point.
If you did a good job over the phone, it’s almost only a formality.
Besides giving the good first impression already discussed, at the beginning of the presentation, you can ask the sellers to show you their property to build better rapport.
In their own words, which you should have heard already over the phone when you qualified them, you can re-confirm their motivation (“So, Mr. Seller, if I understood you correctly during our phone call, you would like to sell because you got a new position at Company X in Y starting on XX.XX.XXXX, correct?”)
Then, at the kitchen table or wherever you sit down with them, you want to maintain a high energy level and lead the in-depth presentation with questions.
So, you want to avoid giving a long monologue.
You can put the already filled-out listing agreement on the table (a subliminal closing technique) and then go over the presentation.
So, instead of just telling them what makes you unique (your USP), you can ask them what they think makes you unique and then tell them.
What makes you unique could be that you do aggressive and active buyer lead generation, or you have a flexible and one-month listing agreement, so the sellers see that you force yourself to be proactive regarding selling their home.
You want to back up all the claims you make with proof.
Sure, not with all contents of the listing presentation you can lead with questions, but many of them.
At least when you explain, for example, the market statistics, the selling process, the marketing plan, the pricing strategy going over the comps, or pre-listing steps, you can stop sometimes and ask clarification questions or whether they follow you, etc.
In general, if they are already sold over the phone, you don’t have to do more convincing because it’s time to close them and sign the listing contract.
And all the talk about experience, credentials, marketing, etc., is not as interesting to sellers as just the results they want and/or need (usually selling as quickly as possible at the highest price possible and with the least amount of hassle).
Nevertheless, should you find yourself in the position to still have to do some convincing, you may have to switch again to asking the right questions to handle their objections, which leads me to the next section.
How to Close a Listing Appointment – 7 Listing Presentation Objections from Sellers (Including New Agents) and Questions to Handle Them
This section will give you an overview of X typical objections you may get during a listing presentation from sellers.
I will use a dialogue form and counter with questions you can ask them using Claude Diamond’s abovementioned approach.
In the situation of objections, he often uses “stroking” in combination with reverse psychology and uses the objections as an opportunity to close or fire the client (that’s the scary part).
So without further ado, here come X typical seller objections during listing presentations and how you could handle them in Claude Diamond’s G.U.T.S. selling style:
Seller: “I doubt you can get me top-dollar for my home.”
Agent: “I understand your doubts, and maybe I can’t get you top-dollar for your home because it is priced way above what the current market wants.
Let’s imagine for a second we could work out a listing price that represents the current market value and can sell within two weeks. What would you like to do next?”
2) Better Agents
Seller: “I think there are better agents out there.”
Agent: “Oh, absolutely, there are really great agents out there. Would you like me to get you a list of additional agents I can recommend, so you can have more meetings in the next 3-4 weeks?”
Seller: “Well, I don’t know, we already met many, more meetings wouldn’t change much, I guess.”
Agent: “I understand that. So, before I leave and you keep meeting the other agents, wouldn’t you like someone that can proof something and work like hell to get your home sold at a fair price? Or you can fire me right now. What would you like to do?”
3) The New Agent Objection
Seller: “You seem to be a pretty new agent, and don’t have reviews or references. Why should I work with you?”
Agent: “Yes, I am a new agent and I had similar thoughts, maybe you shouldn’t work with me. There are many more experienced agents out there.
So, before I go, wouldn’t you like someone who is going to work ten times harder than them to get your home sold? Or you can fire me right now. What would you like to do?”
4) Not Ready Yet
Seller: “We are not ready to sell the house yet, because there is still [fill in project of preference] to do before we want it to be on the market.”
Agent: “I see that you want to have your house in tip-top shape, before you want to offer it.
That’s generally a great approach. Let’s suppose I could sell your house as is, no more hassles with projects, at a fair market value within the next three weeks so you won’t be wasting money on unnecessary projects. What would you like to do next?”
5) Too Expensive
Seller: “You are too expensive with your high commission. Can you reduce it? Other agents are ready to do that.”
Agent: “Oh, absolutely, I am pretty expensive. Why do you think that I am more expensive than other agents, and why do you think other agents would lower their commission?”
Seller: “Maybe you do more marketing and get properties sold faster, and other agents just want to get the listing?”
Agent: “Exactly. So where would you like to go from here?”
6) Find a House First
Seller: “Before we put our house on the market, we would like to find a house first.”
Agent: “Let’s imagine for a second I could find your house and in the meantime sell your current house and then close your new home purchase and home sale on the same day, what would like to do next?”
7) Selling On Our Own (FSBO)
Seller: “The listing price you are suggesting is too low. At that price, we could sell it ourselves to FSBO and just pay the buyer agent a commission.”
Agent: “That’s a great idea, Mr. Seller, so why don’t you just do that, and then in 8 months when you have an expired listing because it was not priced correctly contact me again? But I am here for a reason, what do you think that is?”
Again, provided you do a good job on the phone, basically, all of the above objections can be avoided at the listing presentation when you physically meet with the sellers.
The only objection that may come up when you did a good job over the phone may be the listing price you suggest to the sellers.
What to Do after a Listing Presentation – Following Up with Emails and More
Sh*t happens, and real estate can often be like juggling raw eggs.
So even though you may have done a good job over the phone beforehand and almost closed the listing contract during the listing presentation, things still can fall apart.
No matter whether they fell apart or you got a signature successfully, after a listing presentation, you want to follow up with the sellers.
In both cases, you may want to send a thank-you note and/or follow up with a personalized listing presentation video via email.
But where you get at a crossroads is how you follow up after the first thank you note.
In the case of success, you want to keep the sellers updated about what you are doing and the first results you get in terms of buyer interest, organization of showings, etc.
If they didn’t sign the listing contract with you, provided you have a follow-up system for seller leads, you want to “feed” them into your nurturing system.
Although this article is about following up systems for buyers, you can take most of the methods and apply them to sellers.
11 Listing Presentation Apps and Tools that Help You Create One
Ending this article, I would like to leave you with 25 listing presentation apps and tools that help you create and design your marketing materials.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.