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The Phone Call

communication pricing Aug 29, 2019

“Hello, this is Sammy Seller.  I’d like to speak with you about listing our home.”

Yay!  😄 This is the best phone call!  Right?

I remember getting this call at times and being so excited, I lost my mind and forgot to ask all kinds of important questions. 😐

To resolve this, I made a simple Seller Information Form (SIF) with space for the following information:

  • Name(s) 📇 – The caller and every other decision-maker
  • Address (!) 🏡
  • Phone number(s) ☎️ – Just in case I need to clarify something before the appointment
  • Email address(es) 💻 – Stay tuned for a very important ‘Real Agent Memo’ next week about why you should send the Sold Comparables by email before the Listing Presentation
  • Referral source 😎 – If it wasn’t a referral, use this space to specify why they called you – It’s important to track the source of your business, for future reference
  • Appointment Date and Time ⏰ - Make sure every decision-maker is there
  • Description of Property 🏠 – See below
  • Expected Price 💰 – See below
  • Competing Agents 👨‍💼 – See below

Having the SIF will keep you focused, ensuring that you don’t forget to ask any important questions.  I suggest you keep your blank SIF forms in 3-ring binders, readily accessible wherever you might be:

  • In your office 🏢 within reach of your phone
  • In your home 🏠 in 2-3 easily accessible locations
  • In your car 🚗. When you get a C-L-M (Come-List-Me) call, tell them you’re in your car, and can you call them back in ten minutes?  Then, pull over at the first opportunity, grab your SIF binder, get yourself in the right frame of mind, and call them back.  As soon as possible!

In the description area, describe what they think are the best features, as well as any negative factors which could affect marketability.  What are their plans?  Why and where are they moving?  What is the time frame?  Try to get a sense of their motivation level, and write it down in this section. 📋 If they’re selling AND buying, ask additional basic questions about their next home.

If you can find out their price expectation ahead of time, this can be extremely helpful, if for no other reason but to determine if you are dealing with reasonable people, or not.  Having this knowledge ahead of time will reduce your anxiety, and it may help to determine your strategy in guiding them to the correct list price. 💰

Your casual delivery of the question is the key, “I’m just wondering how closely you follow the market, and if you have a number in mind that you are hoping to get for the house (?), even if it’s a range of plus or minus $50,000 (?).”

Some people won’t tell you no matter what 🙊, but in my experience, once you get good at this question, you’ll get a very clear answer at least nine times out of ten.  If you’re not successful at first, continue practicing your delivery (using your own words and style).

When you ask, you need to be confident, friendly, professional, and authentic, all at the same time!  The better you get at this, the more successful you will be at all different facets of your Real Estate business.

(I have an entire module—Relationship Selling—dedicated to this skill-set in my upcoming online course – The Real Estate Master’s Program)

Here’s another important question, “May I ask if you are interviewing other agents? 👨‍💼  If so, what are their names?  I have no issue with you telling them my name by the way, so it’s perfectly fair for everyone.”

If they ask why you want to know, you can respond, “It’s just because if I know who I’m competing with, this can help me to better explain the most important points about my marketing plan that I know are different, and this will save some time at the appointment.”

Everyone likes to save time! 🕖

With practice, you’ll become more and more successful at getting your listing prospects to tell you about potential competitors, which can be very helpful.  For example, if it’s a mega-agent, you’ll be able to subtly and easily differentiate the advantages of your vastly superior personal service, at the listing presentation.

More on the subject of competing with Mega-Agents here:

https://www.knowledgefirst.ca/blog/marketing-nonsense, or here:

https://www.knowledgefirst.ca/blog/the-big-box-team

Next, you need to decide on an appointment time ⏰.  Many trainers espouse that you should try to be the last agent in, which is usually a good thing, but this can backfire on you sometimes.  Personally, I never worried about this too much.

However, you should try to allow at least two days to prepare your CMA properly, and also for them to review the sold comparables that you will send ahead of time (more on this next week). 

Simply tell them that it usually takes a few hours for you to do a proper Comparative Market Analysis, and you won’t have time to get started on that until tomorrow, so the earliest would be the next day after that.  They will appreciate your thoroughness.

That covers all of the information you need on your Seller Information Form.

I suggest you go ahead and make up your own SIF right now – while you’re thinking about it – and put them in binders in various easily accessible locations, as I suggested.

If you’d like a copy of my Seller Information Form, I’ll make you a deal: Email me and tell me your biggest challenge you are dealing with in your Real Estate business, right now.  In return, I’ll send you an editable Word document with my simple SIF.  No sales pitch.  But maybe the solution to your problem will appear in a future ‘Real Agent Memo’!

If you’ve got a better high-tech 💻 solution for ensuring you remember all the important questions on “The Phone Call,” I’d love to hear about it!  But sometimes a low-tech solution is the best one.  Simply following along on this form will help to keep you focused on the task at hand.

Next week, I’m going to talk about why you should send the Sold Comparables by email before the Listing Appointment.  This is a huge time saver and a major reality check for your clients!

Here’s hoping for many wonderful phone calls over the next few days!

—Coach Ted


Ted Greenhough

12 X RE/MAX Chairman’s Club ($500K+) all as an individual agent (2006-2017)
Now, I teach good REALTORS® how to be great REALTORS®

Knowledge First Real Estate Training
Knowledge + Action = Skill

"After being in Real Estate for 18 years, I was feeling stuck and wanting to elevate my game. I’ll admit I was skeptical about coaching, partly because I didn’t feel ‘coachable’ and also because I had a crappy (expensive) experience earlier. Ted's coaching was different. He dug deep to find core issues holding me back, found them, and is helping me actually change. I love his ‘no excuses’ way, his concern for my success and the EFFECT it has had. In a terrible Real Estate market, after only a few weeks of coaching, I’ve never been more healthy and productive."

— Pete de Jong, RE/MAX Realty Professionals

THE KNOWLEDGE FIRST MISSION

To dramatically elevate the level of 
customer service in Real Estate in North America.

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