Posts Tagged ‘Pricing’

Ask Denise: Open House Tools

May 25, 2011

Q: Denise, I saw the samples you had at the “Unforgettable Open House” class. I can see that having all these materials would be super impressive to visitors, but I’m absolutely overwhelmed at the thought of how much work it would be to figure out how to do everything. I really have no idea how to get started on all this.

A: I’m glad you could attend the live class!  And you’re right – having amazing open house materials definitely is a big component of what I like to call “The Unforgettable Open House”. Don’t worry if you don’t have the skills, or the time, to figure out how to create these materials on your own. If you wish, you can simply purchase the CD of all 37 templates for these materials from us! And thanks for joining me in class.

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Ask Denise: Working with an Overpriced Listing

April 28, 2011

Q: An extremely overpriced listing in our market just expired and the sellers have contacted me to do a listing presentation for them. Do I even bother to meet with them? They didn’t reduce the price the entire time they were listed before – and I suspect that they will stick to their guns on price even now.   

A: OF COURSE you meet with them. If you can provide these sellers with concrete data and strong compelling visuals to back up your price opinion (you can find details in my April 1, 2011 Zebra Report, Powerful Pricing Tools), you have a great opportunity to help the sellers see the importance of pricing their home right this time around. The right pricing tools are not only critical to helping a seller see where they need to be priced to get a sale; but they will help you give a strong and confident presentation.

What Are Your “Lost Opportunities” Telling You?

December 17, 2010

We’ve all lost listings … either because the property didn’t sell and the listing expired, or because the seller decided to cancel the listing. It’s not something we like to have happen, but it does, and we move on. There’s always more business just around the corner. Right?

Here’s something to think about, though. How much income are you losing to your expired and canceled listings? I’ll bet it’s a LOT more than you realize. If you added it up, it could be thousands of commission dollars that you have given away.

Here’s something else to think about. It’s not just about the money. It’s also lost future business. It’s lost referral business. Any way you look at it, you simply cannot just ignore it and say, “It’s not a big deal. I have other business.”

There are reasons why agents lose listings. Probably more reasons than I have room to list here. It’s most often an agent issue, rather than a seller issue. But for today, here is my short list. These are the biggies.

1. Pricing. Every time an agent takes an over-priced listing, they run the risk of having that listing languish on the market until the sellers cancel the listing or they simply let it expire. Overpriced listings do not sell. As long as human beings have bought and sold real estate, this has been the case. What makes an agent think that it is different now? Find the confidence to get your sellers to price correctly from the beginning of the listing. From the beginning. Not 30, 60 or 90 days down the road.

2. Client Care. Every seller deserves the right to have exemplary client care. They are paying you thousands of dollars to sell their property. They should expect—and they should receive—amazing client care. They should hear from you every week. They should have market updates and statistics every week. Even if you have nothing to tell them that they don’t already know, they need to hear from you every single week. Don’t drop the ball on this. If they only want to hear from you every 30 days, it’s even easier to get busy and drop the ball. Don’t. Sellers get cranky quickly when they feel like their only communication from you is when you happen to have the time. They lose faith in you. They cancel their listing or let their listing expire and then move on without you.

3. Follow Up. If you say you’re going to do something, then you need to do it. If you say you’re going to call your sellers back about something, call them promptly. If you say, “I’ll get you that information,” get it. If you hear from another agent, or get a sign call, or get an ad call, or get an internet lead … let your sellers know! You may know what’s going on, but they don’t unless you tell them. Follow-up is a huge deal.

So you want to have a serious reality check? Go back at least 3 years. Write down every single listing that you had, that either expired or was canceled by the seller. Write down the approximate net commission you would have earned for each one. That number alone should alarm you. Then, jot down why you think you lost that listing. Be honest with yourself. Once you have your data, look for patterns. This is where the rubber meets the road, folks.

If you’re like most agents, you’ll have listings that were overpriced, listings where you dropped the ball, and listings where no matter what, you could not make your sellers happy. But every one of those listings tells you something. There’s a story. There’s likely a pattern. Figure out what it is, and then figure out how to address each issue so it doesn’t happen again.

Are you pricing-challenged? Are you dropping the client care and follow-up balls? Are you trying to work with sellers when you know that—from your first meeting with them—you will never please them?

Expired and canceled listings should only happen to you once in a very great while. For very good reasons. Every other one is a lost opportunity that has a dollar value attached to it.

If you want those dollars in your bank account, take the concept of Lost Opportunity seriously and do something about it today.

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI

How to Make Magic Happen by Denise Lones

September 4, 2008

By Denise Lones M.I.R.M., CSP

The room fell silent.  Rachelle was about to speak.

We had known Rachelle as part of our Evolve coaching group since last December.  On a cold day before Christmas, we gathered to meet and prepare for the upcoming year.

The one thing that struck everybody about Rachelle was an obvious lack of belief in herself.  The way she walked, the way she talked, her apparent nervousness—it all communicated volumes of self-doubt. 

I hate to admit it, but even I had some doubts about Rachelle.  She was too timid, shy, and vulnerable.  And she cried several times at that first meeting.

I went home that night with a sense of anticipation about the Evolve group, but with mixed feelings about one of our members.

Fast forward to July.  Christmas decorations long gone.  The heat of summer upon us.  Two weeks ago, we held our seventh monthly meeting of the Evolve group—and it was Rachelle’s turn to do a listing presentation.

I make all Evolve members do presentations in front of each other and the group critiques them.  Each agent is evaluated on their ability to present pricing, marketing, communication, technology, and photography.

Intimidating?  Yes.

Beneficial?  Yes.

Essential?  Absolutely.

None of us knew it, but today was a special day for all of us.  Up until now, Rachelle had done better than we had thought, but she was still racked with worry.

A hush fell over the group.  I had my notepad out looking for mistakes.  Agents always—ALWAYS—make mistakes in listing presentations.  And it’s my job to point them out so they can stop making them.

Rachelle started to speak.  She started off well—no jittery movements, no stumbling over her words.  A couple of minutes in, she hadn’t made a mistake yet.

As she continued, I began to notice that Rachelle wasn’t making any mistakes at all.  What started as a smooth presentation only got better—and then better—and then better.  The more Rachelle talked, the more cohesive her presentation became.

She hit every point.  She was calm and articulate.  She explained the benefits of working with her without any ego.  She was soft where she needed to be.  She was tough where she needed to be.

But most importantly, she presented pricing better than anybody else in the room—perhaps better than anybody I’ve ever seen in my entire real estate career.

I felt something wet on my face.  I realized I had tears falling down my cheeks.  I couldn’t believe that the little scared girl from the first meeting had completely transformed into a powerful and confident woman.

I looked around the room.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes.  In fact, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire room.

Rachelle finished and we all gave her a standing ovation. 

Now, it was time for the critique.  But it was the strangest critique I’ve ever witnessed—because none of us had anything negative to point out.  We were all just so stunned—and proud.  We had all been with Rachelle.  We had all faced down her fears and struggles alongside her.  We knew her pain intimately.

And now as Rachelle stood triumphantly in front of us, it wasn’t just her victory—it was ours too.

One member asked Rachelle, “What was the key to your pricing presentation?”

“All I did was listen to Denise’s pricing CD’s—over and over and over and over,” said Rachelle.

I thought about that.  I realized that she had indeed used about 90% of my verbiage—but what was so amazing was the way she personalized it.  She made it her own by emphasizing certain parts that were important to her and by giving it her own style.

Rachelle went on to tell us that she played my CD’s constantly—at home, in her car, no matter what she was doing!  Eventually, the information embedded itself into her subconscious mind and she was able to rattle it off as though she had written it.  Her self-confidence came from knowledge.  She had become an expert on pricing.

What’s the lesson here?  Simple.  It doesn’t matter what area of your business you struggle with.  If you do the work—and I really mean DO the work—then you can make magic happen.  You can transform yourself.

And if Rachelle can do it, you can.  When she stood up in front of us that day, Rachelle lit up the lives of everybody there.  She made us all incredibly grateful to know her and care about her.  She proved to anybody once and for all—you CAN change.

Whatever your challenge, you can rise above it.  You can make a difference in your own life by following Rachelle’s example: She knew she had an issue.  She sought out a solution.  But most of all, she did the hard work. 

Anyone who wants to change simply needs to figure out where they want to go, find a guide, listen to that guide, and do what the guide says.

Rachelle, thank you for inspiring all of us so much.  You are a shining star and you have an amazing career ahead of you!


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