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John McGrath, Building the Right Listing Presentation for you

The McGrath brand is tantamount to success in the real estate industry, with founder and chief executive John McGrath’s effective listing presentation laying the foundation.

Mr McGrath said a good listing presentation was an essential tool for every real estate agent and the key to a winning presentation was reviewing and refining it. “I was very diligent in my scripts and dialogues, the structure and my review of every listing presentation,” he explained. “If [an agent was] a heart surgeon, they would make sure they were the best, because there could be problems if they’re not the best they could be.”

Be Prepared

In the times when he did lose a listing, Mr McGrath said it was usually through lack of preparation. “Sometimes I’d get there and I wouldn’t [follow the usual structure] and I’d be shuffling the cards on the deck and all of a sudden I’d start in the middle and I’d then go back to the beginning.”

“If you walk out of two or three buyer appointments, you’re rushing to a listing appointment and you’ve got another open home to go to, it’s hard to get your head around it. I used to allow myself a certain period of time for each listing presentation so I would never be rushed,” he said.

Part of good preparation is researching before the listing appointment instead of agreeing to be there straight away. He suggested making a time for the next day and offering two appointment options. “People want to deal with busy, professional people,” he said.

Mr McGrath also suggested agents remember the effort they put into their first listing presentation and concentrate on the small touches that made a big difference. “I always make sure I arrive 3-4 minutes before so they look at their watch and think this person is on time. Success in sales is about little things.”

Listing Procedure

  1. Have a pre-listing questionnaire to take notes on during the call
  2. Courier the pre-listing kit within an hour of the call
  3. Research the property zoning, land size, last 10 sales, current 10 properties competing with it and when they bought it
  4. Arrive 3-4 minutes early
  5. Focus the first 5-10 minutes on building rapport and demonstrating reliability
  6. Ask if they have about 60 minutes because that is how long it takes to get through the information
  7. Have a look at the property with them first and ask questions
  8. Talk about comparable sales, marketing, selling strategy and sales philosophy.

Closing Questions

When it came to asking for the business, Mr McGrath would have asked 4-5 questions throughout the presentation before coming to the closing sequence.

  1. If we run through our strategy and you’re comfortable with that, is there anything that would preclude you from using our company and getting started today?
  2. If we sold the property for a price you’re ecstatic with today, where are you off to?
  3. We’ve now spent about 20 minutes looking through the marketing plans and it seems to be plan B that you’re really comfortable with. How do you feel about putting that plan to work with us?
  4. At this particular point I want to run through our marketing strategy, because my job is to get every single dollar in the marketplace for you and I need you to really get behind me and support me with a marketing program. If someone doesn’t see it, I can’t sell it to them.
  5. Positioning a property can be like when you walk into the supermarket at the weekend to do your shopping – there are 12 different butters and 12 different jams, but you will tend to go with the one where the brand is familiar so it catches your eye. It’s my job to make sure that your home stands out head and shoulders above every other property to at least get them there.

Once at the end of the presentation, Mr McGrath would close by asking, “Having looked through our marketing and the entire proposal, how do you feel about having me look after the property for you? Are you comfortable with that? It’s a pretty tough question to say no to.” He then stresses agents must let the vendor talk and nod in agreement, not speak.

John McGrath will be at The Complete Leader Conference held on the 8th & 9th September in Sydney.

Listing Call Role Play

To show how he would deal with a prospective client calling to make a listing appointment, John McGrath role-played the scenario with Real Estate Academy Chief Executive Officer Lee Woodward.

LW : I’m thinking of selling my home. Can you see me today?

JM: Lee, unfortunately today I’ve got meetings back-to-back. I’ve got to show a lot of buyers through this afternoon. I could pop by at 10am tomorrow. How does that work?

LW : That would be OK.

JM: Great, Lee just before we go I’ve just got to get a little bit of information so when we do meet, I can make the best use of our time and help you the most. Can I just ask a little bit of information about the property? How long have you been here?

LW : 4 years.

JM: Since you bought the property, have you done much work in terms of capital improvements?

LW : We put a new bathroom in and extended the deck.

JM: Lee, I know we’re going to be speaking in more detail but could you give me some sense of why you’re thinking about selling at the moment?

LW : We’re thinking of moving up to the Queensland area.

JM: Do you have a timeline or timeframe in mind that would allow you to move from here to there?

LW : No rush, about eight weeks.

JM: That will work, no problem at all. Lee, I’ve called your property up on our computer screen and I’ve noticed it’s in the name of yourself and your wife. Will your wife be there tomorrow?

LW : No, she’s at work tomorrow.

JM: OK, what I might want to do is this: you and I will run through a little bit of information in the morning, but really because it’s such an important decision we might have to schedule it later that day when I can just do a little bit more research and come back and meet with the two of you? Would that be a possibility?

LW : Yes certainly.

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John McGrath