There’s talk that the market is shifting again, this time in favor of sellers. And for real estate agents at Mega Agent Camp on Thursday, getting more listings was the name of the game.
Among the power players up to bat: Rowena Patton of the Patton Property Group in the Asheville (N.C.) market center. Rowena and her team ended 2011 with $14 million and 63 units in closed transactions last year and is already on track to triple that number this year. At the core of her seller listing strategy is a heavy emphasis on marketing; both for her properties and her brand.
Getting to “No”
Agents are traditionally taught to get to a “Yes.” Rowena, however, prefers to look for a ‘No.’ “When I sit down to get a listing, I want to look for opportunities to showcase the robustness of our marketing plan compared to any other agent.” She uses very specific scripts. “I’ll say something like ‘I see that your house has been on the market for XX months. Can I ask you a couple of questions? Did you have an appraisal on the home prior to putting your home put on the market?’ By the time I get to three ‘Nos,’” she said, “the client is asking me how I can help them get those things accomplished.” That discovery process doesn’t stop at face-to-face meeting either. Rowena uses the tactic when on the phone with potential clients and even in her direct mail pieces using check boxes.
Storyboard the Listing
“I believe we should bring listings alive for our agents,” she said when asked what how the concept of “story-boarding” differed from a traditional blog or virtual tour. What’s a storyboard? Rowena broke it down into the following sections:
- A professional video of the home,
- A typical description of the home’s unique characteristics,
- A link to the current price on her website, “We are always driving traffic back to our website,”
- And a “What the Seller Says” section. “Sellers love to get involved. We simply ask them to fill out a “All The Things I Love About my Home” sheet via an electronic interview. They write a novel!” she explained. “Where they love to eat, where they love to shop, where they go to the cinema, they will write you an entire book about all the things that they love about their home and neighborhood.” The take-home message here is transparency. A third party review from someone is far more credible than one from an agent.
Leverage Video and Radio
For real estate agents who have been in the business for many years, a real estate transaction is not a complicated concept. But for a client who may only buy one, two or three homes in their lifetime, it can still be a very confusing process. “Our goal is to make sure we speak our clients’ language while also showing off our expertise,” she explained. “We do that by being a beacon of real estate knowledge on our radio show. It’s education and branding at its best.”
In closing, Rowena addressed a question she had to answer not too many years ago: “how am I going to implement all these ideas?” “Mega Agents are doing radio and video and it’s generating a lot of leads for us,” said Rowena. “But for those in the audience who are ramping up and may only have four or five deals a year, start by doing just one of the things we talked about today. If you can’t do a radio show, then blog. As you get better, then you’ll be ready to add video. I promise you will be more focused and get ahead faster if you start small than if you try to implement it all.”