Virtual Real Estate Listings – How REALTORS conduct virtual listing consultations and convert them into signed listing agreements.
Realtors are going to need to start doing things differently, and one significant change is the process of conducting virtual real estate listings. As we begin to come out of the COVID-19 crisis, we are still limited to what we can and cannot do. Here in California, I can’t go into a grocery store without wearing a face mask. Many people feel a little restricted.
If you do talk to a client that wants to move soon, you need to be ready. We know that a lot of people are saying that they want to wait until everything is better. They say that once this is over, they will be ready. This is not an excuse to not try to get business. Remember that in real estate, it is very rare that the activities we do right now will get us immediate results. As Realtors, we are accustomed to the waiting game. It is beneficial for you to set up a virtual real estate listing appointment on the spot.
VIDEO: Virtual Real Estate Listings — How REALTORS Conduct Virtual Consultations
Imagine it’s October 30th and you bump into someone at the grocery store. You strike up a conversation and remind them that you’re still in real estate. They say great! We’re actually thinking about moving. Next, you ask when they are thinking of making a move. They say after the holidays. Maybe in the spring.
Oftentimes, you won’t succeed at convincing them that now is a better time than after the holidays. Here you’ve created a lead, right in the grocery store. Now, it is your job to nurture that lead throughout the holidays or until they do feel ready. Sometime in January you will start trying to see if you can get their house up for sale, and usually that happens between January and late March (depending on where you live in the country).
Nurture, nurture, nurture
Nurturing your lead over time is vital. You might be sending them a Christmas card, or setting them up on listing alerts via email. With a seller lead, the first thing you want to do is set them up on listing alerts! You set them up to get these alerts on their existing neighborhood so if any homes come up for sale they get an email. This gives them an edge on the nearby competition in their own neighborhood and gives them a sense for what houses in their area look like and how much they are selling for. They can see how fast it sells, too.
You can adjust your settings in your CRM or your MLS system so that you get notified each time one of these emails is sent out. You should make it a point to call those sellers every single time! “Hey, did you see that your neighbor’s house just sold? Here’s how that impacts the value of your house.” This is a huge value add for your clients.
Come from contribution
You will continue to nurture them over the course of the winter and keep adding value. These interactions should always be coming from contribution. Focus on educating your lead about their house. This will make them feel like if they use somebody else to list their house in January, they’re a jerk. They’ve been receiving all this value from you and they’ve been having all of these great conversations. It would be very awkward at this point for them to go with someone else!
Now, it would be ideal to get the listing agreement signed before this point. But in case you don’t get it signed, you are going to nurture them by adding value and coming from contribution. Throughout the holidays, through the winter, all the way until we begin to help them list and put the house up for sale – nurture is the name of the game.
COVID-19 is like a second winter for Realtors
You need to treat COVID-19 like a second winter. In a similar way to how many clients like to wait until after the holidays, you will find many clients are waiting until COVID-19 is behind them. They are waiting until they are comfortable enough to put their home up for sale. They don’t want people in their homes. These people will be especially appreciative of you conducting a virtual real estate listing appointment.
Remember, always try to close business right now, but if that’s just not going to happen, pipeline it and nurture them so that when they are ready, you’re there. Add value and convert them later.
You can say something like, “Hey, whenever you want to sell – that is totally up to you. But how about I get you set up on an email alert so if one of your neighbors homes goes up for sale, you’ll be the first to know? I can help you stay up-to-date on all of the home sales in your neighborhood so that when you are ready to sell, whether that’s six months from now or two years from now, you’ll know what the value should be. You will you’ll probably even know when the right time to list your home is. How does that sound?” They’re going to say it sounds great.
Make the virtual listing appointment
Now you reply, “Great! Let me send you a quick link right now – would you prefer by email or phone?” You send them a Zoom link for a virtual real estate listing appointment. Just like that, you’ve set the appointment. On that appointment, you will set up their listing email alerts, and you can even share your screen with them and take them right into your MLS. You can ask them all the questions that you need to know and get them completely set up on a listing alert search.
“Wash their windows” analogy
Next, you can offer to set them up on a separate buyer search. They will start getting emails with homes that they may be interested in. By setting up these email alerts, you are getting these alert systems to do the work for you! Remember, you are doing all of this during your virtual real estate listing appointment. Look at you go!
As I mentioned before, this person will feel like a jerk if they don’t work with you after all of this. Social guilt is powerful. If you’ve ever been at a busy intersection in a big city like Los Angeles, you have probably had a person come up to your car and try to start washing the windows for you.
It’s the same tactic here! You didn’t ask for this man to clean your windows. You definitely don’t need to pay him because you didn’t hire him. But, you feel awkward. He is looking at you and he did do some work for you. You feel guilty if you don’t hand him a few bucks. This is how your lead will feel after you’ve put in all of this work for them. They will feel socially obligated to hire you because they will feel like they owe it to you.
Start washing your people’s windows. Go to work for them by setting them up on your tools and systems to keep them up to date until they’re ready to sell. You have easy to use tools and systems that allow you to set up listing alert searches through your MLS. It has never been easier! You can do all of this in a virtual listing consultation.
Virtual real estate listings: the questions to ask
During your virtual listing consultation, you’ve set them up, and you can lead the conversation a bit. “Hey, would it interest you in knowing how much your home might be worth in this market today?” They’re almost always going to say yes. Now you just ask them a few questions and you post your seller lead sheet into the into the comments on the side of your Zoom meeting (or other conference call software). This seller lead sheet is a series of questions. These are questions that you ask a seller about their home to be able to list their property for sale.
As you reach the end of your listing consultation, you should ask, “Besides price, is there anything else you’d like to know about me?” What you are doing now is you’re eliminating objections they would have about using you as their agent. Now you talk price and share your screen with them and do a quick CMA for them. Show them what their home is worth.
Objection handling for virtual real estate listings
Even if you don’t get a listing agreement signed right now, you’ve put in a lot of work for them. You set them up on listing alerts. You gave them a value for their home. You’ve taken all their information about their home. So at this point in time, it depends on a your comfort level and their comfort level.
If you want to ask them to sign a listing agreement, you can approach it like this. “Hey, I tell you what, if you’re interested in letting me get to work on this for you, it’s really easy to authorize me to start working for you. And we can put the house on the market anytime you’d like. Right now is a great time because there’s not a lot of inventory for sale. That means there is very low competition, and housing prices are still rising everywhere in the U.S.”
Now this is where you have to be a little bit touchy. If you can’t get that listing agreement signed, and you’re comfortable, they’re comfortable, and you are able to under the current local laws, you need to take this next step. You tell them that in order to get firm on the price, you need to take a quick 15-minute look through the property. This allows you to follow up in person with them, which becomes a second listing appointment.
The silver lining to a second listing appointment
The great thing about a second listing appointment is that you have a very high percentage chance of getting the listing agreements signed this time around. Since you’ve already had one virtual real estate listing appointment with this person, you’ve already done a lot of the legwork. You’ve already gone through price told them what you do. This second listing appointment will be in person and it will be much faster. The point of it is to take a look at the home and answer any remaining objections that they have.
The biggest objection you will face is price. It is common that they will be unrealistic about their price. And the other most common objection is timing. Do it now, or wait.
Of course right now is probably the safest time because we know properties are going to sell quickly. Obviously I don’t know what’s going to happen with this economy going forward – nobody knows right now. But the interest rates are low, and supply is low, therefore competition is low. Educate your sellers about this and remind them that you have their best interest in mind here.
Stay informed and stay connected
To stay up to date on changes in the market, join our Real Estate Round Table Facebook group. We post relevant and hot-off-the-press news and content every day. It is a great way to stay informed for yourself and for your clients. Now is a good time to plug yourself in to groups of like-minded Realtors and stay connected!