Real Estate Hot Topics, Leading the real estate industry in audio and content, sales, property management, leadership

Sawdust Listing lessons


with Lee Woodward & John McGrath

Winning listings is the foundation of your whole business. The way you win listings is through raw sales skills and engaging in real conversations that connect.

Most people need to work a lot harder on their listing skills. John McGrath says, "I was very diligent in my scripts and dialogues, in my structure, in my review of every listing presentation. Lets face it, whilst I got a lot of listings, there were plenty I didn't get. I used to go back and review them and speak to the vendors and find out why they gave the business to someone else."

The process not the promise is the key thing

The process that you undertake ensures the property not only sells, but gets to a premium pricing level.

Think about what your company does that value adds, both in marketing and in selling, and presenting and styling.

John says, “You've got to be really, very sure about where you're adding value, and be able to articulate that. Explain it simply and quickly to your client so they get it. So many people out there promise the world. They say, 'We'll get you a better price, but we're not going to tell you why. We're not sure why, but that's what we're going to say anyway,' and that's an implied thing.”
In fact, it's the process, not the promise that wins.

You must explain the process and how you will value add.
Lee says, “People would say, 'We're number one in the area,' but no one cares. It’s far more effective to say, 'Look, should you give the property to me to handle, John, this is what I'd do for you' and it’s how you close that really matters."

Use the first listing enquiry as an opportunity to gather information.
Ask questions - this is a good chance to do some research. Take it.

Role Play

Lee:        I'm thinking of selling my home. Can you see me today?

John:    Great 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 tomorrow morning about 10:00 o'clock, how would that work?

Lee:    Oh yeah, that'll be okay.

John:    Great. Lee, before we go, I just want to get a little bit more information so when we do meet, I can really make best use of our time and help you the most. Could I just ask you a little bit of information about the property? How long have you actually been living there?

Lee:    Four years.

John:    Great, okay. When you bought the property, Lee, have you done much work in terms of capital improvements since you bought it?

Lee:    Yeah, we put a new bathroom in and extended the deck.

John:    Excellent.
[This can be a good question to find out what price range they are looking for. If you're researching what they've paid for and they say, 'I've been there two years,' the market's gone up 10%, and they haven't touched anything on the property, that'll give you sort of a guide as to probably what price range to be looking at. Whereas, if they say, 'Well look, I've ripped the whole place apart and I've spent $300,000 or $400,000', also that's a good guide. Try and get that information.]

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

Lee:    I'm thinking of moving up to Queensland.

John:    Okay, and have you got a timeline or a time-frame in mind that would be ideal for you to get moved from here to there?

Lee:    No rush, about eight weeks.

John:    Great, okay. That really works, that's no problem at all. I've noticed, I've just actually called your property up here on our computer screen, it's in the name of yourself and your wife. Will your wife be there tomorrow?

Lee:    No, she's at work tomorrow.

John:    Okay. All right, what I might want to do is, 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 later that day where I can just do a little bit more research and then come back and meet with the two of you. Would that be a possibility?

Lee:    Yeah, certainly.

John:    Okay.
[It’s become a conversation – and that’s what you want. It doesn't have to be a game of interrogation.]

This is great conversation.
1.    You’ve gleaned invaluable information.
2.    You’ve come across as likeable.
3.    You’ve come across as trustworthy.
4.    You’ve presented a strategy to deliver the results.

These are critical factors in winning listings. You’ve shown that you are a quality agent, not said that you are.

Take Notes

Always take notes. Then tomorrow, when you’re there, and you meet with the client, you can say, 'Great, this is obviously the bathroom that you renovated, Lee, it looks fantastic. Who was the architect?'.

You can say, 'I looked at my calendar and about eight weeks time, which is when I think you said you want to be in Queensland, that's like the 15th of August. What I'm going to recommend is a time-frame that really gets it sold about two to three weeks before that, so it lets you get comfortably moved'.

Working with more information allows you to consolidate your product knowledge, build more rapport so when you're there, you are the expert.

What is Sawdust?

There’s magic in what’s left over. Real Estate Hot Topics has been going for 15 years now, and John McGrath and Lee Woodward hosted it for the first five years. It was a great time - John and Lee were fresh from the trenches. John was still auctioneering. The McGrath franchise didn’t exist. Lee had just left the agency where he'd spent his entire career as a salesperson, and was at the very start of his training career.  From those conversations over those first five years, Real Estate Hot Topics has gathered the Sawdust – the very best of Lee Woodward's experience and John McGrath’s. To have someone of their calibre share their thoughts in between all the difficult challenges of being a professional real estate agent, principal and visionary is a gift to all of us in the real estate industry.


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