We all know how important the listing presentation is. Do it right, and you’ll be one step closer to claiming the top-salesperson honors. Fumble it, and you’ll be back out on the street knocking on doors and looking for potential clients wherever you go.

Whether you’ve performed dozens of listing presentations or very few, the following tips will help you be more successful.

  1. Talk on the phone firstlisting

The last thing you want to do is show up with a generic listing presentation. Instead, call the sellers before the presentation and get a feel for who they really are – then use that insider information to customize your final presentation materials.

This is not the time to be selling yourself or your services. Your goal for the pre-presentation phone call is to ask the questions that will allow you to learn all you can about the motivations, objectives, expectations and concerns of the sellers.

  1. Create a guide

Home sellers are desperate for information, but they’ll only remember some of what you say during the presentation. So create a supplement that answers the most common home-seller questions and leave it with the homeowners after your presentation. Long after you’ve left the premises, your supplement will continue to sell your services.

  1. Be charming

No matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, if the homeowners don’t feel a personal connection, you probably aren’t going to win the listing. The best way to get a stranger to like you is to mimic the person’s actions and personality. You have to be like them to be liked by them. It’s human nature.

  1. Learn to use visuals effectively

The best visual presentations are graphic-heavy and text light. Don’t make the mistake of including so much text on each page of your presentation that you’re just reading it. If you want to create a personal connection with the buyers, you need to engage them (and be engaging), not read to them.

  1. Go electronic

If you’re still using a physical book to make your presentations, it’s time to seriously consider switching to a tablet. Young sellers will think you’re too old-school to represent them if you use paper. And even older sellers will be expecting a little technology razzle dazzle.

  1. Turn the pricing question around

The number one thing every seller wants to know is, what you think their house could sell for. Before you present your research and recommendation say, “Before I tell you my opinion, tell me what you think your house is worth.” (If they’re a couple, be sure to ask both people, because they may disagree.)

The seller’s answer to this question will help guide the pricing part of your presentation. If their answer is, “I’m not willing to sell for anything less than …” and that price is high, you know you’re going to have to do a lot of explaining and convincing. But if the seller’s pricing expectation is in-line with yours, you can use your presentation time to confirm that.

  1. Sell softly

Selling a home is so stressful for homeowners that the soft-sell (even a bit of reverse psychology) is almost always the best approach. Tell them to take their time making a decision. Encourage them to interview other agents. Put them at ease and they’ll love you for it.

  1. Follow up with a note

If you really want to make an impression – and set yourself apart from the competition – send the sellers a handwritten note the day after your listing presentation. Tell them what a pleasure it was to meet them, and how you’ve been thinking about their house ever since the listing presentation.

If you don’t succeed, ask why

If you don’t land the listing, follow up with the sellers by phone and ask what made them choose the agent they did – then use those learnings to improve your next listing presentation. Make it clear that you simply want to learn from the experience, and most people will give you their honest feedback.