Sharran Srivatsaa is president of the fastest growing brokerage in the U.S. But that hasn’t made him any less involved in the day-to-day activities of today’s real estate agent. 

In fact, he still shows up in living rooms for listing appointments. He still demonstrates by example what “proof over promise” looks like in practice. And as you might expect from a top performer, he is constantly learning how to stand out as a service-oriented sales professional. 

That’s what it takes to lead in today’s real estate industry: a service-first mindset and a commitment to daily practice. It’s not enough to coach from the sidelines. 

Srivatsaa’s latest interview with Byron Lazine was packed with strategies and tactics for real estate agents. But today, we’re focusing on his detailed demonstrations of how agents can show their value on listing appointments. 

Because, as Srivatsaa made clear, showing rather than talking about the value you bring as an agent is more critical than ever. 

Read on for just a few highlights before you watch the whole conversation. 

Showcasing value at listing appointments

Lazine credits Srivatsaa’s leadership with Real’s accomplishments in recent years. And he’s said more than once that there’s no better executive hire than Tamir Poleg’s choice of Srivatsaa to lead Real as its president. 

In my opinion, there’s a huge vacuum of leadership across the industry. But I look at what you’re doing…locked in, solving problems, taking meetings, going to the next city, going to the next city, getting on Zooms, doing all the things that most leaders would say, ‘Ah, I just don’t have the time to do that” …You’re just doing the hard work. Why do you keep doing it?

Byron Lazine

Srivatsaa’s answer goes right to the heart of what it means to be a leader in any industry:

People forget that at the end of the day, that our job is…to make our agent successful. Now, that’s a very trite thing to say…But the question is how. There is one part of it that’s theory. The other part of it is implementation…

If I can’t be better than our agents—and I mean this in a very humble, holistic way—if I can’t be better than our agents in email marketing, if can’t be better at our agents in the scripting, if I can’t share and show a negotiating strategy, if I can’t show somebody how to do a sub tour or investment deal, if I can’t do that, then I don’t have context. And if I don’t have context, how can I help? …if I can’t show them how to get their next deal in the next 24 hours, I suck. Plain and simple.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

Lazine asked Srivatsaa, “When’s the last time you were in a living room?” 

The answer? “Monday morning, 7 am…yesterday.” 

In other words, Srivatsaa is still very much in the trenches with the agents he’s leading. 

That’s something both Srivatsaa and Lazine believe in: don’t position yourself as a leader or a teacher if you’re not willing to do the thing you’re telling others to do. Pontificating from the sidelines is not leadership; it’s just advice from people who are no longer putting it into practice.

Addressing the NAR settlement

Since the NAR settlement, Srivatsaa has met with sellers who said, “Hey, I heard we don’t have to offer and pay buyer commission anymore.” 

In too many cases, that question brings the agent-seller conversation to an awkward pause. 

The interesting part is there’s a lot of ways to approach the response to that. And I said, “Oh? How do you mean?”  

That’s it. I want the seller to explain the position and what they have actually heard. Because otherwise we get into the place of trying to explain what we think is the right answer and we push our belief system onto them. So I just want to know what they read, how they’re coming up with it, et cetera.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

The seller said, “Well, I just read this article that 6% commissions are no longer the case. So I assumed that I didn’t have to pay for it anymore.” 

At this point, most agents are inclined to start arguing the advantages of paying for the buyer agent—and there’s no question that doing so gives the seller a strategic advantage. But Srivatsaa handles this situation a bit differently. 

He starts by presenting the three contracts (in tangible form) to the seller. 

“There are three contracts that actually define a real estate transaction contract. Number one is between the seller, you, and the listing agent, us. This gives us the permission and the authority and the fiduciary responsibility to help you build and market this property…

“There’s a second agreement between the buyer and the buyer’s agent. That’s called a buyer-broker agreement that shows exclusive representation, which actually shows the seriousness of the buyer…

“And the third is the purchase agreement that brings the seller and the buyer together.”

Srivatsaa puts the three agreements on the table in front of the seller, bringing each of them to life, which helps the seller see and understand the process more clearly. 

The alternative is to do your value prop and pitch the listing contract at the end. 

We do something called a moral contract. They understand what they’re saying yes to before they sign on the dotted line. And that’s super important because you don’t want the yes and then a sign. You want a yes all along the way, and the signing is just natural overall. So the first thing we did was explain the three contracts.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

Answering the question, “Do you have any buyers?”

Srivatsaa also broke down a conversation he had at a listing presentation where the seller asked, “Do you have any buyers?” 

It’s a pretty standard question. And typically, there are two ways agents answer it: 

  1. “Oh, of course we do. We have 13,000 buyers in our database. We talk to them all the time…” (which doesn’t really answer the seller’s question, which is specific to their home and the buyers most likely to be interested in it)
  2. “Hey, when you list with us, we have a great process. We do this, we do that, we do these events, and then we attract buyers.” 

That second one is the promise. And when you’re pitching that to a potential seller, they’re already thinking, “Well, everyone else has told me pretty much the same thing.” 

Sounding like every other agent is exactly what you do not want to do. 

Srivatsaa handled it differently. He looked at the agent with him and asked, “Don’t you have another listing that’s a pocket nearby?” The agent responded with “Yeah, it’s just around the corner.” 

He asked a series of questions in a live conversation with the agent—no scripting beforehand—right in front of the seller: 

  • What’s the address?
  • What is the home listed for?
  • Have you done any open houses for it?
  • How many groups have you had come through it?”

The agent’s answer to that last question was 13 or 14, which is pretty standard for Laguna. At this point, Srivatsaa had put on display for the seller some of the agent’s experience working with sellers at a similar price point in their community. But he wasn’t done yet. 

From there, he asked the agent if he had any of the open house registries. After the agent handed it over, Srivatsaa showed it to the seller and asked him to pick a name. And then the magic—the proof—with a phone call to that name:

Agent: “Hey, my name is Sharran Srivatsaa. I work with Real right here in Laguna Beach. I understand that you visited our agent…in this open house on X, Y, Z date. We’re actually sitting with another client right now who’s thinking about bringing their home to market. It’s a little bigger and has X characteristics. Would you be interested in knowing about this before it hits the market?”

Buyer: “Oh yeah, we’d love to know…”

Agent: “Awesome!…When you get off the phone, I’ll actually send you a text with a few pictures and then maybe we can set up a time to see this. Would that be okay? Great!”

The prospect’s response? They “lost their mind,” Srivatsaa said.  That is proof over promise. 

Srivatsaa didn’t have to sell the seller on what the agent would do for them. He gave a live, unfiltered demonstration of exactly what the seller was getting. 

“Show, Flow, Demo”

Srivatsaa’s description of the above conversation provided the perfect segue to three phrases he says all real estate agents should keep in mind for every conversation with a potential client: 

  • Show
  • Flow
  • Demo

You show the flow of something—flowchart, I do these three steps, etc—or you demo something live. The demo is the most powerful part of that process” …So, anything we can do proof over promise is insanely powerful.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

It’s one thing to show the seller a step-by-step breakdown of all the things you’re ready to do for them and that you’ve done for all your clients. But actually doing it in front of them (with a live demo) gives them an insider perspective on exactly how you do those things and why you’re so effective when you’re doing them. 

They even get to witness real conversations with interested buyers, giving them a bird in the hand while other agents have only promised they know how to find one. 

Tune in to hear the whole conversation and be prepared to take plenty of notes for your own training and practice.