What’s the first thing you say when you walk in the door for your listing appointment—aside from your usual greeting? 

If your first move is to ask for a tour of the property, you’re putting yourself and your client at a disadvantage. 

Think about it: during the tour, your potential client is either ahead of you or behind you. One of you is leading, the other following. You have no rapport. 

And when they start asking questions, you’re in one of two positions: answering them during the tour, rather than face-to-face, or starting your face-to-face conversation in a defensive position, playing catch-up with the questions and getting further and further away from establishing a real connection. 

This is now how you build rapport. And without that, you’re just another agent looking to make some money off the sale of their home. You’re another agent telling them what you think they want to hear—another agent that will double down on the obvious and get mediocre results.

Sharran Srivatsaa, president of Real Brokerage, has a better idea. 

The number one thing an agent can do in a listing appointment that will dramatically increase their chances of winning is not to do the tour first.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

Start at the table

The first thing you want to say when you walk in the door is something like, “Hey [Mr./Ms. Seller], great to see you! Where can we sit down and strategize?”

Putting that first—sitting down and strategizing with them, face to face—allows you to pull out what they want. Now, you’re in rapport with them, as opposed to waiting until after the tour and sitting down to answer their questions. 

If their plan is simple, a tour may not even be necessary. But if it is, take the tour intentionally. Don’t bring it up until you sense a lull in the energy at the table when you’re discussing strategy. 

Then, request a tour using Sharran’s approach: 

“Hey, Mr./Mrs. Seller, I’d love to take a tour of the house. But I want to do it in two ways. First, I’d love for you to walk me through so that I can see how you live here and why it’s good for you. But after that, I want to walk it through by myself to see what a buyer would see overall.”

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

Say (or do) the unexpected

Most people already know you’re going to market the property. It’s what they expect. But if you go in there and spend 80% of your time talking about marketing, you actually minimize your skills and your impact in every other area. 

The client already knows that marketing is part of what you do. They expect that. And in doing just what they expect, you put yourself in a box with every other agent. 

Anytime you want to separate from the competition, you’ve got to brand the competition. Here’s what the average agent does, and here’s what we do… And you say, “The average agent does what I call ‘of course marketing.’ Of course, we do the brochures. Of course, we put it on the MLS. Of course, we do that.” Next time the average agent walks in the room and says, “We put it on the MLS, we have an 87-point marketing plan,” they think, “Oh, Sharran said that’s ‘of course marketing.'” So, it puts them in that bucket.

Sharran Srivatsaa

President of Real Brokerage

If you don’t brand the problem, no one will see you as separate from the rest of the agents out there—let alone as the solution. Make the distinction clear between what the average agent does and what you do. And show that by your actions as well as your words. 

Watch the full BAM Interview with Sharran Srivatsaa here.