The phone rings and it's a potential vendor. Hurray!
You book an appointment and start researching, excited to find out if it's an attractive property.
Stop! Before you go too far, remember to put together a pre-listing kit and get it in front of the owner asap.
What is a pre-listing kit?
Simply a set of materials that you send out to an owner before your first appointment*. This info should set the scene for your meeting and/or provide the owner with any info you want them to read before you arrive. It might include information on you, your company, and the current market, plus testimonials.
*It's not a pre-listing kit if you just take it along to the appointment. To win hearts and minds, you need to get it in the seller's hands as early as possible.
Why use a pre-listing kit?
A pre-listing kit shows your potential seller that you are organised, professional and that you prioritise their business.
Yes, it can be hard to put them together and it's a challenge to get it delivered quickly, and it's awkward when you knock on the owner's door unannounced to drop off an unmarked box. But the benefits far out way the hassle.
Owners who receive a pre-listing kit are more likely to believe in your ability to get the job done to a high standard.
How not to do a pre-listing kit
I've watched many agents chuck a pre-listing kit together without much thought over the years. Filling it up with whatever they have in the office: Flyers, a real estate magazine, advertising prices, an agent profile piece, some chocolates and a branded pad.
This might be better than sending nothing, but if this jumble of paper is not cohesive or presented with any explanation, then you run the risk of confusing your potential seller. Your pre-listing box becomes nothing more than a place to store paper while they work through the appraisal process.
Tip: Practice on a friend who doesn't work in real estate. Give them one of your pre-listing kits and ask them for honest feedback. Is it cohesive? Is it useful?
What to send instead of a random bunch of paper
A simple and effective option is to send a packet of quality coffee (or tea), fancy biscuits (or chocolate) and a handwritten card in a small box saying:
"Thank you for getting in touch. I appreciate you thinking of me. I look forward to our meeting on Tuesday at 2pm and am excited to hear about your goals for the future."
Simple as that.
Make sure you only use high-quality products. If you know they have a pet, throw in some fancy dog biscuits. If you know they have kids, throw in some kid-friendly snacks or a mini pack of Lego, too.
These are all items you can store in bulk in your office (20 of each) so it's easy to put a pre-listing kit together at short notice.
There is something about 'breaking bread' with clients and giving edible gifts that can instantly take your budding relationship to a higher level. This kind of thoughtful delivery is arguably worth more than a fancy brochure and is certainly better than an ad-hoc collection of real estate collateral.
Throw in some client testimonials too and you will be setting yourself up for a successful appraisal process.
Other (actually useful) things to include in your pre-listing kit:
- Intro letter (click here for a template)
- Seller survey* (see below)
- Agent Monday articles targeting sellers
- Presentation tips
- Approved list of local tradespeople
- Blank pre-sale to-do list
- Recent comparable sales
- Your personal recent sales history + testimonials
*A note on seller surveys
Including a seller questionnaire in your pre-listing kit is an ideal way to get a read on the listing situation the moment you walk in the door.
If you arrive for your appointment to find the owners have filled in your survey questionnaire, then you know they are engaged with your service and are keen to hear what you have to say. The listing isn't in the bag yet, but you stand a decent chance of winning the business.
If, on the other hand, you arrive at the property and they haven't filled in the form, or even looked at it, then you have some serious rapport-building work to do.
Questions to include in your seller survey:
- What are the 3 things you love most about your home?
- What do you love most about the location?
- What changes have you made since you bought the property?
- What will selling your property allow you to do?
- How soon are you planning on selling?
- Have you sold a property before?
- When you bought the property, where did you first see it advertised?
- What was it that made you contact us?
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