What To Look For In A Listing Agent

We have your Q and a video for you. This is a question that we get all the time. This is something that we talk about when we go and meet with a home seller and it’s something that frankly, every real estate agent needs to think about, needs to have a plan, a process, a structure for it. But more importantly, what is a home seller? We’re all home sellers at the end of the day, right? We’re all consumers. Whether you’re a real estate agent or not, you are a consumer as well. You are a home seller. You are home buyer eventually at some point in your life. So what is it that you need to look for when you’re going to sell at home? When you’re going to find an advisor, going to find a professional who’s going to help you, whether it’s a CPA, an attorney, a tax strategist, a bookkeeper, a real estate agent, an insurance provider, whatever it is, you need someone who’s going to be – really because many of those people are salespeople.

We’re all salespeople to some degree, right? But you want teachers. You want people that are going to give you that advice and give you those different directions and then you can then make the choice. If someone’s out there just telling you what to do, step back a second and think about what’s really going on. You have to be the one that’s empowered to make the decision for you, yourself and your life. You need the people and the systems and the people in place in order to have the information that you need to then go make the right decision, right? We want to make our own decisions. We need the advice, we need the different paths laid out, and then we can make our own decisions. That’s what’s great about where we live, right? So we need that in all areas. We need that in real estate. We need that everywhere.

So what does a home seller need to look for when they’re going to do that? Right? If you can put your trust, if you can find due diligence upfront and find people that you trust, it’s gonna make the process that much easier because then you can put your faith that these people are teachers. They studied what’s going on, they know what’s going on, they’re in it every single day, and then I can now go make informed decisions based on the information I now have. If you don’t trust the advisors, you don’t trust the people that you’re working with, then you need new people. Then how are you going to make a decision, the best decision you know off of what you’re being given? It’s just like being maybe it’s your boss or the CEO of a company or maybe you are a CEO of a company. You need the people coming in that are around you, your team to give you the best advice, the best information, the best facts available, and then say, “Hey, these are all the information.” Now, you didn’t have to make that decision, right? You’re the CEO of your own life. You’re the CEO of your home. You need the best information, then you can make a decision.


So I was jumping into it here. Just want to give you this in that context. Really the biggest thing, the number one thing is negotiation. You have to be a great negotiator. If you have a listing agent, listing firm, a marketing firm doing this, and really what a listing agent is they’re a marketing firm and they help you negotiate the property. That’s really the biggest thing. You have to be an unbelievable negotiator. And that’s true for anything in life, but you have to be as a real estate agent, real estate professional, you’ve got to be a great negotiator. You know, if someone can’t negotiate on their own behalf, then how in the world are they going to negotiate for you and your home? That is something that you need someone who has confidence, clear and decisive and has the facts and has the rest of this in place, that way they can negotiate properly for you.


They have to be excellent at pricing property. They’ve got to know the market inside and out, they have to know the numbers, they have to know what’s going on in order to and they have to be again, in the market, they’ve got to know where the current economics lie and the broad scheme of things, where the market’s going and they have to give you that information so that way you can price the home properly. If you are overpricing a home, you’re going to have a hell of a time selling the home, right? If you are severely under pricing, you could be missing out on the money. You have to know where that fair market value ranges. You have to price properly. So you need someone who is a pricing savant. You’ve gotta know what you’re doing.


Again, we’ve kind of just briefly touched on it already, but you have to be in really quick. I should go photos first. You need incredible photos of the home. You know you need a professional photographer putting, putting out the best photos possible of your home. It’s the first impression that people have on your home. No longer are the days that where people are running through open houses on Saturday and Sundays. They’re online looking, they’re at work, looking through online or at home with their significant other on the couch looking at photos of your home. That is the first impression, no longer is it on walking the house for the first time. It was the first time I’ve ever seen home. No, the photos are the first impression, so it was better be spot on. Those better be amazing photos or else you’re gonna lose people. So you’ve gotta have people who are professionals at taking photos and going and putting the best foot forward. That’s what’s needed. Then it coincides with marketing. You’ve got to be on the cutting edge of marketing nowadays. Just going and putting, having someone just go throw your home up on the MLS is not good enough. That’s why for sale by owners have a really tough time selling their home because they don’t know how to market the home properly. That’s not saying that any other people in their industry know how to necessarily market a property that is, but you have to know how to market. You’ve got to know online a digital market. You’ve got to know how funnels work. You’ve got to know how YouTube works and Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat. You’ve got to know how those ad platforms, not just the platform and how the ad platform works because where are people spending their time? They’re spending it all over social media. So your house and what you’re selling better be there or else you’re not getting the visibility that you want. We know now after a number of years of doing this, that many people want to live by people they know and trust in their family. Those people are in the market. They’re not looking at Zillow, they’re not looking at the MLS every day, but if they see your house on Facebook and on Snapchat, on YouTube and these different places and then catches our eye and then they bring it to someone they know who is looking or know is going to be soon looking or has always wanted to live by them. We now know factually and statistically that we have a greater chance. We’re exposing it to more eyeballs now and getting it in front of people that can now be our advocates and now can go and reach those people that we otherwise might not be able to reach. Because remember the MLS, Zillow and things like that, those are for people that are really in the market looking generally, right? Those are very active people that are already looking. They already know what’s going on there and you see what’s on the market. We’re trying to not only capture people, whether they leave Zillow and Trulia and realtor.com. Now they’re on Facebook. Now they’re on every other social media platform throughout the day and now we’re hitting them again and again and again and we’re grabbing, like I said, we’re grabbing people that are off the market. We’re grabbing them and and putting that house in front of them and then we now have advocates who are going to go take that to other people that they know and put it in front of them.

So that is huge. The marketing side is massive and truly listing agent is a marketing firm. A listing firm is there to procure a buyer for that home. A lot of people think it’s the opposite. They think that a buyer’s agent, and again, back in the day, we didn’t have that before, but now we have a buyer’s agent. They work for the buyer, right? So they’re not working, they’re not trying to sell your home, Mr/Mrs. Seller. They’re working for their clients, the buyer. We still get questions nowadays where people are like, “Well, if you’ve got a buyer, then come to bring them to our house.” That’s not how it works anymore. The buyer dictates a lot of what goes on now. You don’t have that ability to just willy-nilly, just go grab some, “Hey, we’re going to a bunch of houses that they are just random homes.” That these buyers are very intelligent now they know what’s going on. So you have to be very savvy when it comes to marketing and you have to understand how the digital landscape works because it’s a very different world. Open houses – statistically there’s way less open houses. We know very few. One or two percent of homes are sold by an open house. So it’s really, a seller is a lot of times not getting the functionality out of it. They’re spending time away from home. The functionality of it is not conducive to what their goals are. So we know that the ways to do this is online. Most people, almost all people, I don’t know the exact number, but it’s in the 80, 90 percent range. They are starting their search online. They’re starting their search. That’s just increasing by the day, so they’re starting their search online.

Where are we, how are we hitting them? Are we meeting people where they are? That is one of the biggest problems I see in the real estate industry and people not understanding the marketing game and not exposing their clients’ homes to as many eyeballs as possible. So this is huge.


Now we get into some of the systems and things like that. It’s kind of like the sexy stuff in the front end, but this is huge. Execution. Execution is a huge problem as well and it’s really a problem for every business. But it was a great analogy. Paul and our team is one of our agents and he came up with this and now I use it with hockey. I grew up playing hockey my entire life, so I use it in many different ways. But he always talks about the military. He’s in the special forces community, in the army and he talks about how the infantry had run the same tactics. They do the same things as the special forces community, but they execute and the special forces community at an elite level. They do it consistently over and over and over and over. The tactics aren’t different. The execution is just at a different level. Same thing with hockey. I grew up playing hockey, right? The Detroit Red Wings. The team here in our area, they run the same plays that an amateur team does, or a junior team or a college team or a minor league team. They’re on the same place. Their execution is just at the highest level. It’s over and over and over and over again, and they do it consistently. That’s what professionals do. The execution is a huge determinant of amateur versus professional. And I saw that firsthand. Paul saw that firsthand, and that is a difference between winners and losers, quite frankly. Right? Amateur and professional. So execution is huge.


Do you have the proper systems? I’ve seen very many teams and whether you’re a solo agent or a team and the systems, some have them and a lot don’t. Systems are huge because if you just go into Walmart for instance and you have, all of a sudden you’re sitting at Walmart and you’re at the cash register and all of a sudden a semi truck just backs up into the front end of the store and just blows into the side of the building basically, and just just dumps all their stuff out into the aisle or right out into where the cash registers are right in the front of the building. What are you doing? You just pretty much destroyed your business. You’ve got people going, ‘what is going on.’ You’ve got a mess everywhere. How are you going to inventory everything? What’s going on? Right? There is a system. They go to the back of the store, they drop it off at the loading dock, and then they have people back there, the inventory, everything, and they put it and they stacked on the shelves and there’s a process to it. There are systems involved. One of the biggest misconceptions with real estate is that people think realtors are supposed to do everything on their own. They wear all the hats there. They’re doing all the scheduling for everything. They’re doing everything, they’re calling on the signs, put signs in the ground. They’re setting up every marketing piece. They’re doing every single little thing. Well, if that was the case, you wouldn’t really want to be able to serve as many people and you’re not going to be in business very long.


So it has to be run like a business. You have to have the right people in the right places, executing the right systems in order to service people at the highest level and act like an actual business. Like I said, if Walmart just did that and just had no systems and the truck driver came, he came to a different door every single time and they just dumped all this stuff off and just threw it out in the parking lot or throw it in front of the store and the next time it was over in the side, it was just a complete mess than nothing. Walmart couldn’t serve anybody. They’d be out of business very fast. It’s the same exact thing. You need systems using technology. We’re so blessed today because now we have so much technology. We can automate half of what we do now and we can speed things up. We can get answers to our sellers like this where before let it take an hour or two. It might have taken a couple of hours where we’d have to go find and dig for that data somehow or whatever it may be. We now have systems that can now come and communicate to weekly or every once a week, twice a week to our sellers and give them update. Give them data as to what’s going on, what the market is showing us. This is so huge and this is something. This is one of my biggest pet peeves about this industry, especially in the services industry. Many, many of us just think that the services industry, that one person has to handle every single thing that there is. There’s a fine line between having too many people involved in the transaction or then too few people. You got to ride that line, but that’s where people come into place. You have to have the right people in the right places. If I have a person who’s really quiet, if you’ve ever seen a disc profile, a D is dominant, I is the outgoing social person, S is a steady stable person and C is your accountant, engineer mindset and they’re very calculated and structured. If I have a person that’s very quiet, maybe they’re a high C, then they are going to be lost when they were trying to go out and do sales and trying to talk to people and handling rejection. So you to have the right people in the right places and someone that’s handling things in the back end needs to be a high C. They need to be in the back end, a very structured and processed. If you had someone that was very down at personality and a very outgoing, lively person, those people generally have a harder time with being structured in the back end and keeping their papers in order and all these different things, right. A kid in school that’s all over the place and you don’t want that person handling the paperwork. You want someone who is good at handling that and likes handling that. That’s where the right people in the right places come in.


Then I already touched on a little bit about communication. Communication’s a big thing. It’ the number one complaint in the real estate industry. Communication and lack thereof is one of the biggest complaints of a home seller. Home seller needs to be asking these questions. What are you doing for me in these eight areas? How are we going to be communicating with me weekly? What kind of communication are you gonna be giving me? That’s the difference.

So I hope that you got something out of this. Again, it’s a fairly in-depth. I didn’t want to go this long, but this is something that I’m just I’m passionate about obviously. People are needing these answers and we just get these questions all the time and it’s something that I talked to every seller about. We talked to every seller about and it’s super important. It’s so imperative that you have to ask these anything because if you can check each of these off and you have all eight checked off and you have a real estate team comes in and gives you their business plan, literally gives you their business plan and says, “This is how we execute these things. This is how we do all eight of these.” You’re going to feel very confident, comfortable, right? You’re very confident, comfortable if someone’s coming in, giving that business plan. But if I just come flying in out of nowhere and I can’t answer anything, or maybe I can answer one or two things. I don’t have anything for you to look. I have no plans. I have done nothing. How comfortable are you going to feel? Right? So that’s the difference. That’s the difference between amateur and professional. The execution, the amateur and the professional. So that’s life. And unfortunately we’re living in a merit-based society, right? Where the cool part is maybe there are people that are at the amateur level, but they have the ability to get to the professional level. Guess what, if you’re a professional and you’re slacking a little bit, well you might drop down to the amateur level. Right? So that’s the cool part about the society we live in. We’re very blessed and lucky too.

So I appreciate your guys’ time and energy more than anything is. It’s the most important thing we have. So I really do appreciate that. I hope you got something out of this video. If you did, if you know someone that might get something on this video, please share it with them, tag them. And again, we always, we appreciate your comments, all the direct messages that we get and stuff like that. I always say this in every video, but please, if you have comments or feedback or anything or questions, put it in the feed here, that way we can, everyone can grow together and learn together. And that way we’re not keeping things in the DM’s in private. If it is a private matter, obviously that’s fine, but we just would like to try to get them to learn together and that way we can answer questions in the public arena and everyone can learn. So I appreciate you guys more than anything and we look forward to seeing you very soon. Take care.