Winning the Listing Appointment (Part 2): How to Handle Objections and Close the Deal
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- 36 min listen
Matt McGee Editor, Agent Resource CenterCloseMatt McGee Editor, Agent Resource Center
Matt McGee is HomeLight's Agent Resource Center managing editor. He hosts HomeLight's weekly podcast, The Walkthrough, which delivers actionable, no-hype advice from the best real estate agents and top industry experts in the country. He previously served as Editor-In-Chief for three Third Door Media digital publications: Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and MarTech Today. Matt's a Pepperdine University grad who's been surrounded by real estate his entire life: his wife and sister are active agents, as was his dad for almost 50 years.
At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.
You ring the doorbell (or start the Zoom call, as the case may be) and the listing appointment is underway!
But then what? This isn’t the time to “wing it.” It’s not the time to rely on your personality and ability to improvise your way through the seller’s questions and objections. If you don’t know your scripts and objection handlers by heart, your chances of closing the deal go down.
In part two of our “Winning the Listing Appointment” series, agent and coach Aaron Novello walks us through his listing appointment process — and shares the scripts he uses after the doorbell rings and the appointment begins. You’ll hear about the takeaway close, handling the 6% commission objection, and the value of dedication to scripts and role play.
If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to get future episodes delivered automatically: Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube
If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to get future episodes delivered automatically: Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube
(If you missed part one of this series, listen here: Winning The Listing Appointment: How to Prequalify the Seller)
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Links and Show Notes
- AaronNovello.com – Aaron’s training and coaching website
- Aaron Novello – real estate agent profile on HomeLight
- Join our Facebook community for The Walkthrough listeners
- HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center
- Subscribe and listen to The Walkthrough: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host) Think for a moment about the feeling you have when you open something. Maybe it’s a birthday gift all wrapped in bright colors and bows. There’s mystery and uncertainty. What’s inside for me? Or maybe, to borrow an analogy from a famous movie, it’s a box of chocolates that you’re about to open. As Forrest’s mom said, “You never know what you’re gonna get when you open it.”
I can already hear you, “All right, Matt, where are you going with this?”
Okay, let me bring this around to real estate. How does it feel right before the door opens for a listing appointment? Or right before the Zoom meeting starts, as the case may be these days?
There’s uncertainty, isn’t there? There’s anticipation. Which way is this gonna go? Can I overcome the seller’s objections? Am I gonna get the listing?
Let’s try to remove some of that uncertainty today.
[Sound effect: doorbell]
There’s that same doorbell we heard in part one of this series on Winning the Listing Appointment. In that episode, my guest, Aaron Novello, talked about pre-qualifying the seller, the super important things you do before the listing appointment. Today, in part two, Aaron is back and we’re talking about what happens after you ring the doorbell. Today is all about how you close the deal and get the paperwork signed.
This is “The Walkthrough.”
Hi, everyone. I’m Matt McGee, editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center and your host every week right here on “The Walkthrough.” On this show, you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. That’s why we created “The Walkthrough.” We’re on a journey to find out how great real estate agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.
You can get involved in the show in a couple of ways. Leave me a voicemail or send me a text. The number is 415-322-3328. You can also send an email. It’s walkthrough [at] homelight.com or find me in our listener community on Facebook. Just go to Facebook and do a search for HomeLight Community The Walkthrough. We’d love to see you in there.
As I mentioned a moment ago, this is part two of our Winning the Listing Appointment series with agent and coach, Aaron Novello. Real quick reminder, Aaron is a super-successful agent in the Fort Lauderdale area. He’s been in the business 14 years, sold more than 1,400 homes, and closed more than $325 million in sales volume. He’s an active agent and a team leader. He also launched his coaching and training program about seven years ago.
Part one of this series came out two weeks ago on August 31st. If you missed it, you don’t have to stop right now and go listen to it. Today’s show will make sense on its own. But you really should listen to part one as soon as possible. We’ve had really great feedback about it, so don’t miss that one.
In that first part, we talked about prequalifying the seller. Now prequalifying is something I know you usually associate with buyers, but Aaron says it’s how you start to win more seller listing appointments. Prequalifying is all the stuff that you do before the actual listing appointment begins.
Today in part two, we’re gonna focus on what happens at the listing appointment. So you’ll hear Aaron talk about the three stages of the listing appointment … how, when, and why you should use a takeaway close with your sellers … and Aaron shares in detail exactly what he says when sellers ask him to discount his commission.
So if you’re ready, let’s get started. We are talking about Winning the Listing Appointment and today’s conversation begins right when the seller opens the door.
Aaron: You know, from the moment we hit the door, it’s like scripted, man. There’s a particular path that we follow. So in hitting the door, it’s like a big smile. I used to, at the beginning of this game, like … I’m the professional. So I had to remind myself like — hey, man, just smile. It’s inviting. It’s a really important gesture. When we used to be able to shake hands, shake hands — like hey, how are you doing? Aaron Novello, nice to meet you. And did you want me to take my shoes off? Again, it’s respectful. This is your space. I’m entering into your space.
They’re like, “No, that’s fine.” Great. So what I’d like to do, if it’s okay, is just take a quick look around the home to see what it has to offer. Would that be all right? And they’re like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” And I’ll say, “Great. You know, I’m noticing that, that the space, it’s very tastefully furnished. The furniture fits the space very well. So when we have offers come in, are we gonna be including the contents or do you wanna take that with you to your next destination?” Now, notice what I just did there, “when we have offers come in.”
Matt: Right. They haven’t committed to you yet but you’re talking as if they have.
Aaron: Exactly right. I’m assumptively closing like it’s already happening. Just like if you noticed in the prequal, I said, “Hey, do you plan on making any changes or modifications before I start to bring buyers through?” And you just flew right by and you’re like, “Oh no, I’m open, whatever,” but in your brain, it’s like I’m moving this forward. And then as we’re walking through, I’ll probably ask you another question, which circles back to the prequal, which is, “Yeah, and if I remember correctly based on our conversation, you don’t plan on making any additional major changes or modifications before I start to bring buyers through. Is that right?” No.
Again, assumptively closing. Make sense? So that’s two, two closings. We haven’t even sat down to talk about anything. And then notice I’m directing from the beginning. So it’s like, okay, what I’d like to do is just take a look around. Somebody has to be in control. And what I’m aware of is if you leave it up to the seller, you end up on the couch talking about like their kids and tea and crumpets and two hours go by and you’re like, “What the hell just happened?” So somebody has to be in control.
So I take control immediately when we get in and then we’re directing more. It’s like, okay, so I guess we could sit here at the kitchen table, go over some information. You’re like, “Sure, that’s fine.” And I always sit at the head of the table because I don’t wanna sit opposite from people. I want people to be, like I can see both of them. Because opposite is adversarial. And then it’s just like, “Hey, first and foremost, I just wanted to begin our time together just by saying thank you, sincerely, for the opportunity to share some information with you and potentially help you with the sale. I always like to begin these conversations, Matt, just by asking a few quick questions, make sure we’re on the same page. Would that be okay?” You’re like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” So first question I have, which I’m pretty positive I know the answer to is that you guys have decided that you wanna downsize and sell this home, is that correct? And you’re like, “Yeah, that’s what we’ve decided.”
Okay, good. And you’re not interested in acting like … kind of renting it out. I know you said that’s a possibility but really, we just would prefer to cash out and be done. Is that right? Yeah, that’s okay. Okay, good. And then that leads me to my second question, which I’m also pretty sure I know the answer to, is we wanna position this property pricewise to sell. We don’t wanna give it away, that’s for sure. At the same time, we don’t wanna have it sit on the market for like six or seven months just testing the market, is that correct? And you’re like, “Yeah.”
Now by me saying, “you definitely don’t wanna give it away,” I’m aligning myself with you. Every time you say that, it’s always gonna be like, “Yeah, you’re damn right. I don’t want to give it away.” Okay. Right. So it’s like we’re on the same team. And then that leads me to my third question. I’m aware that I sent you over some information in preparation for connecting. I’m sure you did some due diligence, you checked me out online, you saw our track record and reviews. I know I came very highly recommended via the platform. So have you guys already decided that you would like for me to help you with the sale? With a big smile.
Matt: Right. With a big smile.
Aaron: And notice, like people can’t see us right now but you see how I’m doing my head?
Matt: Right. You’re nodding your head up and down saying yes and smile.
Aaron: And they’re either gonna say yes, no, or maybe. I wanna hear what you have to say. Now notice, that’s three…like we just sat down. We haven’t talked about price, we haven’t talked about commission, we haven’t talked about anything. So that’s three kind of closes before we’re even having a conversation. Now you might say, let’s say you say “yes.” Great, I do the little inside dance, yay, and then I just go right into, you know, kind of great. The only thing…the great news is we only have to discuss a couple of things. The first is your motivation, second is price. We get right into price.
If they say no or if they say maybe, say, “Okay, I know this is a big decision. You wanna make sure you’re making the best decision possible. I wanna be clear, Matt, that that is my intention. So provided that what I say to you makes sense and you guys do feel comfortable and confident with me and my team, I do have all the appropriate paperwork with me and I’m prepared to go to work for you today. Fair enough?” And you’re like, “Yeah, that’s fair.” That’s four, which is like, look, this isn’t…we’re not just like tea and crumpets. We’re not gonna get off the hook that easy. That’s the intention here. And what I’m aware of too, is a lot of times, sellers want an agent who’s politely proactive and aggressive, you know, politely because they’re gonna be fighting for them to make sure they’re getting top dollar. So it’s really what we’re demonstrating.
And then I’ll say to them, “and along those lines, you were kind enough to share with me you were looking for an agent that was local, had a great track record, could help you with the purchase. Is there anything else you’d be looking for from me today that would cause you to feel comfortable and confident just to proceed and go to work?” And you might be like, “Yeah, we wanna talk to you about the commission.” Okay, cool. “So it sounds like, you know, providing we check off all those boxes and we come to an agreement in terms of the professional fee, then there’s a good chance we’ll be able to get started. Again, I’m excited to have that opportunity and have everything with me to go to work.” And then it’s like, “all right, well, at the culmination of our time together, there are a few potential outcomes. The first, which we really seem to be moving in that direction,” notice what I’m doing now, moving it forward, “is that you guys may decide to list the home with me. And again, I’m super excited to have that opportunity myself and team and staff, everybody’s standing at the ready to go to work for you ASAP. The second potential outcome, Matt, for whatever reason, is you may decide not to list the home with me, and that’s okay too. And the third option, and this one’s just as important as the other two, is that for some reason at all, Matt, if I honestly felt, truly felt that I would not be able to help you get what you wanted in the time that you wanted, I may decide to very humbly decline the opportunity to list your home. The reason I would do that is I’d much rather earn your business with integrity, being honest and straightforward about what’s reasonable and realistic versus promising you something I know is not gonna happen and not be able to deliver on that promise. And any one of those three outcomes, I feel completely comfortable with. Fair enough?”
Matt: And when you say that, you’re taking away the close, you’re letting the seller know that there is an option where you decline to work with them if they are unreasonable or whatever it might be.
Aaron: A hundred percent, and that is the takeaway close. So now we’re up to five, including the two when I was walking around. What I’m aware of is most agents, and I mean this with love, they go in there like, “Oh, please pick me. Pick me. Pick me. Please, please, please.” And then Aaron goes in there and he’s like, “Hey, there’s a chance, one of the options is I may decide to very humbly decline the opportunity because I’d much rather earn your business being honest and straightforward about what’s reasonable and realistic versus promising you something I know is not gonna happen and not be able to deliver.” Anyone of those I feel comfortable with. And that demonstrates that I’m unattached to the outcome.
Matt: Aaron, listeners are probably going to shoot me if I don’t have you tell us what you say about your commission. The seller brought it up on the prequal phone call, now you’re face to face. So when that subject comes up, how do you answer that?
Aaron: The listing presentation happens in three stages so from the time you hit the door to the time you start to talk about price, which is essentially what we ran through. There’s a little bit left where I revisit some of the questions you asked me over the phone and then there’s a bridge that transitions to, you know, the good news is we really only have to focus on a couple of things today. The first issue, motivation to sell, which is clear, second issue is the price. And that’s the bridge. And then there’s a pricing portion presentation.
And then once we come to an agreement, like once we go over that, which, again, is a whole ‘nother skill set of being able to help people to self-discover what’s realistic, because my stuff is stuff and your stuff is junk so because it’s mine, I think it’s worth more. And that’s how it is, right? So helping people to self-discover what’s realistic for their home, that’s a skill, and the second part of the conversation. And then the third part is handling objections and closing.
So let’s say we get to a place where we’re in agreement, so I might say to you, “I’m imagining you would like it to be more than I show it as well. At the same time, having reviewed this information, seeing the fact that on the market not selling and seeing what’s sold and closed most recently, if you were a buyer, not a seller, because I know those hats are different, and if you guys were gonna buy this place all over again, knowing that the one, you know, two doors down sold for 550 and we looked at those pictures and it was very similar to yours, as a buyer, would you think you would feel comfortable making an offer that you believe would be reflective of fair market value?”
Now in doing that, that’s very intentional, because if I put you in the frame of a buyer, you’ll see it more accurately. I’m counteracting what’s called the endowment effect. The endowment effect is … because it’s mine, I think it’s worth more. Like this idea of ownership, it’s quantifiable. They’ve done a whole bunch of studies. If I physically hold a coffee cup in my hand, I will pay more for that coffee cup because I held it than one I haven’t touched. I begin to imbue it with this idea of ownership. So let’s say you’re like, “Yeah, probably around 550.” Okay, so then here’s where it comes down to strategy. “So what I’d like to do is to go over with you the options that we have at our disposal so that way, you can feel comfortable to what we end up choosing, and whatever you decide, I’ll support you 100%.”
Again, aligning myself with you, we go over the two options starting with a higher coming down [or] pricing it competitively, perhaps getting multiple offers. And then I’ll ask you, “based on what you’re looking to accomplish and why in the timeframe you’d like to make this happen in, which one of those two options do you think would serve you best?” You’ll choose an option.
Now let’s say you’re like, “Whoa, whoa, yeah, we haven’t talked about professional fee.” Okay, no problem. So let me ask you this, “If we can come to an agreement in terms of the professional fee, would there be any other reason why we couldn’t get started today?”
Now what that’s called a set aside. So most people, they start to handle objections. One comes up, they just like whack a mole but then one comes up behind him. So why I’m saying if we can come to an agreement in terms of professional fee, would there be any other reason we can’t do business? Because I wanna make sure there’s nothing else behind me.
Matt: Gotcha. Okay, that makes sense.
Aaron: That makes sense?
Aaron: And let’s say if there was like an impediment between me and you like a boulder, I pick that boulder up, I put it over there and I look at it and I say, “If we can handle that thing over there, is there any other reason why we couldn’t do this?” I remove it. And let’s say you say to me, “No,” now here’s what’s cool, people can’t see you but what you’re doing physically with your body is you’re starting to cross your arms, which is what most people will do once you start to talk about professional fee. Because he’s signaling to me with body language like I don’t know if this is gonna work out, right?
Matt: Right. I may not like what I’m about to hear.
Aaron: Yeah. So when you’re like, well, no, yeah, I think we’re in agreement. “Okay, great. So tell me what were you thinking?” Now, the reason why I’m asking you what you’re thinking is because now, there’s like a negotiation and I want you to speak first. And let’s say you say to me, “Well, the other agent said they would do it in 5%.” “Okay, that’s cool. I appreciate that. And I guess I’m wondering because you had an opportunity to list with that other agent, if all things were equal, who would you prefer going with?” “Well, you, Aaron.” “Well, may I ask why?” “Yeah, because you’re just super on point. Your presentation was great, all your reviews and everything.” “I see. So what I’m aware of is you have options at your disposal. And the professional fee, for me, is 3% on the listing site. So what we offer out to another agent, if they can find us a buyer that’s ready and willing and able to purchase, that’s really the decision that you have to make. So what I’d like to do, being that you’ve already made a decision that you’d like me to help, is to go over with you the two options that you have at your disposal so that way you can decide what you feel is best and whatever you decide, I’ll support you. Okay?
“So agents don’t control what people buy, but they do have influence over what they see. And what I’m aware of is the professional fee is one of the tools we use to market the property in terms of what we offer out to another agent if they can find us a buyer that’s ready, willing, and able to purchase. And right now in your price point, I don’t know if you know this but between the 500 and 600 price point, there are 23 other properties that are available for sale. Did you know that?” And you’re like, “No.” “Do you know how many sold in the last 30 days?” “No.” “Five. Now, I’m wondering, does that seem like an environment that’s crawling with buyers, and sellers are getting exactly what they want or does it seem like one that’s fiercely competitive for those buyers?” “Fiercely competitive.” “Exactly. So let’s imagine for a moment that we had of those 23 properties, like 18 of them are offering out a full 3%, which is what agents are accustomed to on a co-broker side in our geographic area and then the other one is offering out some sort of discount, maybe like two and a half or 2%. As an agent, a full time commission-based salesperson, which properties do you think you’d be more excited about showing and selling them? The ones offering out what you’re accustomed to making or the ones offering out some sort of discount?” Matt is shaking his head for those of you who can’t see him.
Matt: Right, exactly.
Aaron: He’s acknowledging, he understands what I’m saying to him. And he’d be like, and that’s what they might do because he doesn’t really like it but he’s like, yeah, I see your point. “Okay, so then you recognize that the professional fee is a tool to make sure that you get the most because if we’re trying to maximize value, do you think we’re gonna do that by limiting the exposure or broadening the exposure?” You’d be like, “Well, broadening.” “Yeah. So here are the options that you have at your disposal. The first option is, is we can offer out the full 3%, which is what agents are accustomed to and that’ll increase the probability that we can get a whole bunch of people interested and you end up with top dollar quickly and efficiently. The second option is, is we offer up some sort of discount, maybe like two and a half or 2%. And in doing so, that could end up affecting showings which ultimately can end up affecting how much we end up getting. So my question to you is based on what you’re looking to accomplish and why and the timeframe you’d like to make all this happen in, which one of those two options do you think would serve you and your family best?”
Matt: And what you did that I loved hearing in there, what you did was … my fee is 3%. If there’s gonna be a discount, it’s going to affect the other agent and the buyer.
Aaron: Yeah, and let’s say they came back at me and they’re like, “Well, can’t you come down a little bit?” Because I know your listeners are gonna be like, “You didn’t ask him that.” So if somebody says like, “Well, can you come down?” “Oh, I see, so you’re looking to get…you’re imagining perhaps we can make an adjustment on our side. And what I’m aware of is one of the skills that you’re hiring an agent for is their skills to negotiate, right? Because they’re gonna be having conversations about your price without you being present. Have you thought about that?” “Like, well, no.” “Okay, well, 1% is 1% out of 100%, 1% of 3% is 33%. I’m curious, Matt, would you lower your price by 33% just to sell it? Of course not. And if an agent’s main mechanism for earning your business is dramatically adjusting their fee, what do you think their strategy is for selling your home and protecting the value of your property? I mean, you want an agent that’s gonna fight for you tooth and nail to get you every penny possible, correct?”
Aaron: Can I share with you the great news, Matt?
Aaron: You found what you’re looking for. Let’s go ahead and take care of the appropriate paper and get the process started, okay?
Matt: Does anybody continue to object over price at that point?
Aaron: No, I mean, what I’m aware of is there’s always gonna be like a certain segment of the population who doesn’t like really see a lot of value in an agent due to our business, like 5% of agents do 95% of the business. So there’s always gonna be some people that no matter what you say or how skilled you are, they’re looking for something, which is okay. But with the proper skill and being comfortable with these conversations, you’ll be able to preserve value. Now as more competitors push in and like … referral fees and like all this other stuff, I feel like agents are gonna have to be open to that conversation more often. So by having the skill, having the intangible assets that create perceived value, you know, and then at that point, you just have to make a business decision.
So if you’ve handled it in two or three ways and they’re just like, “Look, man, no matter what you say, you’re the man, I wanna work with you but it’s gotta be at 5%.” And at that point, you just have to make an executive decision and say to yourself, okay — and number one, it’s the exception, it’s not the rule. And number two, is this person…what’s their motivation level? How receptive are they to position a property competitively that it’s actually gonna sell? Is this a nice person that I wanna work with that I feel like I can add to my database that could lead to further business? Are they gonna be kind to my staff? You just have to make an executive decision. And if it makes sense, I feel like it’s more about a number that you feel you’re comfortable being compensated. You have to feel good about it. You know what I mean? Whatever that number is, maybe it’s 6,000 a deal, maybe it’s 8,000, whatever your number is. It’s not so much the percentage but it’s more like the number that you feel comfortable with. But again, it’s a combination of things. So it’s order of operations. One, you handle it with skill and value that you add, perceived and real. And then two, if they’re still kind of pushing back and they just want something, then you just have to make an executive decision. And that’s the exception, it’s not the rule.
Matt: And that goes back to what we talked about earlier with the three outcomes. You have reserved the right already to say I may decline this if it’s not the right fit for me.
Aaron: Oh, and I can tell you, for all your agents listening, it is sublime to look at somebody and be like, you know what, I appreciate the opportunity, I don’t think that I’ll be able to be of assistance, I wish you the best of luck, pick up all your stuff and leave.
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Matt: So far today, we have talked about the listing appointment itself, what you do and say from the moment the front door opens. And by the way, Aaron says the scripts and the approach don’t change if you have to do the listing appointment over Zoom, or FaceTime, or whatever. He says, “Stick with what works.”
Now, before I chatted with Aaron, I went to our Facebook listener community and I did a post where I said, “Hey, everyone, I’m gonna do an episode soon about winning the listing appointment. Do you have any questions that I should ask my guest?” And what’s cool is that listeners in the community shared some really, really good questions.
So before Aaron and I finished talking, I wanted to make sure to get at least a couple of those questions answered. The first one came from an agent named Andrea Fernandez in Florida. And her question was, how do you stand out as a solo agent to win the listing when you’re competing against a team? So let’s go back to the conversation with Aaron Novello answering that question from our Facebook listener community.
Aaron: You know, with a team, oftentimes, the way a team is structured is it gets handed off to other people. So I might ask them and say, listen, I appreciate that agent. She’s a great agent or he’s a great agent. So I never speak despairingly about somebody. But I might ask them, “So I’m curious, as far as the selection process of an agent, is it important to you to have kind of that white-glove service with your agent, that you know that they’re the one you’re gonna deal with throughout the whole process versus being handed off to somebody else. Is that important to you and your family?” And then they’re like, “Well, yeah.” “Okay. So what I’m aware of is I know you have options at your disposal. I know those bigger teams, that’s usually the way that they operate. My intention of bringing that up is just so you’d be completely clear because I know as far as track record is concerned, their track record is gonna be better because they have so many people on their team. At the same time, if you want somebody that’s gonna really give you their undivided attention and work for you and make sure that you get every penny possible and be there for you every step of the way, then I know I fit that criteria.”
Matt: So try to turn being a solo agent into a strength.
Aaron: Into value. Into value.
Matt: Into value. And another question, this is from, I hope I’m pronouncing this right, It’s Amy Vastardis, I think. She says, “If the sellers are not ready to make a decision when you’re at the appointment, what does your follow up afterward look like?”
Aaron: Yeah. So two-fold. One, I’d wanna make sure she was prequalifying before she goes, because I think that would help a lot. Oftentimes, people are running out and not knowing. And you’ll notice that last question I asked you in the prequal was when I see you, if it makes sense, of course, numbers work, you feel comfortable and confident with me and my team that we can help you sell this home and get you a new property and you check me out online, so you do diligence, track record, things that nature, do you think you’d be open to the possibility of hiring me to help when we speak? I’ve said that, you know, because I do talks and trainings throughout the country, you say that in front agents and they’re like, “Oh my God, you asked them that before you see them?” It’s like, “Yeah, of course.”
So I would wanna make sure she’s doing that if I was coaching her. And then I’d be curious about like what she’s doing at the presentation. Is she following a specific track or is it just kind of winging it? Because the track is designed to get to a specific destination. I’d also wanna figure out from a coaching perspective if she’s closing. As we walk through, like I’m presenting information and I’m giving good content and value and expertise but also throughout the whole process, I am closing. So making sure that she’s actually doing that. I have one client that we work with where we were able to up her income dramatically just because she started asking, like asking for business and closing.
And then let’s say I do all of that. I handle, you know, I do all of that, I do the prequal, I ask the questions, I’m closing during the listing presentation, and they’re just like, “You know what, you’re awesome. We think you’re great.” Great. “We just wanna sleep on… We just wanna sleep on it for tonight.” “Okay. Well, and before I go, I guess I’m aware that there’s a few decisions that a seller needs to make prior to putting their home on the market. So what I’d like to do is to go over with you those decisions so that way, you guys can make the decision you feel is best. Whatever you decide, I’ll support you 100%. Okay?” “Yeah.” Well, the first decision is, is if they’re gonna sell it. “You know, sometimes when we look at a homeowner, their expectations and where the market’s at or different, they decide to hold off or do something different. At the same time, based on our conversation and based on what you shared with me your expectation was, I don’t believe that’s the case. I mean, we’re in alignment with what you were thinking, correct?”
Aaron: “Okay, good. Now, the second decision is, is the price. Now, I’m imagining, like most sellers, even if it is in alignment, we still like it to be more. At the same time, we’re in agreement that somewhere around 550 seems to be reasonable. Is that correct?”
Aaron: “Okay. And then the third decision that a seller needs to make is who’s gonna help them? Now you strike me to be super straightforward and to the point so let me just ask you. Based on our time spent together, based on what you’ve seen, our track record, our reviews online, do you feel comfortable and confident with me and my team that we can help you sell this home? We do. Great. So it sounds like you’ve made all the decision that a seller needs to make prior to putting their home on the market. So can I make a suggestion? Yeah. Let’s get started.” I guarantee you when she’s asking that question, she’s not doing that.
So let’s say I do all of that and they’ll still be like, “Ah, you [crosstalk 00:27:12] do all of that.” Then what I would do is I would ask them before I go, like “do you guys feel comfortable and confident with me I can help?” “Yes.” “Okay, great. Now, my next question is not to create urgency but just kind of gauge where you guys are at, timeframe-wise when you think you’ll make a decision?” They’re like, “Well, probably by tomorrow. We’re just gonna sleep on it and call you back.” “Okay, great. So what I’ll do with your permission is I’ll circle back with you tomorrow and then provided it all make sense for me to reconvene or I can send you the appropriate paperwork via DocuSign, we get the process started. Okay, great.”
Now, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go back to my office in the same clothes that I presented in and I’m gonna shoot him a video and send it to him via email and say, “Hey, guys, I just wanted to say thank you kindly for taking the time to meet with me. I know that your time is super valuable. You know, having heard the story, so to speak and the situation, what you’re looking to accomplish and why. I’m so excited, Matt, to earn your business and help you get this job done. And make it as smooth and easy as possible. So between now and the next time we connect, if you had any questions, anything that comes up after our meeting, I just wanna give you my personal cell phone. And otherwise, thanks again for taking the time to watch this. Thanks again for taking time to meet with me and I look forward to speaking to you real soon.” And then, right? Not like an email or text. A video humanizes communication, and then follow up with them.
Matt: When I think about everything that we’ve talked about here from the prequalification during the initial appointment setting, to the actual walking through the house, sitting down with them at the table, I just think like it boils down to knowing what to say and practice, practice, practice. You must do a ton of role-play with your team.
Aaron: Yeah. So, at the beginning … so I’m gonna give you a quote that really resonates with me as it pertains to what you’re saying is that amateurs practice until they can get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. So if you wanna get paid like a professional, you need to practice like one. So for me to be able to hop on this call and just like just … “wow” with you and just go, you could tell it’s not the first time I’ve done this. You could wake me up in the middle of night and be like, “Hey, Aaron, I’m thinking about selling my home.” “Great, Matt, there’s just a couple of really important questions I need to ask before we connect and I’ll be really brief because I know your time is valuable.” And that’s the place that you want to get to.
So at the beginning of my career, I’m aware that there’s no security in this business. There’s only opportunities. And I wanted to get my skill to such a degree that if there was an opportunity, there’s an 80% chance I’ll be able to capitalize on that opportunity. Now, if I’ve done that, I’ve created security for myself and my family. So I never wanted them you know what to say to be a reason why we weren’t able to accomplish goals and objectives. I never wanted to look at my son, Sebastian, and be like, “Hey, sorry, buddy. We can’t go on that trip because daddy doesn’t know how to handle the commission objection.”
So I role-played at the beginning, twice a day, six days a week. And I would handwrite out scripts by hand every day. I would chant out loud. I would video myself. I would record myself on calls and know, break it down. So it was a very, very conscious and purposeful effort to get as skilled as I possibly could because I didn’t want that to be a reason why I wasn’t successful at this game.
At the same time, at the beginning of my career, the first year, I only made $13,000, not something people put you on a podcast to like hear about or a panel to teach you how to do or to pay you to coach them. And the reason why that was is I didn’t have an accurate assessment of reality. I didn’t know that this was a sales business. It’s no different than selling books door to door, knives door to door, subscriptions over the phone. So I didn’t know where to channel my energy. I had people telling me to do open houses or wear my name tag when I go to the grocery store, like these silly ram-dumb ideas that don’t produce income and not in meaningful levels. And then once I got an accurate assessment, which was that hey, the money’s not in the service, it’s in the selling of the service. That doesn’t mean we don’t give people good service, that’s expected but that’s not where the money is. The money is knowing how to sell your service. And I was like, oh, this light bulb went off. And then I went aggressive into kind of learning scripts and dialogues and things of that nature.
(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host)
Aaron says it took him about 24 months of hard work and concerted effort, practicing scripts and doing role-play, to get to a point where he could wake up in the middle of the night and launch into his listing presentation scripts. Two years of repetition, you guys, to remove that uncertainty about what’s going to happen after ringing the doorbell.
As I mentioned, Aaron is a real estate coach as well as a successful agent. He’s been coaching and training for about seven years and has helped hundreds of agents. If you want more information about that, check out his website. It’s aaronnovello.com. Novello has two Ls by the way. I will link to his website in today’s show notes.
Okay. Let’s do our takeaways segment. Here is what stood out to me from today’s episode.
Number one, as soon as the door opens or as soon as the Zoom call begins, everything is scripted and you are in control. There’s a path to follow. Aaron says you are leading the client along that path. The destination you wanna reach, of course, is signing the listing agreement.
Takeaway number two, as you go down that path, you need to be assumptively closing. You say things like, “when we have offers come in, are we going to be including the contents of the home?” Now nothing’s been signed but you’re talking like it’s already a done deal — “when we have offers come in.” Aaron walked us through his listing appointment scripts, and he does several assumptive closes just while they’re walking around looking at the home.
Takeaway number three, we spent a lot of time going over how Aaron handles the 6% commission objection. Go back and listen to that again, if you need to. I thought it was great how he positioned that as, listen, my fee is 3%. If there’s a discount, it’s in what we’ll pay the other agent. And here are the risks that you have to accept, seller, if we don’t offer full commission to the buyer’s agent. For starters, you might not get as many showings.
Takeaway number four, if you’re a solo agent, use that as a value add when you compete against teams for listings. So ask the seller if they’re okay with potentially being passed from one agent to another on the team, and then explain that that’s not how you do things since you give clients your undivided attention.
And then takeaway number five, it all comes down to practice. You have to practice your scripts, you have to role-play and not just for a couple weeks or months. Aaron did role-play, he said, twice a day, six days a week for two years. I loved his quote, “Amateurs practice until they can get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Let me say that again. “Amateurs practice until they can get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Amen. Love that.
Okay, any questions for me or for Aaron, you can text or leave a voicemail anytime. The number is 415-322-3328. You can also send me an email, it’s walkthrough [at] homelight.com or just find me and other listeners in our Facebook listener community. So go to Facebook, do a search for Homelight Agent Community The Walkthrough, and we should come up right away or look under the group’s tab if you can’t find it.
So that’s all for this week. Thanks so much to Aaron Novello for joining me and thank you for listening. My name is Matt McGee. Remember, at HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. That’s why we created “The Walkthrough.” We’re on a journey to find out how great real estate agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.
Go out and safely sell some homes. We’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye, everyone.
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