How to Set Quality Listings Appointments (Even If You're A New Real Estate Agent)

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Brandon Mulrenin:

I'm going to sum up the email and the situation so peoplethat are listening can get some benefit from the answer as well. Is that right,Matt?

Matt:

Yeah, please.

Brandon Mulrenin:

So essentially you went to, what we believed a listingappointment, and the prospect for the most part sounded like he was prettystandoffish throughout your time together, and it didn't go the way that youhad liked it. The ultimate question is how do you set yourself up and theprospect up for higher, I would say, quality listing appointments. Is that fairand accurate would you say to sum it up or would you add anything more to thatbefore we get into it?

Matt:

Yeah. I'd say that's accurate. I feel like I tried to setit up properly by prefacing, "I'm going to go over my plan and you candecide if it's going to make sense for you. I'll even bring the paperwork ifthings seem like a green light," I threw that in and that's kind of how Iprefaced the appointment. It was the type of thing where he was having an openhouse and I showed up a little bit before to kind of see the house and talk tohim, sit down and talk to him. Then I was like, "I'll help you put yoursigns up at the end too."

Brandon Mulrenin:

Yeah, let's talk about it. The first thing when I readyour email, thanks for email by the way, Matt.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Thanks for being so detailed. I think there's a couplethings, I'm going to go through a lot with you to answer this question. I'mgoing to, for newer members, I don't want you guys to get confused, but wespend so much time talking about preview appointments, we're going to talk moreabout listing appointments and the differences, so for the newer, newer, newermembers just listen, but don't get confused on what I'm coaching Matt here. Whenwe set a real listing appointment, Matt, for me, it comes down to a couple ofthings. It's all about clarity, okay? Number one, I probably would not havedone a listing appointment at an open house because their mind's going to betotally, 100% distracted.Now, when I set a listing appointment and I'm trackingmy numbers at a very, very high level, which I think most people don'tunderstand the value of tracking their numbers until enough time goes by. Inorder for me to qualify something as a listing appointment, there's somethings, Matt, that would have occurred before I went to the prospect's home.Number one, and for all of those that you want to take notes, please feel freeto do that. Number one, I would have emailed the prospect certainly a copy ofmy resume, so they can have time to review that prior to our meeting. I'm goingto ask the prospect, Matt, to review my marketing plan of action. I'm going toalso email the prospect an interactive CMA with just a link to the MLS so theycan review the comparable home sales, Matt, that I'm going to review with themin detail prior to the meeting. Those are the two big things that take a lot oftime in an appointment. Then the third thing is going to happen is I'm going tohave a calendar invitation sent to the prospect that's going to sit on theircalendar and my calendar. It's going to be an appointment, just like any otherprofessionals do. You set a dentist appointment, the dentist is going to havean appointment slot, and hopefully you're tracking your life's appointments aswell. The fourth thing that's going to occur is I'm going to ask a fewquestions to the prospect, to set up for both of us to get what we want fromthe listing appointment. This is on page 18 of the script book then I'll sharemy screen now, and I'll go through with you, Matt. Because to me, if this is areal listing appointment and they have invited me to interview for the job ofselling their home, signing a contract, and listing their home with me, thereis critical information that we need as a realtor in order to even complete alisting appointment, in my opinion. Let me go through these 10 questions, Matt,and maybe it will spark some new thoughts. I'm not going to role-play it butthe first thing is I'm just going to, after I set the appointment, Matt, I'mgoing to ask the prospect at that point, I'm going to say, "Matt, there'sa couple of questions that I have so that we can make the most of our time whenI see you on Thursday, is that okay?" I'm going to gain their agreementbecause I need about three minutes to get through these 10 questions.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

I want to make sure I set that up. Have you seen theupfront listing agreement yet?

Matt:

Yeah, I think I have.

Brandon Mulrenin:

All right, let's go through this. I'm going to re-verifymotivation. I'm going to say "Matt, when the house sells, where are youplanning to move and when would you like that to happen?" I'm re-verifyingmotivation. Then I'm going to ask this fourth question. "Do you need timeafter close or not?" What am I asking for here?

Matt:

The rent back or ...

Brandon Mulrenin:

That's right. That's exactly right now. Number five, Isay, "Got it. Matt, is staying there an option? Can you just rent it? Canyou just stay there or do you absolutely have to sell?" I'm re-verifyingmotivation again. I'm looking for them to say, well, "Man, I don't give ashit if this thing sells or not. I got it out there at some ridiculous price.If some dumb buyer wants to give me some ridiculous price, I'll sell it but Icould stay here for the rest of my life." Okay. Wow. That tells us a lot.We're talking about listing appointments and conversion because the way thatyou outlined that appointment, that guy didn't seem like he wanted you therevery badly. We weasel, not weasel, that's the wrong thing. We got theappointment. We'll talk about it. "What improvements have you done, Matt?Since you've been living there?" I need this to do some type of accurateCMA because I can't even finalize price until after the listing appointment isdone. Then I'm going to tell them what to expect, "I'm going to email youthese things, just like we talked about, a detailed pricing analysis and thecomparable homes. Matt, can you review this prior to our meeting?" Now,I'm going to stop for a second. For most of you watching, and Matt, let me askyou this. If this wasn't a listing appointment, the call probably would havealready ended. Would you agree?

Matt:

Yeah, probably. They'd be like, "Why are you askingme all this stuff? Why does it matter?"

Brandon Mulrenin:

Yeah. Watch this. Watch the next question. If it hasn'tended, if it's not a listing appointment and if I haven't noticed this now I'mdefinitely going to find out on question eight. Let me role play this."Matt, listen, our meeting's going to take roughly about 30 minutes. I'mgoing to walk you through and go through a detailed price strategy that's goingto cause your property to stand out and sell for a premium. I'll go through allthe numbers, I'll walk you through exactly what it looks like to work with me,and then at the end of our meeting, at the end of our time together, we canthen discuss next steps and potentially working together. Does that seemfair?"

Matt:

Yeah. That seems fair. As long as I can decide at the end.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Look and I'm looking to pull out objections right here.This is called a trial close. Matt, I asked this question because I'm listeningto say, "Well, dude, I'm not signing anything. I'm not interested inhiring a realtor. No, no, no, no, no, no." That's what I'm looking for. OrI look for, "Yeah, listen, if the meeting goes well and we like it and wethink you're the right agent, yeah. We'd be absolutely open." Okay. Gotit. I'm asking this for them to set an expectation and for me. Is this alisting appointment? Is this a qualified listing appointment or not?

Matt:

If you do get that objection, like, "No, I'm definitelynot ready to sign anything right now ..."

Brandon Mulrenin:

Then it's not a listing appointment.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

It's not a listing appointment. We have more work to do tobecause this goes back to, Matt, what we've been talking about over the pastcouple of weeks, which is people forcing leads when there's not a realopportunity and us beating around the bush to get to where we want to get to.When I was reading your email, I felt that way because we were doing a listingappointment at an open house. At least the way you outlined it to me, the guywasn't very engaged and then the other thing you said at the end of your emailwas, "I'm not a big fan of high pressure, but," I want to talk aboutthat in a second. You could go through the rest of this, you guys, but thepoint is, these are all questions. At the end of your email, Matt, you said,"I'm not," how did you phrase it? I should even pull it up. Itsounded like you were doing most of the talking. My listing appointment, it'sall questions. Just like that was all questions. If I have a prospect that'snot engaged and you said he was looking at his phone, he was doing some otherthings. That means you are doing a whole bunch of talking.

Matt:

Right.

Brandon Mulrenin:

That's the thing-

Matt:

I was talking to, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. Iwas just saying, I was talking to Keith Zimmer, I don't know if he's on thiscall, but I was talking to him a little bit about this after that appointment,and the way he phrased it was, "Every time you talk it's counted as apoint against you and every time they talk, it's counted as a point in favor ofyou. At the end of the appointment, you want to have more points in favor ofyou."

Brandon Mulrenin:

That's right. Because the other thing you said was youcould feel his resistance growing.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

The only time that happens is when we talk.

Matt:

Right.

Brandon Mulrenin:

The more we talk, the higher the resistance, and that'sour fault. When you're asking people questions and engaging them, it's veryhard for them to do that. Right?

Matt:

Right.

Brandon Mulrenin:

It's very, very difficult. The other thing I want to bringyour attention to is this. At the beginning of the listing appointment scriptis the setting the agenda. The first thing out of our mouth at a listingappointment is this. We go through a home tour if you haven't done so alreadyand we sit down at the table and I say, "Matt, we're going to go through abunch of information just like I told you over the phone. I'm going to walk youthrough a pricing strategy, I'll walk you through my plan of action, and if itsounds like I'm the type of agent you'd like to hire and you and I see thingsthat we're on the same page at the end, we can decide if moving forward to thenext step and getting the property on the market makes sense at this time ornot. Does that seem fair?" That is the first question on the script.Before we even talk about anything else we do yet again, another trial close.Another opportunity to pull out objections or resistance from the prospect tosay, "Man, man, man. No, no, no, no. I'm not interested at all aboutworking together. I thought you were coming over because you had a buyer."Oh, shit. I missed something somewhere. This ain't no listing appointment. Allof these things are preventative so that when you get to a listing appointment,you find yourself in line with your expectations. It sounded like thisopportunity was kind of the opposite. Your expectations that it was a listingappointment, but the prospect seemed very disengaged.

Matt:

Yeah. I feel like I had some sort of barrier I needed tobreak through or something in my own mental state, because I've had several ofthese opportunities, I think. Listing appointments in my mind that with fisbosthat ended up canceling the day of or the day before, because they ended uphiring someone else. That was just building anxiety and me, and I just wantedto get through that and just sit in front of someone and ask for the business,I guess, directly and get through it somehow. I was thinking too much aboutthat rather than actually listening and playing to the room type of thinginstead of ...

Brandon Mulrenin:

Well, I'll add to that. I want to understand ... Because Ihear that a lot. I'm losing out. A couple of things I hear. I hear these twothings. I hear, "Brandon, most fisbos are selling on their own." Whenpeople think that, when they say that, I'm not saying you're saying this, Matt,I'm saying in our group I hear this quite a bit. There's a lot, but there aremany being listed with realtors. Many, a lot, a lot, a lot.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

This is because we haven't had for a lot of differentreasons. Then the other thing I hear is the thing that of how you ended theemail. "Maybe I need to be more high pressure." I want to understandthat better, because I think that's the other disconnect with what we ... Tellme what you meant by that and then I'm going to hopefully give you somecoaching there.

Matt:

Sure. I don't think I meant being higher pressure. I thinkI missed the whole point of the first thing you're supposed to say in thelisting appointment. I didn't do that in the beginning. I didn't preface. Ididn't sit down and say, "I'll walk you through all this stuff and at theend you can decide if it makes sense for us to work together at this point."I jumped right into ... What are the questions? What's your ideal situation?What's the ideal outcome and what are your biggest concerns?" Then Ijumped into that without prefacing it the right way and I guess what I wasasking in my email is if by doing that, I felt like I was just beating aroundthe bush the whole time and that's why the resistance level was building sohigh. Instead I felt like I should have done that from the get go, maybe notask for the business, but at least preface the whole conversation with how Iwanted it to go or in my mind, how it was going to go and make sure that wewere all on the same page there, but I didn't do that.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Well, that is the value of foreshadowing.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Have you heard my haunted house analogy?

Matt:

Uh-huh (affirmative), yeah. Where you walk through thewhole house and tell everyone exactly where the monsters.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Yeah. This is the same thing in sales. Better we become asales, the better our ability is to foreshadow. What I'm trying to do is futurepace the prospect every point of the process to do two things. One is to pullout objections or potential roadblocks that are in between us working togetherand then two, letting them know and setting a good expectation so they knowwhat to expect so the experience they have with me is better. Those are the twovalue points of foreshadowing. I'm constantly doing that. You can call it afuture pace, you can call it foreshadowing, you can call it a couple ofdifferent things, but the better you can do at that, this is going to soundcounter intuitive, but when you get good at selling, you're almost encouragingpotential red flags up front to see how prospects respond, to see what you needto deal with and what level of motivation they have to get closer to hiring arealtor. We're designing, we're putting the stimulus out there on purpose tosee where is this prospect really? Because the definition of high pressure tome, Matt, this is what I don't want you to do. High pressure to me isessentially on a phone call trying to get the prospect, trying to convince theprospect that whatever they believe, whatever they say, whatever they're doingis a bad idea. Let me explain. A lot of agents will say, "What are youdoing for marketing?" They'll say it, and then they'll downplay it."Why did you decide to list for sale by owner?" They'll downplay it.To me, that's applying unnecessary pressure. All we need to do is ask goodquestions to bring the prospect to a point of decision making. What we have todo, and what we need to get better at is our ability to ask questions to getthe prospect to a point today to shorten the conversion cycle around whatthey're willing to do and what they're not willing to do. The prospect gets to decidetheir own fate, but what we have to do is get good at asking the question. Onthe phone, we're saying things like, again, hypothetically, "Matt, let meask you, if I could show you a plan, it made sense, it got your property sold,got you the money you needed out of the property, would you considerinterviewing me right now?" That's a question. You get to decide how youanswer that. But if you say yes to that, great, I'm going to go right to thepre-listing, the upfront listing agreement, and start asking these questionsand start increasing the quality. This is how you go there and you get thecontract signed on the spot.

Matt:

And if the say no, that's also what I was asking in theemail is if you sit down with someone and just ask them straight from thebeginning, "Are you open to the idea of working with me ..."

Brandon Mulrenin:

Okay, watch. Watch.

Matt :

If you say, no ...

Brandon Mulrenin:

Let me show you how to deal with it. Everyone has thatsame question. Everyone has that same question. We have to ask for the businessat least two times, and this is how you do it. If I asked you that question,Matt, you would respond with what? I say, "Matt, would you considerinterviewing me right now?"

Matt:

Wait, is this over the phone or sitting down?"

Brandon Mulrenin:

Over the phone, we're over the phone. I'm trying to set alisting appointment and I just asked you that qualifying question. I say,"Matt, let me ask you if the plan made sense," I just went throughthat whole script. I said, "Matt, would you consider interviewing me rightnow?"

Matt:

Probably not.

Brandon Mulrenin:

"Yeah, fair enough. Let me ask you while I have youon the phone, how much time are you going to try and sell the property on yourown before you might consider looking at other options?"

Matt:

At least a month.

Brandon Mulrenin:

"Okay, yeah. If 30 days goes by and you haven'tgotten the offer that you want, or you just flat out haven't sold the propertyat that point, you might be open to getting together, to look at my for sale byowner plan?"

Matt:

I guess so. Yeah. If I don't have any other options Iwould consider it.

Brandon Mulrenin:

"Here's what I'm thinking. I don't think to yourpoint, we need to agree to anything right now, but the way I'm looking at thisis there's no harm at least you looking at all of your options, puttingeverything out there so you know what you could potentially do down the road iffor some reason the house doesn't sell. There's no harm in looking at options,would you agree?"

Matt:

I'd agree with that.

Brandon Mulrenin:

"Because here's my thought. In my experiencereviewing this plan, I am willing to bet that you find great value in thingslike my flexible commission program. You find value in my savvy seller program,which allows you to continue to sell the property on your own, Matt, even whileit's properties listed with me. Let's not agree to anything today. I'm notgoing to ever try to pressure you to do anything. What I'd simply like to do isstop by, take a look at the home, and when I'm there, I'll at least review theplan so you know how it works and then you can decide if this is something youwould consider or not. Does that seem reasonable?"

Matt:

Yeah. Sure.

Brandon Mulrenin:

Okay. Now, that's a great example of asking for theappointment two times using two different strategies, two different scripts toget to the point of contention, which is me setting an appointment with you toliterally talk about listing the home.

Matt:

Yeah.

Brandon Mulrenin:

That's what it sounds like because anytime someone tellsme no about, because a lot of the time when we do that, you'll have a lotpeople say, "Yeah, sure. If it makes sense I'll be open to it." Whenthey say no, then push the no out to a hypothetical question about the future.Then you see do I have a prospect here or not? Do I have a lead here or not?Had you said no again, now I can make a business decision whether or not I'mgoing to follow up with you or a lot of the time people do what you just did.Is they say, "Yeah, in this much time, then I will be open." That'swhat we've designed the scripts to do. Then based on this marketplace, when youget a yes to that second question, we can bring that down and ask for theappointment again.

Matt:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that's what I think I need to get betterat is how to ask for the appointment and put it all out there rather thanhaving it in my mind what it's going to be and how it's going to go. I need tobe more direct and be more of a leader-

Brandon Mulrenin:

That's right. Yes.

Matt:

When it comes to setting that appointment and then thenext question I have is to fast forward to, and I know we've been talking for awhile, but is fast forward to the actual appointment when you sit down withthem. Do you start off the conversation, "I know that you're not readyright now to list the house." Is there some way to get that objection outto, "What are your concerns about that? Let's talk about that. What areyour biggest concerns about hiring a realtor?"

Brandon Mulrenin:

Well, again, before you got to the appointment, you'regoing to go through the upfront listing agreements script.

Matt:

Right.

Brandon Mulrenin:

You're pulling all this information out because a lot ofthe time, people, they're just blowing off weak salespeople and so you'll findthat really what people do is they utilize this to see who are the strongestagents in the marketplace and so as you're going through with confidence, theupfront listing agreement script, you're going to find the quality of what theappointment. Because just because you said yes to that second question doesn'tnecessarily mean we have a listing appointment yet, because now I'm going toask you the set of eight or nine additional questions to really determine thequality of the appointment. It's just the stuff we just went through again. I'mthen going to make another business decision because this is all happening instages. I'm selling the appointment. Then again, we're talking about listingappointments here. I'm selling the appointment, which I got you to say yes tomeeting. Then I'm going to determine the quality of the appointment through theupfront listing agreements script. Right. Then see, okay, then I'm going tomake a business decision on those questions. Depending on how that goes, maybeI go to the appointment, maybe I don't, but I can't answer that without goingthrough this process.

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Brandon Mulrenin

Brandon Mulrenin, founder and CEO of reverseselling.com has dedicated his life’s work to the study of human behavior and communication.

He began his sales career in the mortgage industry as a mortgage loan officer with Quicken Loans in Detroit. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the AVP of Quicken Loans’ preferred real estate partner, Rocket Homes, formerly, In-House Realty.

Brandon then decided to go out on his own and built his real estate sales business to the point where he was listing and selling over 100 homes a year with one assistant and one buyers agent. Brandon’s success was quickly recognized as he awarded the #1 listing agent for Keller Williams Premier in 2014. It was during this time that Brandon began to train other real estate agents all over the world with his reverse selling system.

Then in 2018, Brandon launched his own independent real estate brokerage firm in Metro Detroit, Michigan which has quickly become one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the entire state.

Brandon is now the managing CEO of four entities: Brookstone Realtors, National Mortgage Funding, Maximus Title Agency, and reverseselling.com

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