Archive for: June, 2023

Presentation Skills in Commercial Investment Property

Jun 14 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In a commercial real estate, it is necessary to undertake formal presentations quite regularly. In the case of corporate owners, you may be presenting to a board of directors or the key decision makers for the business. Your skill in the presentation process must be well considered and planned.

In many situations, you only have one opportunity to make the best impression with these decision makers. They may however be taking presentations from a number of your competing real estate agencies. To help with this process, we have listed below some of the key issues that you can raise in the meeting which will demonstrate your relevance and professionalism to the client.

Good points of focus in a great commercial real estate presentation include:

  1. Innovation should be clearly provided in the ways of marketing the property lease or the sale. Innovation is essential to the promotion of commercial property. Strive to be different in your approach. Increasingly today, we are seeing elements of Internet promotion and marketing which cleverly supports the sale or lease of the real estate in question. It is not just a matter of having your website on which to advertise the property. It is the cleverly designed adverts which describe the property using relevant keywords which are used to attract the search engines. In this way your property advertisement will be seen more readily and more frequently by the target market.
  2. Pricing and rent structures are provided to the client that offers solid reason and sound logic. When providing a recommendation to the client regards rent or price of the property, it is important to have a reason for such choice. The client needs to know the reasons for your recommendations and be given evidence of the comparable properties nearby. Sometimes it is necessary to gather comparable evidence from another location. This is due to the unique nature of commercial property and the consequential lack of comparisons in your local area.
  3. Fall back structures are offered that the client can use when the deal is being considered or being negotiated. Not all transactions in commercial real estate easily occur. It is therefore necessary to have a fallback position and a supporting logic process that the client can understand. If the client needs to accept a rental or a price for the property which is below their initial benchmarks, it is the logic that you provide that will support the transaction and potentially bring it to finality faster. If really depends on what the client needs to do with the proceeds from the sale or lease. Every property transaction provides an element of pain to the client. It is their pain factor which will be your leverage to bring them to a final decision.
  4. Sources of solid and provable property enquiry such as databases are integrated into the marketing at all times. Every property transaction should be well promotion into and through the database within your business. This means that your database should be searchable within particular criteria relative to property type, size, price, rental, and other key criteria relevant to your area. In many cases, the size of your database will be an attraction to the client in making a final decision of a suitable agent to take on the property promotion. Your database is a marketable feature of your business, so use it in your client dialogue.
  5. Modern internet marketing methods are provided and optimised in a unique way for the property. The Internet today offers many channels of property listing. Importantly it is the optimised enquiry that you want from that listing process. Every property promotion will allow you to build your database. Every enquiry should be entered into your database for the opportunity of redirection to another listing in the future. The better you handle the internet, the more enquiry you will achieve.
  6. All methods of sale or lease are explained but the best choice is recommended with logical reasons to proceed. All property promotions need to be carefully considered as the market and location of the property will dictate the most suitable method of promotion to achieve the best result for the client within a timely fashion. It is important to understand the client’s pressures of time in the sale or leasing process so that your deal can be structured as quickly as possible. Failure to negotiate a timely sale or lease can see the listing move to another agency. This is not a good outcome.
  7. Target markets are defined and explained. Every property needs to be matched to the market which will bring you the best results. If the property owner understands and agrees with your target market, then the property promotion and decision process is more readily achieved. It is the best target market that will bring the best results in the sale price or rental. Have the client commit to your recommendations on the target market selected.
  8. Any challenges and concerns of the client such as price, rent, and timing are solidly addressed and understood by all concerned. If the client has any concerns regards the marketplace, the economy, or the property, it is wise to qualify and handle the concerns of the client before they delay or affect the final decision and negotiation. In some situations, you can raise the concerns of the client in the listing process to display your total understanding, then offering solutions to help them through their concerns.

Yes, listing presentation time is show time in commercial real estate. It is not an isolated event, and is your time to stand head and shoulders above your more ordinary competition. It is not a canned, standard, or memorised presentation script that you do every day, but rather should drill down onto the critical elements of the property promotion. It is dynamic, engaging and productive addressing the property in question.

Remember that the presentation for the promotion of the commercial property is about the client and their property needs, not your business and its history or expertise. Effective presentations are at the core of effective sales and leasing transactions in commercial real estate. The better you do your job in the presentation, the more listings and commissions you will generate.

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Abdominal Trainers Christmas Gifts Guide – Know the Top 10 Xmas Presents For Your Abs Now

Jun 13 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When we think of Christmas presents, we always go for the trendiest, hippest, or most glamorous things, may it be a spanking new cellphone, a brand new camera, or even jewelry. But the best Christmas gifts are those that can not only stand the test of time, but bring benefits as well. That’s why health and fitness products are great Christmas gifts, such as abdominal trainers. Not only do they last long, but the person you give this gift to can use it to become a healthier individual. Below is a list of the best abdominal trainers in the market today. Check it out!

Top 10 abdominal trainers – strength training machines Christmas gifts for 2008

1. Ab Rocket Abdominal Trainer – this machine deserves the top spot because it can certainly do wonders when it comes to trimming down the tummy. It can work the lower, upper, middle, and side abs. It’s comfortable and easy to use, so it’s perfect for all ages. It’s a great Christmas gift for someone you know who wants to have the perfect body.

2. Slendertone Men’s Flex Abdominal Toning System Belt – this belt can produce miracles. Using a system known as CSI or Concentrated Slendertone Innervation, which stimulates abdominal muscles, making them firmer and shaped in no time. This is a great gift for someone you know who leads a busy lifestyle.

3. Slendertone Flex Go Abdominal Toning System – this device can be carried around anywhere, and it’s like going to the gym all the time. Your friend can just wear the belt and it would be like going to the gym, even when they are in the office or at home.

4. Slendertone Women’s Flex Abdominal Toning System Belt – this is the best gift for your lady friends who just want to show off their gorgeous bodies (or are working on getting one). It’s easy to use, portable, and most of all, it produces great results in just weeks of using!

5. Ab Lounge XL Abdominal Exerciser Professional Package – the beauty of this machine is that it is not bulky and it can fit anywhere in the home or office. The chair is durable, too. The best thing is that with this chair, your friend can not only exercise or tone his ab muscles, he can even track his progress with the chair’s computer system.

6. Slendertone Flex Pro Male Abdominal Toning System – if you know a guy who wants to have the perfect set of abs, then this is what you should get him. He can take it anywhere and use it anytime. It’s small and very strong, so it doesn’t easily break. Plus, it works fast, so he can expect results in no time.

7. Apex Roman/Hyper Extension Bench – this simple machine has a solid tubing frame, adjustable leg holders with foam, and padded handles. It’s very minimalistic, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not effective. Instead, it even has additional functions aside from toning abs. It also strengthens the legs and back areas.

8. Stamina Ab / Hyper Bench – this machine can not only tone and strengthen the abs, it also helps improve the back area. Your friend can benefit from this machine’s flexibility. It can used for ab crunches, bicep curls, and other exercises.

9. Slendertone Men’s System Abs Toning Belt – in just 30 days, a male friend of yours can get the best set of abs he can have. With this belt, he can exercise and tone his ab muscles at the same time, giving a defined and very contoured abdominal region in a month or less.

10. Slendertone Women’s System Abs Toning Belt - this one’s for your female friend. In only 30 days, she can have the banging body she’s always wanted by using and adhering to this device’s system or schedule of exercises. She can put it in her bag, too, and carry it around wherever she wants.

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Presentations – 5 Tips on How to Increase Your Impact

Jun 12 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

For the purpose of this article I’m going to assume you’ve overcome the basic fears and resistance most people have to speaking in public.

What you feel you need now is some really practical and action based advice that will help you engage and communicate with your audience more effectively.

That’s why I’m focusing on increasing your impact.

Here are 5 questions for you.

1. How do I convince my audience I’m know what I’m talking about?

- How and where do I stand on the stage or platform?

- Do I move positively from one area to another? Be careful if you use a rostrum not to appear ‘super glued’ to it.

- Do I use movement to punctuate changes in my content? Movement should be triggered, for example, by a change of idea, line of argument, piece of evidence or change of tone and pace from ‘I know everything’ to ‘I know nothing’ or I want to tell you a story.

- Am I prepared to go out and walk amongst the audience – may be talk to them from the back of the room rather than the front?

2. How do I minimise distractions from the spoken word?

- An upright stance, no hands in pockets, no fiddly gestures, no hiding behind the microphone or rostrum.

- Remember a handheld microphone is used not to hide behind it.

- Do I use bold and controlled gestures rather than letting my hands flutter around like butterflies?

- Am I absolutely in control of my support materials such as PowerPoint?

3. How do I use my voice?

- Try this exercise – you might need to record it to be sure you can recognise the differences:

o Talk at your normal speed and tone;

o Talk with a higher and louder voice in a faster and more pugnacious manner;

o Talk with a deeper voice in a slower and more beguiling manner.

- Build these variations in tone and pace into your speech – this is one of the techniques that charismatic speakers use.

- Talking and not talking – do you use silence effectively – you need to go one step beyond what feels comfortable to you – hang out there!.

4. Am I tapping into the Right and Left side of the Brain?

- All information (left brain) and no tugging of the emotions (right brain) is not stimulating.

- Most people will respond emotionally before they do rationally although they may not recognise this.

- If you want to be memorable and entertain then you will need to play to both hemispheres.

- Start with the emotional – story telling is the best – make it authentic from your own personal experiences.

- Invite the audience to share the emotion with you. Have you been there? Have you done that? Have you felt that?

5. How adaptive am I?

- Imagine you’ve been asked to give a presentation/speech and it’s all mapped out – characteristics of the audience/objectives defined, structured content – i.e. beginning, middle and end, timing at x words per minute, exquisitely rehearsed. Raring to go!

- So what might happen?

o There’s a power failure so you can’t use PowerPoint;

o All the speakers before you have so over run that your time is halved and you’re speaking before lunch;

o The speaker before you has cancelled at short notice and the organisers want you to speak for longer;

o You want to engage the audience early on but somebody gets hold of the microphone and starts to subvert your session.

o An earlier speaker presents an argument that is the exact opposite of your proposition.

- In short, be prepared!

And a final thought -remember to smile – appropriately of course. If you smile at some one – even if you’re passing them in the street – they’ll smile back. It may be a reflex but smiling relea

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A Peek at the Best Birthday Present Ideas 2012

Jun 11 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Having a ‘mare seeking birthday gifts ideas? Don’t fret. There are hundreds and hundreds of inspirational birthday gift ideas on the market for friends and loved ones, at prices that won’t break the bank!

Whatever the answer is to the question, “How old are you?” it doesn’t change the fact that birthdays are special occasions, not only for the celebrant, but also for the people celebrating it with that special someone.

Now you can wave good-bye to your birthday gifts dilemma! Whether you’re in quest of prezzies for your mom, dad, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, best friend or colleague, why not knock their socks of this year with something personalized?

Here’s what hot in terms of birthday presents…

Personalized New York Times Newspaper Books. These unique birthday gifts are a darling way to celebrate their special day! Bound in a luxury leatherette book, you’ll celebrate their birthday with a newspaper from every decade or from key dates in their life. You can customize the title page with any name and message, with the option to have the front cover gold embossed with their personal details.

Calendars & planners. One of the hottest birthday present ideas has to be personalized calendars. The best thing about them is that you can start them from any date you like, so you can give them at any time of the year. On offer as either wall calendars or desktop calendars, they’re great for family, friends and colleagues and there are all sorts up for grabs, including newspaper calendars, football calendars, golf calendars, to name but a few. You can even get ones which cleverly integrate the name of your recipient in 12 beautiful photographs on every page.

Engraved glasses. If you’re trying to find elegant birthday ideas for him or her, engraved glassware is the perfect solution and comes in a range of styles and sizes, from super-sized pub glasses and champagne flutes to shot glasses and wine glasses. And the best bit? You can have their name or a special message beautifully engraved on to the glass.

Fake newspapers and magazine covers. If you’re hunting for humorous, unusual birthday gifts, fake newspapers and magazine covers are your answer. Now you can personalize the front cover of a fake magazine or newspaper and see the recipient’s personal details merged with headlines written by professional journalists, with the option to add a photograph.

Personalized wine & liquor labels. These are fab birthday ideas for her(or him!), and will make them smile ever time they pour themselves a glass of their favorite beverage, be it wine or whisky. Available in a slew of colorful, expressive and eye-catching designs, personalized labels deliver a very personal ‘Happy Birthday’ wish to the person you intend it for, since you can add their name, personal message, and in some cases a special date to the bottle label.

These are just some of awesome birthday gift ideas on the market. Whether they’re about to tear it up on their 18th birthday or approaching the big 5-0, personalized birthday gifts will be loved today and treasured tomorrow!

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Presenting a Created Reality to the Masses

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Business executives and those that teach at major universities have classes on business presentations. Every MBA student who takes marketing classes has to give business presentations to the class on fictitious businesses and business plans that they are working on within their study group. However, professors generally do not discuss presentations from major political figures to the masses.

When presenting a created reality and a thrusting it into the mass media hysteria in order to move the political football down the field there are a few things that must be considered. Things such as plausible deniability and does the presentation makes sense to the average person. It does not necessarily have to make sense to all people, as they say you can fool most of the people all the time.

Since humans in modern societies and civilizations have indeed surrendered their minds to their television sets, he who presents the best case into the media will control those minds and with that they will also have the votes to serve their will. Once a good presentation is made on a fictitious and created reality to the masses of people, then those that created that reality can sit back and watch it become a real reality.

In fact, I get a kick out of all this really and it is funny to watch this sound and fury of mankind and those that create a false reality that we all live by. It is just too funny I tell you. Please consider all this in 2006.

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Just Broke Up? Think Twice Before Buying a Present For Your Ex Love

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

In the past a simple and effective method of impressing your ex was buying flowers, candy or even sending love notes. Nowadays, these items wouldn’t do the trick as our world, or let’s just say the financial state of our world takes a huge place in every day relationships, so the part of getting back with your ex with just a simple gift or a small love gesture is just not effective as it was in the past. A flower is too shallow, candy is just too common, leaving a love note would probably end up as an amusement.

Although, the feminine side has gained the reputation of being very self-centered regarding personal profit, a gift can be looked at as a negative thing, it can even become a terrible mistake that can and will transform a nice gesture of love into a small fight, the main ideas of this fight being: ” you want to buy me? ” or “I’m not for sale” or ” you offend me” or ” I don’t need your gifts” and the list can go on forever.

So what should you do, will a gift be a good thing or a bad decision in order to get your love back? In order to help you decide here is a list of situations in which a present/gift would be appropriate or useful. Let us see:

Situation 1: It is a special occasion for her (birthday, name day, etc.). Besides the present you will offer, you should explain to her that this is a major event for you, and even if you’re separated or your relationship is a little tense, you couldn’t have missed it for anything in the world. This will make her feel very important and will be the first step in making her believe you still love her and convincing her that she has a significant role in your life.

Situation 2: Let’s say you and your ex girlfriend are part of the same group of friends, and you receive an invitation to a party, either you both receive it from a common friend, or even from your ex lover since you have the same friends. Let’s take for example it’s her birthday at school/work and she invites her colleagues (may I remind you that you’re part of that group of colleagues) to her party. In this situation you should pick wisely her gift. Taking into account that there will be a lot of gifts and all sort of presents, yours must be, and I put emphasis on this, must be something really special, that will totally blow her away. Offer her a gift that only you and her know about, a gift with a direct link to your ex girlfriend, that will draw her closer to you than all the rest of the people invited.

Situation 3: Buy her an unforgettable gift. She must desire something, and you probably are the only person who knows that. But there’s a catch, that something must be a gift that she can enjoy beside you. Let’s take an example: tickets for a rock concert. She really wants to go, but none of her friends like this particular kind of music. Take into consideration that this is only an example, in order to help you understand the situation better. Let’s get back to our example. You decide to buy her those tickets, and even thought, the relationship between you two is not working very well, your offer will be too tempting or interesting for her to refuse. It’s a simple step, that can prove very useful in your quest of bringing your ex back to you.

Situation 4: Analyze things a bit. Think about all the stuff she wanted and never had the time or the means to get it. A simple example would be an old book or a certain album she never found. Try to find this small but also valuable gift ( valuable in terms of value to her, not to be mistaken with the word expensive ). Also an important factor would be not to brag about trying to find this gift, keep it cool, act as if it was a random event, you just stumbled upon that particular thing and since you knew she liked that very much, you decided to surprise her.

Situation 5: Since there a lot of possible situations, let’s take a more general approach to this matter: buying a gift that concerns your relationship, a particular recent event, thus emphasizing the special importance of her time spent with you. The main idea would be to make her feel special, to feel wanted, loved, to know that you enjoyed every minute, every second spent with her.

Since we have a list of situations where a gift is a good decision, let’s present certain moments where a gift will be inappropriate or useless. Try not to give her a gift that reminds her the break up cause, or other inadequate gifts for example: if she thought you are insensitive, don’t send a big rose bouquet with a love note attached. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be someone else to get her back, you will only look like a hypocrite, she will only see you like a sham, and that’s not your goal. Try to be yourself, think the situation before you act, remember that sometimes more doesn’t necessarily mean better.

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Powerful Presentation Primer- The Power of Grilled Cheese

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Many folks are quite capable of running substantial businesses with some level of success despite the fact that their knees start knocking when they are asked for the simplest of introductions to their business. Speaking is marketing and many in this boat are hungry to learn how to go from “some” success to much greater success.

Since I am assuming you are hungry for such knowledge, I’ll go with an easy food analogy: making a powerful presentation is as easy as making a grilled cheese sandwich. The 1st piece is the slice of bread. This is your opening. It has to be fresh or you’ll lose your audience. None of this “I flew in from Vegas & boy are my arms tired” hooey. It has to be firm. Strong voice & confident posture. Whole grain bread here- none of that wimpy stuff. You have to catch them in your mouse trap at this point- grab their attention- tell them what you’re going to do for them & why they should listen- in this case, I’m making giving a presentation to hundreds of folks as easy as making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Next is the cheese- this is your content- the whole point of making the sandwich in the 1st place, right? In theory, more cheese is better, but if you ever tried to make a grilled cheese with more than 3-4 slices of cheese max, you’ll know that doesn’t work out so well. Too gooey for the pan & in this case too gooey for the brain. No one can retain more than 3-4 key points- at best. Adult learning is compromised not only by our limited attention but by our limited capacity to sit & be still.

The butter is a key piece and the buttering up of the audience needs to start early. What I mean is meeting & greeting your audience so you know them, what brought them to see you present, what their expectations are; and so you can include them in the context of your talk. It also fosters friendlier faces in the crowd so you don’t have to go through the whole naked visualization thing.

Finally there is the 2nd slice of bread. It should match the 1st. No really. I’m pretty sure that you make your grilled cheese sandwiches with the same type of bread on either side. Not rye on one side & a hot dog bun on the other. The conclusion should link back to your opening. Many presenters I know end up with more of an open faced sandwich- no clear closing- just sort of the proverbial fade to black. The most clear way to mark your closing is to create a call to action on the part of your listeners.

Here it is. Go make your own grilled cheese sandwich so the next time you are called on to make a presentation it- & you- are ready to step up in such a way that is just likely to earn you more cheese!

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Sales Presentations – Tips On Dealing With Anxiety From An Old Pro

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The first thing to remember is that anxiety or nerves means you are alive and without them your resulting presentation would be like you – dead!

What you need to do is learn to control your anxiety and use it to fuel your enthusiasm.

Identifying Fears:

To control your anxiety you must identify what it is that you are afraid of -

Is it forgetting your lines?

Is it the audience size?

Once you have established what exactly you are afraid of then establish whether or not you can control it.

Imagine you are the captain of an airliner; do you fear flying? Of course not, because you are in complete control of not only the aircraft but also, the crew and the passengers.

You have a flight plan and before you take off, you know the payload, weather conditions for the flight, arrival time, departure time etc. However, what is most significant, you are familiar with flying, you are comfortable with all of that responsibility, because you have flown so many times before and you know virtually everything there is to know about that aircraft.

Therein lies the secret; the more presentations we deliver, the more accomplished we become but equally, we must know what we are talking about, we must know our subject matter inside out, otherwise our audience will find us out

Let’s consider the areas that you can control:

Your audience – After all you invited them.

Your material – You designed it.

Your resources – You chose to utilise them.

Yourself – You’re no puppet.

If there are any areas you’ve identified that you can’t control, forget them – it’ll probably never happen.

Controlling nerves and reducing anxiety:

Organise – Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, know what is going to happen and when. Take the time to rehearse your presentation, preferably with someone you know well. Get them to pride you with objective and constructive criticism.

Visualise – Get into the habit of visualising how the presentation will go, that way the environment will feel familiar even if it’s your first time. Imagine the end of your presentation and your audience smiling with appreciation

Drying Up – Make bullet point notes on individual postcards to prompt you (not lengthy scripts) – you may not need them but they will give you that “comfort zone”. Do remember to number them though, just in case you accidentally shuffle them

Relaxation – Before your presentation take some time for yourself to
relax, breathe deeply, go out into the fresh air and clear your head. Do not allow your mind to mentally rehearse the entire presentation, because you need simply to concentrate on your opening lines. Once you have successfully navigated your way through the first couple of minutes, you will begin to relax – a strong opening is crucial

Warming Up – Clear your throat, practise your smile, drink some water to ensure you are hydrated etc.

Dress appropriately and check your posture -If you look the part everyone will assume you know what you are talking about anyway!

Become mobile – It will keep your audience awake.

Use eye contact and smile – They can’t fail to pay attention.

And finallypractice, practice, practice!

Copyright © 2006 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

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Top Ten Presentation Tips

Jun 05 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When your career is on the line, your presentation skills must be at the same high level as your business skills. Following are some tips that will help you be perceived as a confident and effective presenter when it matters:

1. Relate to your AUDIENCE, not to your handouts or visuals.

· Maintain steady eye contact. It connects you to your audience and personalizes your presentation. Think of S-T-O-P or Single – Thought – One – Person (3-6 seconds per look)

· Don’t turn your back and talk to the screen.

2. Control your BODY LANGUAGE

· Think of the three S’s — Use GESTURES that are:

o SEEN (above your waist)

o SUSTAINED (for longer than you would in one-on-one conversation)

o SPECIFIC to the message

· STAND centered with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.

· Don’t fiddle with pen, change in your pocket, laser pointer or glasses.

3. Be CONVERSATIONAL

· Slow down. No machine gun delivery.

· In conversation we talk in word bursts and sentence fragments and then PAUSE to think of what to say next. It helps your audience, as well.

· Keep your eyes out of your notes or you will sound stilted.

4. Be vocally CRISP. This will help you sound dynamic, and will eliminate a droning
monotone.

· Shorten your sentence lengths to average 14-17 words.

· Intersperse short punchy sentences among your longer ones.

· Purge the connectors “and” and “so”, which cause your sentences to go on and on.

5. Use POSITIVE LANGUAGE.

· Take a stand. “Here’s what I think, and here’s why.” · Avoid:

o TENTATIVE language — “I think this might work.”

o APOLOGIES — “Correct me if I’m wrong.”

o REPEATED FILLERS — “basically”, “um”, “okay?”

6. Organize a FOCUSED MESSAGE

· Think strategically about the big picture and the business impact of your presentation.

· Get to the point quickly.

· Focus on the relevance or benefit of a product or service, not on how it works.

· Don’t talk too long or say too much.

7. Have a STRONG ENDING.

· Don’t overrun the meter.

· Ask for action instead of the most common and least effective “well, that’s it, I guess”, close.

8. REHEARSE. Like golf, improving your skills takes real work, not repetition.

· Memorize your opening and your close.

· Transitions are the key to a smooth and polished presentation. Use one rehearsal to practice only your transitions from one point to the next.

9. LIGHTEN UP

· Take your job seriously, but not yourself.

· A light touch does not mean telling jokes. It means having a sense of humor.

10. Anticipate challenging QUESTIONS and practice your answers.

· Prepare succinct answers with examples

· Talk your answers into a tape recorder. Check to see whether they are too detailed / too defensive.

Perception often IS reality. These tips will ensure that when you give a presentation, the perception of you is positive and matches your ability.

© Roberta Prescott

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The Success of a Listing Presentation

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The success of a listing presentation is determined by what you do before you even walk through the door. Most agents enter the meeting flying blind, ill prepared, and oblivious to the needs, wants, desires, and expectations of the prospect.

Make this pledge to yourself right now: Before you enter another listing presentation, qualify your prospects in advance.

Ask questions that allow you to obtain important information about the customer’s desires, timeframe, and expectations. Without this information, you can’t possibly serve the client well.

Many salespeople, especially in real estate sales, think they’ll offend the customer if they ask questions. Here’s an analogy that should put your mind at ease. Imagine you’re sick and schedule a doctor’s appointment. You arrive, the doctor enters the examining room, and you look up and say, “Guess what sickness I have today?” From across the room, the doctor is supposed to assess your symptoms, diagnose your ailment, and prescribe a cure without checking your ears or throat, listening to your lungs and heart, and, most importantly, asking you questions about what is wrong and how you feel. It sounds ridiculous; yet it’s what Realtors do when they try to serve clients without first asking questions to qualify their wants, needs, and expectations.

Without good client information, a listing presentation becomes an explanation of your services and service delivery system. But what if the prospect sitting in front of you wants to be served differently? Then what?

The customer ultimately determines whether your service is good or poor. Since the customer rules on the quality of service received, the only way to start the service process is to learn what customers want, rather than trying to guess their desires and expectation.

You need to qualify prospects for two main reasons:

• Qualify prospects to safeguard your time. By qualifying prospects, you assess their motivation, desire, need to take action, ability to act, and authority to make buying or selling decisions. You also assess the odds that the prospect will result in income-producing activity. The qualifying process increases your probability of sales success by determining which prospects are likely to result in commission revenue and which are likely to consume hours without results.

• Qualify prospects to determine their service expectations. What kind of service do they expect? What buying or selling approach do they follow? Is there a match between your philosophy and theirs? If not, can you convince them through persuasion that your approach is better than their preconceived notion of what and how you should represent their interests? If not, are you willing to turn down the business? The only way to address these issues is to learn what your prospects are thinking before you make your presentation.

Before you enter a listing presentation, diagnose the situation you’re entering and the opportunity it presents by learning the prospect’s answers to qualifying questions. I recommend you acquire this base of knowledge over the phone when you’re scheduling the presentation appointment. If you wait until you are face-to-face with the prospect, it’s too late. By then you want to be offering a tailored presentation, not acquiring baseline information.

Focus your qualifying questions around the following four topics:

1. Motivation and Timeframe: Ask questions that allow you to learn how badly the prospect wants to buy or sell, and in what timeframe. Sample questions include:

• Where are you hoping to move?
• How soon do you need to be there?
• Tell me about your perfect timeframe. When do you want this move to happen?
• Is there anything that would cause you not to make this move?

2. Experience: A prospect’s view of the real estate profession is filtered through personal previous experience and experiences related by friends and family members. The following questions help you learn your prospect’s real estate background and preconceptions:

• How many properties have you sold in the past?
• When was your last sales experience?
• What was your experience with that sale?
• How did you select the agent you worked with?
• What did you like best and least about what that agent did?

3. Pricing: The following questions will help you to gauge the prospect’s motivation. They’ll also help you determine whether the prospect is realistic about current real estate values.

Let me share an old real estate sales truth: The higher the list price, the lower the motivation; the lower the list price, the higher the motivation.

Listen carefully to the answers to the following two questions. They’ll reveal whether your prospect is ready to sell or just fishing for a price:

• How much do you want to list your home for tonight?
• If a buyer came in today, what would you consider to be an acceptable offer for your home?

4. Service expectation: Learning your prospect’s service expectation is absolutely essential to a good working relationship, but I’ll caution you that when you begin to ask the service-related questions, you will likely hear silence on the phone. Likely, your prospect has never met a service provider concerned enough to ask what the customer wants, values, and expects. As a result, you might have to probe and ask follow-up questions to help the prospect open up and enter a dialog.

• What do you expect from the real estate agent you choose to work with?
• What are the top three things you are looking for from an agent?
• What would it take for you to be confident that my service will meet your requirements?

By qualifying your prospects before the appointment, you will be prepared for your prospects needs, wants, desires, and expectations. Then you will be able to find clients that fit your business, and you will be able to serve them well.

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