Entry by Judi Bryan

Pre-listing Package

One of our Grads sent me a message off list today thinking she had somehow missed something and wanted to be sure she knew where to find it. She really hadn't missed anything, but when I began writing a response to her, I decided it would best put here instead...both in the event someone else had the same "perception" that she did...but also to bring up something that I don't recall having discussed here. What she wrote was basically "I recently saw a post to Laurie Furem that mentions something about a pre-list package. I was wondering whether you can direct me to it so I can check out that pre-listing presentation.

That "perception" really comes from the fact that when Laurie Furem received some great Press recently, I mentioned she should be sure to add a copy of that to her Pre-listing book. I made the comment thinking she likely had such a thing, and that sort of article, particularly with anything that related specifically to her servicing of the consumer as a Consultant, should certainly be incorporated into that book.

Then I began wondering whether most of us do use any sort of pre-listing book. Personally, I think they're a great tool. They can certainly help set the stage prior to the listing appointment, and can cut down on some of the questions that generally come up at a listing appointment. And, just like anything else, they may not be for everyone. But there are those people who DO have lots of questions, who are inclined to want to "think it over", who don't necessarily grasp what we're trying to tell them by "hearing it"...they need to see it and mull it over a while. To me, I'd much rather they did the "mulling it over part" before I sat down with them!

I have used a pre-listing package for a while now, but I must admit it's in the process of being revamped. A couple of things that must certainly be included are the Needs Analyses (certainly the Seller one, but also the Buyer Needs Analysis if they are also going to be purchasing something). But most critical in it should certainly be some information about representation alternatives as well as compensation alternatives. I'm not suggesting that anyone put a particular fee schedule in a prelist plackage...but to have something there that showcase the fact that when we "partner" with a customer or client, we are also providing them with

** Alternative ways of servicing them
** Alternative levels of representation (or non-representation
** Alternative types of being compensated
** Alternative ways of paying that compensation

I know everyone has their own way of dialoging with a prospective client. I always thought I was able to fairly quickly pick up on a prospects needs and wants...whether they were buying or selling. But I discovered something very valuable when I first used the Seller Needs Analyses. I discovered a whole lot more about their EXPECTATIONS than I had previously known. A lot of that sort of thing doesn't necessarily get covered in dialogue. And the Good News was, when I found out their Expectations, I discovered that I was putting myself through a whole lot of unnecessary stress because MY expectations where higher than theirs in many areas. Knowing what was really important to them (versus what was not) meant I could concentrate my time and attention on the things that mattered most to them....rather than the things I thought really had to be done right away.

I'd be curious to know if others use any sort of pre-listing package, when and how they use it, what it includes, and what benefit do they feel it provides for themselves as well as for the consumer.



Judi, you referenced the notion of giving people time to mull over materials. I wanted to underline that putting the Buyer or Seller Needs Analysis in the hands of a prospect before meeting with them is very powerful.

When somebody fills out an analysis in the privacy of their home or office they don't have the "bravado" that you often see when you're in front of them, particularly with those who have been mesmerized with the press telling them that they can get everything they need online. It opens their eyes: "CAN I do all these things?" "Do I WANT to do all theese things?"

It also is very transparent, giving the prospect a look at the many things we do, most of which is not apparent. My experiences is that when I then meet with them, the meeting is much more productive and they are much more aware of what they truly want and need and you have a slam-dunk when up against your competitors.

I have always used a pre-list and pre-buyer package - if you are one that does, then you should definitely showcase your greatest USP - your ACRE designation and what you can provide the consumer with it.


Good point, Mollie! The Needs Analyses serve to highlight for the consumer a lot of things they never really quite "think about". They know they can put a sign in the ground, an ad in the paper, they can hold their own Open House....heck, they can even takes lots of photos and put themselves on a website. And, frankly, quite often those are basically the only things that the consumer "perceives" that an agent would do for them....and for a very handsome fee at that!

The Needs Analyses winds up being a gentle way to prompt them into REALLY thinking about some of the things that likely never even entered their mind when they started considering who they wanted to hire, or whether they even wanted an agent to help them at all! And as you pointed out, when they fill these out on their own, they really have time to think about the subjects. Then when you do meet with them, they've already begun to establish the mindset that working with you is not just about the "stuff" you can do....it's about the VALUE you bring to the table.


I agree... the needs analysis is a powerful tool. I also like the 'waiting list' theory which has worked for me tremendously (everyone wants what they have to 'wait for) but I would also like to add that you need to have confidence in yourself, create rapport, yet make them understand that you can't help just anyone.

Aside from the needs analysis, I think Merv's smartplan is a powerful tool. I have a prelist pkg and what I do is send it ahead of time so they can 'mull it over', make them understand I don't work with just anybody, only the motivated, and that I also work with a limited number of clients so they get excellent customer service, so they may need to go on my 'waiting list'.

I enclose the needs analysis, which has to be returned to me PRIOR to the appointment, the SmartPlan which gives transparency and also their options with regards to commission only or consulting (which makes them understand the risk vs reward idea).

It works for me - try doing it and see if it works for you. Everyone works a different way in where they find their comfort level, but there is a difference between being 'comfortable and broke' and being confident and in control.

It's a scary step to tak, but I would rather work with 5 motivated people than 10 people of whom aren't motivated or on the same page.

Your time is your most precious asset - don't give it away for free.

This page contains a single entry by Judi Bryan published on December 30, 2007 8:38 PM.

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Charging (or not) for CMAs is the next entry in this blog.

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