If you are to win a property presentation or listing pitch in a typical sales situation with a commercial real estate client, be prepared for their deep and meaningful questions relating to their property and the market. The questioning strategy can work in either of two ways and be an advantage for you if you are fully prepared. If you can’t control the questions that arise, you have to control the answers. Knowledge and skill can take you through that.
One way to improve your question and answer processes is to have a role play session at the end of each weekly sales team meeting. All members of the brokerage team can share their experiences from client meetings and property presentations during the previous week.
A fact to be remembered?
One fact that we must remember is that most of our property investor clients are very experienced in all types of property situations; they also have quite a few agent contacts in other brokerages. To win the listing you really do need to be ‘better than the rest’. The information and skills that you bring to the client will ‘make or break’ the listing opportunity. The ways that you answer their questions will help your property presentation and listing conversions.
Rules to help with difficult questions
So let’s set some rules to help you with the ‘question and answer’ processes in a property presentation:
- Local information is required – The client will expect you to know about local property activity; your local area knowledge will be critical to the property listing presentation. That knowledge will include prices, rents, other listings, and completed transactions. Have a set of comparable property results available at your fingertips to use at the right time in the discussion.
- Display of information – The way you display your information will help in convincing the client of its validity. Don’t rely on just the ‘verbal’ response to a question to get you through; use images, statistics, and charts to help the client see the results and trends. Combine your words with visual information.
- Listen to the client – Make sure that you really listen to any question raised by a client. The question should be answered where possible in a factual and direct way. If you don’t answer the question in a sensible way then you will lose credibility.
- If you don’t know the answer – When the property related question is very deep and direct, you may not know the answer, so don’t guess. If you haven’t got a specific answer to a challenging question, then it is better to say so. Ask for more time to look at the question and come back to the client later with the information that they seek.
- Repeat and restate – Some client questions are very specific. In that case it is better to repeat and restate the question so you both know that you are talking about the same thing. By repeating and restating the question you are showing respect.
Top agents are very good at handling the question and answer process in any property situation. Over the years they have refined and improved their presentation controls and responses. Start practicing on issues and questions relative to your property market.