Let’s face it, cold calling isn’t easy, and neither is nurturing your former clients or sphere to get sales referrals. No matter how you got your listing appointment, chances are hard work and talent rather than luck got you here. If you want to make sure you land the listing, your pre listing package needs to accurately reflect your work ethic and hard won skills.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to craft a killer pre listing presentation that will make your potential clients excited for your appointment. We’ll cover:
- What You Should Include in Your Pre Listing Package
- Why a Killer Pre Listing Package Can Help You Sign More Listings
- Why a High End Pre Listing Presentation Can Have a Great ROI
- Some Example Pre Listing Packages
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What is a Pre Listing Package?
A pre listing package is a document that Real Estate Professionals send to potential seller clients after they’ve scheduled an appointment for a listing presentation, but before the presentation itself. Sending a pre listing package before a listing presentation achieves four primary goals:
- To demonstrate to the homeowner how the Real Estate Professional & their brokerage can get them the highest possible price for their home with fewer headaches than the competition
- To educate the homeowner about what to expect from the process of selling their home
- To give the homeowner a more in-depth look at the Real Estate Professional’s marketing and sales skills
- To provide statistical and social proof of a track record of previous successful sales
What Should You Include In Your Pre Listing Package?
Like most good marketing materials, building a great pre listing presentation is more art than science. What you include will be largely determined by your skill set and experience, as well as what type of homeowner you’re pitching. For example, a first time FSBO might require more educating about the sales process than a referral from your sphere.
In order to get you thinking about what to include in your pre listing package, we spoke with a few experienced listing agents to see what they’re including this year. After their tips, we cover the 10 most common elements of a great listing presentation.
Scott Layson, Nashville Realtor
“I think two of the most important items that a realtor should include in their pre-listing packet are how your stats compare to the rest of the agents and past client reviews. By sharing your stats you’re building an argument on why they should partner with you, while your reviews show why they should trust you.”
Paul Lisanti, Ontario Realtor
“I send a pre-listing package to potential seller clients as soon as we set an appointment. I send a PDF copy and if there is enough time, I send a hard copy by mail/courier. The content includes qualities to look for in a Realtor, the major steps in the selling process, pricing, negotiation, expected costs, some info about me, testimonials, a page for the seller to list the top 10 things they love about their home and neighborhood, a net proceeds calculator, components of my marketing system, and a checklist of documents/items needed to list their home.
I have 2 main goals when sending the pre-listing package. First, it’s a way to get information they may find useful to them as soon as possible. This can help make our consultation meeting go smoother and quicker. Second, when I meet them in person and ask what they thought about the package, I have an idea of the type of person they are (someone who read it all is likely to be a detail-oriented person, for example).”
Expert Tip: Consider Including Your Entire Listing Presentation (without the CMA)
Qulia Bryant MBA, Broker Associate, Charlotte North Carolina
“Pre-listing packages are typically sent a day before the listing appointment via email. It’s my way of letting the seller know I’m already prepared to sell their home. I usually include everything in the pre-listing package except the CMA (Comparative Market Analysis).
Here’s what I include:
- A cover letter thanking the seller for the opportunity to present my listing package
- My resume and company history
- The realtors pledge
- Working With Real Estate Agents brochure (NCREC requirement)
- 150 Ways to Sell Your Home
- Our 28 step marketing plan
- Pre-Inspection and Appraisal and Home Staging Benefits
- Property FLOW Chart — Why Pricing Right Matters Most.
I may include a few other pieces depending on the type of property or situation. For instance, for sale by owner or recent expired may have more material specific to those situations.
The Property FLOW Chart is always last because it leads into the discussion of pricing and I can immediately go into the CMA at the listing appointment after answering any questions about the pre listing package.”
Now let’s take a look at some other things you might want to include in your pre listing presentation. While most brokerages offer their agents a pretty solid pre listing package, you can and should customize yours to reflect your experience level and the type of homeowner you’re pitching. You can also use CMA software like Cloud CMA in order to create your pre listing presentation.
The Introduction Letter
This should be a personalized letter that directly addresses the homeowner and explains what your pre listing package includes. While you don’t have to write a new letter for every single presentation, you should at least include some personalization. Remember, your pre listing package is supposed to demonstrate why YOU are uniquely qualified to sell their home. If you just send them a form letter and a generic pre listing package you found online with Microsoft clip art you won’t do much to differentiate yourself.
Since writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone, you should at the very least prepare different introduction letters for FSBO homeowners you’ve contacted via cold calling, expired listings, as well as referrals from former clients and your sphere.
A (Brief) Professional & Personal Biography
While precious few homeowners are going to have the time to read through your junior high school soccer history, most will want to get a sense of your professional experience and who you are as a person. After all, they’re going to be working with you on a stressful and emotional transaction for the next few months.
Deep Dive: Want to learn more about what goes into writing a great bio? Check out our in-depth guide here.
An Introduction to Your Team
Since your team is going to help you sell their home, most homeowners will want to get an idea of who you’re working with. To answer this, include a quick introduction to your team. Include quick bios (ideally with headshots) of your title company, broker, marketing person, virtual assistant etc. — you can even include vendors like contractors, painters, home stagers, or photographers. Include headshots and maybe even some personal details. After all they may interact with these people and who doesn’t want to work with someone fun or that they have something in common with?
For high end clients, you can take this a step further. The goal here is to prove you are going to knock them out with amazing service. You can include everything from movers, to pet sitters, professional organizers, art movers, florists, to snow removal and landscape design companies.
Introduction to Your Brokerage
While most homeowners focus more on the agent than their brokerage, a quick introduction to the benefits of working with your brokerage can be helpful. A quick overview of your brokerage’s history, sales records, marketing prowess, and website can help reassure homeowners that you’re working for a top notch brokerage.
Your Designations (if any) as Well as Their Importance
If you’ve earned any designations, then include them in your pre listing package to help you stand out from agents who don’t have any. You can include a quick overview of why your designation is important, but remember to keep the focus on how it can help them.
Deep Dive: To learn more about Real Estate Professional designations, check out our guide here.
Statistics on Your or Your Broker’s Past Performance
Along with an introduction to your brokerage, include statistics on your brokerage’s past performance. You should also include statistics on your own personal performance as well. Here’s what Real Estate Professional Scott Layson includes in his pre listing package:
A Marketing Case Study (FSBO for FSBO homeowners)
Another great element to include in your pre listing presentation is a case study on a similar home to the homeowner’s. For example, if you’re pitching an FSBO, then include a marketing case study on an FSBO that you or your team recently closed.
How did you improve the marketing of the property? How quickly did it sell? Before and after pictures and charts showing how quickly you sold vs how long the property lingered on the market can be very helpful here.
An Overview of Your Marketing Plan/Skills/Capabilities
While you should hold off on making any specific marketing plans or pricing recommendations until you’re on your pitch, you should include a quick overview of your marketing skills. Do you use cutting edge services like virtual staging or Matterport tours? Do you have killer open rates on your drip campaigns? Show it off here.
Sample Contracts and Disclosures
This is another great way to get your homeowner to start thinking past the sale. Include sample exclusive right to sell contracts and disclosures already signed by you.
Sample Just Listed Flyers or Other Print Materials
If you have great printed marketing materials, include samples with your pre listing presentation.
Deep Dive: Want to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about real estate postcards? Check out our in-depth guide here.
Checklists or Info for Choosing a Real Estate Professional
Information about how to choose a great Real Estate Professional can be useful as well. First time sellers will especially appreciate this advice. That said, if you’re brand new then just make sure you’re not pitching yourself out of a listing here!
Checklists for Getting a Great Price for Your Home
Instructive materials on how and why some homes sell better than others can be very helpful here. Your broker should have a chart about pricing a home properly that you can use in your pre listing presentation.
An Overview of the Sales Process
A quick overview of the sales process from signed exclusive to closing can also be a great help for first time sellers.
How CMA’s Work (Why You Need to Tour The Home to Get an Accurate Estimate)
While it’s probably not a great idea to include a CMA in your pre listing presentation, you can always include a quick overview of how CMA’s work and why they’re important.
Deep Dive: Want to learn how to write a great CMA? Check out our in-depth guide here.
A Sample Sellers Net Sheet
While you probably don’t know much about their current mortgage situation, you can also include an overview of a seller’s net sheet so they can get an idea of how closing costs might affect their net proceeds.
Deep Dive: Check out our sellers net sheet calculator that lets you compare three offers here.
What About Candy or Snacks?
Some Real Estate Professionals have had success including candy or snacks along with their pre listing package. If you think your potential clients will appreciate it, then you might want to think about including candy or snacks. Even better, if you know they have a dog or cat, including some pet treats can go a long way to building your relationship and signing the listing.
Testimonials (with Headshots) & References With Contact Info
Testimonials as well as references with contact information are an absolute must for your pre listing package. Just make sure they know that you’re giving their contact information to potential clients.
Deep Dive: Want to learn how to get amazing reviews from current and former clients? Check out our in-depth guide here.
Sales Psychology: Why a Killer Pre Listing Package Can Help You Sign More Listings
Even if you’re the smoothest cold caller in your office, the odds of your homeowner deciding that you’re the right person for the job as soon as you end the call are slim to none. There’s simply too much money, and too many potential headaches for them to make up their minds on the spot.
What does that mean for your chances of signing the listing? Well, let’s say your call was on a Monday and you scheduled the listing presentation for Friday. That means that your homeowner now has all day Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to come up with a reason not to hire you.
A Great Pre Listing Package Will Help Guide the Conversation
You may not want to hear this, but there are many, many, reasons why they would choose not to hire you. Some of them might be perfectly reasonable— maybe you don’t have a ton of experience selling homes like theirs. Some might not be. Maybe they found an old negative review of your brokerage on Yelp, or maybe a rival agent told them something unsavory (and untrue) about you or your agency.
Since you have literally no way of knowing, sending over a pre listing package before your appointment can be a great way to guide the conversation away from your real or imagined weaknesses and back to your strengths. Here are a few ways that your pre listing package can help steer the conversation in your favor:
Educating Your Homeowner & Managing Expectations Before Your Pitch
If your homeowner is relatively new to the sales process or hasn’t kep up with the local market, a pre listing package can be a great way to educate them and manage their expectations. For example, they may think their home is worth millions when comps are selling in the mid 500’s. They may think that an inexperienced agent from a discount brokerage will get them a better return than an experienced full fee agent with a great team. Giving them a chance to digest hard truths on their own can mean less work at your presentation.
Highlighting Your Value Add
More importantly, a great pre listing package will highlight your value add in more detail than your website or other marketing materials. Since you may not want to give away the farm on your public website, you can use your package to give them a deep dive on why you’re the best person for the job. For example, you may have testimonials on your website, but since your package will only be seen by potential clients you can include their contact information and urge them to call. Likewise, your former clients may love you, but will probably not want a detailed case study on their home floating around the internet, but would be okay if you shared it with a handful of homeowners you’re pitching.
Building Anticipation and Excitement For Your Appointment
For many homeowners, selling their home will mark a milestone in their lives. Maybe they just got a once-in-a-lifetime job offer overseas, or maybe they’re finally retiring to Florida after their last child graduated college. Receiving a well designed, informative, and persuasive pre listing package might finally get them to start thinking of their move in real terms.
Anticipating (and hopefully answering) Their Questions or Objections
Since selling a home can be a complicated and emotional process, newer home sellers may not think of every possible question or objection right away. Instead of giving someone else the opportunity to answer them, you can use your package to anticipate and hopefully address many of their questions and concerns.
Thinking Past the Sale
Thinking past the sale is an old (and somewhat maligned) sales technique that encourages people to think like they’ve already said yes. You probably already do this with your buyer clients already without really thinking about it. Asking a buyer how they would lay out furniture in a home they’re viewing is a good example. You’re subtly making them think they’ve already said yes.
A good pre listing package does an incredible job of helping your homeowner think past the sale. For example, when you outline your sales or marketing process for them, they’re imagining what it would be like to work with you. Or, if you provide sample listing contracts or disclosures (already signed by you) they can’t help but imagine themselves signing them.
Design Matters: A Well Designed Pre Listing Package Can Have an Amazing ROI
Since your pre listing package is a great way to get your foot in the door and help guide the conversation, it makes sense to invest some money and make it great. Remember, your pre listing package should show off your marketing skills as well as what kind of service you’ll provide. A well designed and hand delivered package will show them you take both very seriously.
Going Above and Beyond
Seattle Real Estate Professional Phil Greely understood that in order to stand out and show off the level of service he offers clients, he needed an amazing pre listing package. He worked with Bridget Morris at Bella Forte Designs to create a gorgeous custom box for his Ipad presentation.
He then had this box sent to his homeowner via courier. All of the homeowners he sent his package to were completely blown away by the luxurious packaging he sent his iPad presentation in. Getting his iPad back was also a perfect excuse to come see them even if they backed out of the listing appointment.
While sending an iPad in a sumptuous custom box might not be in your budget right now, you can still take cues from Phil to create a package that will show them you care deeply about great service and marketing. Here’s how to achieve a similar effect on a shoestring budget.
Hire a Professional Graphic Designer to Make Your Package Shine
The difference between a cookie cutter presentation designed in Microsoft Word and a professionally designed one is vast. Once you have some pictures you like, send them over to BoxBrownie.com. You’ll get a fully-enhanced image in just 24 hours for only $1.60 that will take your package from drab to fab. Click here for a free trial.
Work on Your Presentation
Once you have a beautifully designed pre listing package, the next step is to make sure it looks just as impressive when your client receives it. Look into buying custom folders, binders, or presentation kits, that will make your package look like an important document rather than just another pitch.
Courier, Overnight Fedex, or Hand Delivery Make it Seem More Important
Let’s face it. Important documents come via courier or overnight fedex. Less important documents (and junk mail) are unceremoniously stuffed into your mailbox. In order to give your pre listing package the air of importance it deserves, send it via courier, overnight Fedex or hand delivery. You might also want to consider setting up a quick pre listing appointment to drop it off in person.
Expert Tip: Drop Your Pre Listing Package Off in Person
Kathryn Bishop, Los Angeles Realtor
“I want to establish a comfortable relationship with the sellers: learn more about them, their thoughts, and goals during this short visit.
The written material is intended to educate them about my abilities, strengths and resources. They now have an opportunity to call my references and put their questions together for my “listing” appointment.
When I come back, I have a full listing package, repeating the pre-listing material and adding a specific marketing plan, marketing theme, comparables, recommended listing price, staging tips determined by my first visit, etc.”
Example Pre Listing Presentations:
Here are a few example pre listing packages to give you a sense of what people are sending today.
Carlsbad Realtor Jeff Dowler
The Bottom Line
Your pre listing package is one of the most important marketing pieces you have in your arsenal, so spending some time and money making it shine can have a great ROI. Take the time to create different packages for different homeowners, make sure your package looks beautiful, and try and hand deliver whenever possible.
And be sure to check out BoxBrownie.com which offers high quality real estate photo editing, virtual staging, and floor plan redraws, so you can wow your clients with a professional-looking package.