Reader Q&A: How Do I Create a Listing Packet on a Small Budget?

The listing packet is an important part of a real estate agent’s marketing plan. If the prospect sees your listing packet, that means they have already invited you in. You are in their home speaking to them about listing it. It’s make or break time. Are you ready to close the deal? Here’s today’s question from a reader:

Question:

I am a Canadian rural Realtor. What exactly should I put in a listing package / presentation on a small budget? How do I do this without having to be a “high-tech” person with a lot of computer and design experience?

Answer:

This is a great question. Not all real estate brokerages offer listing packets and other marketing material to their agents, and many that do have them available don’t offer the best quality or most attractive designs (sorry guys, its true). There is also the chance that you are with a well known company that does offer you some great marketing, but you want to do something a little different to set yourself apart. In any case, if you want or need to create a listing packet, the first place to start is deciding what content it needs to contain.

(Click here for a free Ebook I wrote on selling more real estate fast)

The Important Content That Every Listing Packet Needs.

CMA / Comps / Data. Many agents think of their listing packet and the CMA being something different. They think of it as two different packets of information that they are presenting to their prospect. This is B.S. The comps and data that you pull are part of your listing packet / presentation. In fact they are arguably the most important part. The more perpared you are with real data about the real estate in the prospect’s neighborhood, the more competent that makes you appear. Wait, scratch that. I shouldn’t say “appear”. The more thorough you are with collecting and reviewing that that you are the more competent you really ARE.  And that will show. It will allow you to have an intelligent conversation with the about all the details of sales in their neighborhood. You should know the average days on market. And the average sale price per square foot. And how many properties are currently on the market. And the median sold price, etc…

This is also a great thing to add to your listing presentation without adding much money to your budget and without needing any special computer experience. You can simply log into your MLS and print out different reports. Now simply put them in a binder with the rest of your listing packet and you are ready to go.

Your Marketing Plan. This is another one of my favorites. Their is a pretty strong notion out there that real estate agents simply take listing and “throw” them on the MLS. You are very likely to come across people that think that. Usually they try to use this as a way to negotiate the commission down, or somethimes they may list and just feel like they are overpaying. In either case, it is beneficial for you to show them that you run a solid business and use every tool avaiable to you to market their home including, but not limited to, the local MLS. There is a huge list of things you can put in your marketing section if you are able to offer them. I’m sure you already do offer many of these. Let’s list a few (some are pretty obvious, but when making a list of things we do for a client it is good to be thorough):

  • Professionally designed and highly visible yard sign indicating that the home is for sale. The sign will contain a website URL that people can easily visit to get more details on the home and contact us for a showing. Their is also a direct line they can call to speak with a real person about your home.
  • Syndication to over 100 websites so your home is visible on the Internet. Sites your home will appear on include the highest ranked and most trafficked real estate sites in our area including Zillow.com, Trulia.com and Realtor.com. (Note: Most MLS listings are syndicated to a large number of sites. If you are not sure about which sites or how many your MLS syndicates to, be sure to ask your Broker or speak with somebody at your local Realtor association.)
  • Manual submission to to highly trafficked website to gain increased exposures for your listings. (Sites include Craigslist.com, Backpage.com, Ebay Local, etc… These sites to not automatically pull data from the MLS to display listings, you have to manually post ads to them. They are a great source of extra traffic and exposure for your listings.)
  • Your home will be featured on a “Just Listed” postcard that will be mailed to a selected audience.
  • Your home will be featured on our website which is heavily promoted through Google, Social Media, yard signs, mailings, business cards and more.
  • Your home will be featured on all of our social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • We will produce a video walk-through of your home that will appear on YouTube, Facebook, and many other social media outlets. The video will also be viewable on our website, our blog, and anywhere else someone chooses to embed and share it.
  • Highly publicized open houses. We invite local brokers and agents, as well as the general public.
  • Notification to our large buyer list. We have new buyers contacting us every day. Your property listing will be emailed to these buyers that are on our waiting list to find the perfect house.

These are just a few ideas that can be used in the marketing section of your listing packet. Obviously you don’t want to mention any of these if you are not able to offer them.

Other points to cover in your listing packet. There are a number of other things to cover which are all designed to help the seller feel that you are qualified to sell their home for them.

  • Your experience. (Leave this out if you are brand new.)
  • Your accreditation’s. Mention anything that you are a member of, that you accomplished, or certifications that you have received. Obviously you will want to mention if you are a member of the Realtor association. Other things to mention could include any classes you have taken and any certifications you have received. Non-real-estate affiliations can be good to mention as well. For example if you are a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, or any other sort of business group.
  • Your accomplishments. This is similar to the last bullet point, but a little less formal. I’m talking about things you have done that show you are credible, but may not have any sort of membership or certification attached to them. For example, I do a lot of public speaking talking about real estate. That is something that I could mention to show that I am an “expert” in the real estate field. I also own rental property, which shows that I understand the buying, selling and rental process. Any type of relevant experience that you have should be listed.
  • The listing process from A to Z. I probably should have mentioned this one earlier, since it is really important and way too many people overlook it. A seller will feel much more comfortable if you have the listing process completely spelled out. They should know how it begins, the in-between points, and the exit process (which hopefully means the property is sold, but they need to understand the other options such as expiring or what your policy is for ending a listing early).
  • Who you are. You can include a quick bio on you, your background, and why you are the most kick-ass real estate agent around. Why you were born to sell real estate.  Show people in a short paragraph or two that you really love what you do and that you are driven to be the best.
I strongly suggest that you completely write all of the content for your listing packet before you even think about what it is going to look like. The process of writing it is a completely different process than designing it. You should keep these separate. Just open up a word document. Type the heading for each section. Next, go back through and type the bullet points or sub-sections for each. Finally, go back and type the content. Be sure to proof read it multiple times, and have at least 2 other people do the same thing. Typos in an email to someone can slip through, but when you are giving them a professional marketing package many people will be more critical.

Making it all look nice.

This can be the hard part if you are not technically savvy or do not have an eye for graphic design. I always designed my own, but I have a background in graphic design and web development, so that worked for me. If you do not have a budget to hire someone, I would suggest downloading a template. I hate the idea of using generic templates, but on a tight budget they will work. And I still hope that you will take some time to rearrange some of the items and make the template your own. Microsoft has a bunch of templates available for Word and Publisher, and I know there are many more resources out there on the Internet for free real estate brochure and marketing templates.

Now get out there and list some houses.

A good listing packet can give a prospective seller a very good impression of you. Take your time when writing the content, and when designing it. And after you have it all put together make sure you know the content inside and out. Make sure that you are able to present smoothly on confidently when you are sitting in front of the seller. Being confident and coming across that way goes a long way towards making people trust that you know what you are doing.

 (Click here for a free Ebook I wrote on selling more real estate fast)

Looking for a good home inspector in Michigan? Check out HJ Home Inspections.

Author: Justin Razmus

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1 Comment

  1. Good advice. I work at a small company and they didn’t provide me with any sort of marketing. You gave me some really good ideas of what I can add to mine.

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