Losing a client’s listing can be devastating as a real estate agent, especially if you’ve put a lot of your time and energy into trying to sell their property. But it happens. When it does, you need to analyse why it happened.
But depending on the situation, losing a listing may not necessarily be a bad thing. There can be times when it’s best to let a listing go.
You may have done everything you possibly can, but you just can’t move a property and you might be able to spend your time more effectively selling other listings.
But there are other times when you’ll want to fight to get your client back. At the very least, it’s important to learn from these situations so you can prevent them from happening regularly.
Here are the top three reasons why you may have lost a listing, as well as some tips for what to do in each situation.
1. You didn’t communicate regularly with your client
The process of trying to sell their home can be an emotional experience for your clients. They want to know that you’re working hard for them as their agent.
Unfortunately, many agents don’t communicate enough with their clients during the selling process and it can result in them losing the listing.
You need to regularly be in touch with your clients to tell them what you’re doing to sell and market their property, including the market feedback and level of interest that you’re getting from prospective buyers.
Don’t just assume that they’ll know what you’re doing. Keep them informed every step of the way. If you don’t, they’ll think you’re not doing anything or that you’re not working hard enough for them.
2. You weren’t upfront with your client
When you’re trying to get a client’s listing, it’s important to be upfront and honest with them.
For example, if they have unrealistic price expectations, it’s your job to bring them back to reality right from the start.
A good agent manages their client’s expectations by highlighting the market value of comparable properties when they first make their pitch for the client’s listing.
If you don’t manage your client’s price expectations, you’re just setting them up for disappointment.
You’re also setting yourself up for failure when you bring them offers that inevitably fall short of their inflated expectations. Or worse, when you can’t get them any offers for their property at all because you’ve listed it an unrealistic price.
Being upfront with your client also means outlining how they can work with you to make their home as sellable as possible before you even list it.
Properties need to be as presentable as possible (both inside and out) to sell in today’s highly competitive real estate market.
That might mean that you need to ask the client to tidy up their yard or do some repairs and maintenance inside their home before you even list their property.
They also need to be prepared to keep it neat and tidy once you’ve listed it and have begun the sales and marketing process.
You need to make that clear to them right from the outset because a well-presented property is obviously easier for you to sell to prospective buyers. It also helps you to get the maximum possible selling price.
3. You didn’t work hard (or smart) enough for your client
You should always reflect on your sales and marketing campaign when you lose a listing. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t. What could (or should) you have done differently to sell the property if you’ve lost the listing?
That sort of honest self-analysis helps you to improve as an agent and that’s what you should be striving for. All agents lose listings from time to time. But the best agents lose less than others because they learn from their experiences and don’t keep making the same mistakes.
The bottom line
If you’ve lost a listing and you want to get it back, keep in mind that your client’s emotions were probably running high when they made that decision.
Give them a bit of space before you get back in touch with them. That will give you time to analyse what went wrong and to come up with a plan for how you can rectify the situation and hopefully win their confidence (and their listing) back.
Giving them a bit of space will also give them a chance to calm down and gain perspective, so they can more logically evaluate your revised plan for selling their property.