List to Last-Seven Steps To Success

List to Last-A Blog Series: By Rick Guthrie
#4 Seven Steps To Success

Continuing on with my “List to Last Series”, did you practice the appraisal script? Like I’ve said I believe your ability to explain that process is crucial in you getting the proper initial list price.

Moving forward I want to talk about my seven steps to success. Initially you had a great rapport building conversation, with the sellers, when you set up your listing appointment. Then you put together a Kickin’ Listing Presentation using my A.B.C listing format. Now it’s time for the appointment. These are the seven things I constantly do once I arrive and before the actual presentation or conversation. So here are the seven steps to success;

  1. Show Up On Time. Everyone knows you always arrive on time, but don’t arrive early. They’re trying to get meals done or kids to bed or whatever. Just show up on time.
  2. Knock on the door, hand them a card and offer to remove your shoes. Removing your shoes shows them that you respect their property and sets a precedence in their mind.
  3. Greet Everybody. You may see some little ones, hanging around, at their parent’s side seeing who’s at the door. Showing them that they’re important sends a message to everyone. Occasionally you’ll see a retired couple in the living room hanging around. That’s most likely Mom and Dad watching out for their kid’s best interest. Maybe that’s in reverse and it’s the adult kids watching out for Mom and Dad’s best interest. You just need to say hi to everyone. Getting all of the adults to the table for the presentation is important. If you can make that happen you’re golden…Trust me!steps to success
  4. Go to the Staging Area and Lay down your Presentation Packet. This is where the presentation will take place. This needs to be an area where the sellers can be across from you. This way they can see the presentation and you can see them. Preferably the dining room or kitchen table works the best. The reason I place my packet there is to let them know this is where it’s all going to take place.
  5. Ask For a Tour of the Home. Lead the tour if you can. The script may sound like this: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller may I get a tour of your home? Hey let’s start in the kitchen and then we can move to the family room.” The reason I like to lead the tour, if possible, is to show them a “Take Charge” type of attitude. The tour should take as long as it takes and you should have a pen and pad taking notes. Any professional would take that approach. Caution, at this time try not to make negative observations about the condition of the home. We’ll handle that after we go through the presentation. If they ask questions on that topic, during the tour, my script is this; “You know once we get your home listed tonight, I’ll walk through your home with the eyes of a buyer and make some humble suggestions on what you need to do to get you home ready to sell. Fair enough?”
  6. Go Back to The Staging Area and Seat everyone like its Thanksgiving Dinner. The reason I seat them is the couple tends to go to their usual chairs, which is at the opposite end of the table. You want them right in front of you.
  7. Don’t Accept anything to Eat or Drink. What happens is that a great host or hostess will see your coffee cup or water glass empty and they will get up from the presentation to fill it. This breaks your pattern and you don’t want that. When they ask, I just politely say, “No Thanks I’m fine”.


So practice my “Seven Steps to Success” and see how that works for you. It gets you and the sellers in a great mindset and sets the stage for an incredible presentation.


Try it out and as always, “You have a Great Month Today”.


List to Last- Explaining The Appraisal Process

List to Last- Blog Series
#3 Explaining The Appraisal Process.

By Rick Guthrie

I hope you’ve tried my A.B.C. listing format. If you haven’t go to and read that blog.

In the ‘’A” section or the Agreement on price section it is extremely important to explain the appraisal process to the sellers. This well help you get market pricing based off of your comparables. Once a seller understands what the function of an appraiser is and how they protect the lending institution’s interest, you can have more of a business conversation about pricing. Most transactions will obviously have an appraiser involved and believe or not most sellers are not aware of how this works. Until you have that conversation with them I find pricing is more an emotional decision rather than a business decision. I remember a script I learned from someone 15 years ago, it went like this;
     “Mr. and Mr. Seller, once your home goes on the market it is no longer a home but a commodity so   we need to treat it as such”.

The appraiser places a value on behalf of the lending institution on that commodity and the sellers need to understand that. I explain the appraisal process right in the beginning of my listing conversation. My appraisal script is this;

Mr. and Mrs. Seller the first thing I want to you talk about is the appraisal process. Once we get your home listed tonight and a buyer brings an offer, the buyer’s lender, not the buyer, is going to engage the services of an appraiser. The appraiser is determining value for the lending institution. The appraiser is looking for three like properties (apples to apples) that have sold within your area within the last 3 months. They want to find at least one or more that have sold at your contracted price or higher. Do you understand? Certainly a lending institution would not lend more money than a home was worth and you as a buyer wouldn’t want to pay more than a home was worth right?”The Appraisal Process

Now once I have gotten verbal acknowledgement that they understand, I move forward. When you backup this script with great comps and what I call a location of comparables map you’ll find they will choose realistic pricing, which is good for everyone. Poor pricing costs you and more importantly them time, inconvenience and definitely money.

So try this appraisal script in your next listing presentation or conversation and see how it works. If you would like to see this in a YouTube video just email me at and I’ll send you a private link.

As always, “You have a great month today”


List to Last-The A.B.C. Listing Presentation

List to Last-A Blog Series:

By Rick Guthrie

#2. The A.B.C Listing Presentation

I hope you’re using a great Rapport Building Script like I outlined in my last blog. So let’s move forward and talk about your listing presentation or conversation which is what I like to call it.

Years ago I realized that sellers prefer to hear information in a certain order. If you ask yourself what would be the first thing a seller would want to hear? Well the answer of course is what their home is worth. Enter my A.B.C. listing.

The first section is the “A” section or “Agreement on Price”. I’ve found that if you’re talking about anything else first, at your listing appointment, the sellers are not really listening. So if I’m giving them my marketing plan first and they’re wondering what their home is worth at that point my information on my marketing plan is not really getting through. So in my “A” section I’m explaining in detail the pricing on their home backed up with comparable properties and illustrating why the market will bear that particular pricing strategy. Once I’ve done that I get their agreement before I move on. Once I get an agreement on price then I move to my “B” section.

The Listing The “B” section is for “Build Value”. This should define your marketing plan, your open               house schedule or whatever you do to bring them a buyer. Understand that when you get an  agreement on price a clock starts ticking. They’re wondering how much they’re going to put back in their pocket after they close. So move through this section quickly but still make it impressive and informative. If you do a pre-listing packet and drop it off it should be this Build Value Section or your Marketing Plan. When you get to this point in the conversation ask them if they’ve reviewed your marketing plan and do they have any questions. Then move on.

The “C” section quite simply is the Close. All this is for me is a customer estimated net sheet already filled out. Now I have a self-figuring net sheet and I know many do. It should be easy to explain and be padded with estimated buyer costs paid by seller. We want to show them worst case scenario what they’re going to be putting back in their pocket after a successful close.

After that is my closing question. You have to have a closing statement or question! Here is mine;

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller do you have any questions? No…. Great! When can we get your house in inventory?

If there’s any concerns they will come out then. I like to get all of the concerns or objections out on the table at the same time. One you should not hear is a pricing concern because we agreed on price 15 minute ago. Hmm you feeling the love.

I have a pre-made template and I teach this in a two day seminar so agents know it inside and out. The presentation is kind of plug and play. If you’re in the Northern Virginia area and you would like to attend, just email me at and I’ll let you know when the next seminar is taking place.

As always, “You Have a Great Month Today”!

List to Last-A Blog Series: The Rapport Building Script

List to Last-A Blog Series:

By Rick Guthrie

#1. The Rapport Building Script

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to go over some great techniques to consistently help you get ink on paper at your listing appointment. Remember the stats tell us that 65% of sellers were referred their agent by someone else or they have used them before. Also, 60% of those sign with the first agent they interview. The moral of the story? Work your database!

Building rapport with sellers before your listing appointment, I believe, is responsible for 50% of your success in getting their business. Let’s face it, if they feel like they know you and are comfortable with you, before you come to their home for the appointment, well that sets them at ease. I’ve used my rapport building script in two ways. Either as a questionnaire in a pre-listing appointment or over the phone days before my listing appointment. I’m a one stepper, which means I really don’t do pre-listing appointments. So the phone is my choice for the rapport building script. You would never have them just fill it out, it just defeats the whole concept of building rapport. My script is designed to do 4 things:

  1. Build massive rapportthe listing the rapport building script
  2. Identify concerns or objections before they come up and before my appointment
  3. Identify the sellers expectations
  4. Identify possible competition

Imagine if you went to your listing knowing what the seller’s hot buttons were. Or how about this; knowing what a concern or objection might be so you could handle it in your presentation before the sellers even bring it up. Would it be helpful if you knew about the 4, 7 and 15 year old that will hanging around during your appointment? Do you think your clients would appreciate a customer estimated net sheet that will show them what they will clear after a successful close? The rapport script asks for their estimated payoff to help you prepare that documentation.

Building rapport before the appointment will open up a whole dialogue that will initially pave the way to a great presentation and then cement a foundation to a long professional/client relationship. My rapport building script asked questions line by line with lines for seller responses. Also, it has an area at the end so you may identify possible concerns or objects and write them in. If you determine that you may have a possible concern that you will have to navigate, you can take it to a coach or manager that may be able to help you with a solution.

If you don’t have a rapport building script of your own, just email me at and I’ll email you mine.

And as always…..You have a great month today!


Confidence Comes From Training

Confidence Comes From Training

At the Fairfax Gateway Keller Williams office, in Fairfax, Virginia there are training classes offered each day of the week.  Monday through Friday there is at least one class that goes on in the market center that you can attend.

Ignite classes, the Listing it’s As Easy As ABC and Champion Title’s Builders Contract How To, just to name a few of the classes that are going on in the Fairfax Gateway Keller Williams office this month.  Contract Mastery class goes over one of the different aspects of the Virginia Contract each Tuesday at 1:30. Listings It’s As Easy As ABC is a two day seminar all about listing a home and how to give a great listing presentation to your clients.  In the class there will be a full listing presentation that will show you how a listing presentation should be done and to better prepare you to be the expert listing agent.

To be the best real estate agent you can be you have to have confidence and the best way to gain that is through training and practice.

If you would like to talk with me about moving to Keller Williams, ways to increase your business or just to introduce yourself please contact me. Look forward to hearing from you!

Fairfax Gateway

Rule of Nines- A Recipe for an Instant Profitable Database

Rule of Nines – A Recipe for an Instant Profitable Database

By Rick Guthrie

So how important is a database? Well according to NAR, 64% of all of home sellers in 2013 found their agent through family and friends or had used that agent in the past. Also, 65% said they would use that agent again. So I would say a working database is the most important business tool you have. I believe it can be the most cost effective with the greatest return.

All of that said, traditionally I find agents as a whole don’t and won’t focus on their database. Yes, this includes the veteran agents.

New agents, veteran agents here’s a quick way to kick start, immediately, a very profitable database. I call it my “Rule of Nines”. Here we go:

  1. Identify Nine of your closest friends or family. (We call these Core Advocates.)
  2. Get their permission to send them market stats and general real estate info.
  3. Explain to them how important this is to your career and place them on an 8X8 and 33 touch.
  4. Ask them if they could identify Nine of their closest friends and family that you could call to put on the same program.
  5. Explain how crucial this is to your success.
  6. Contact those Nineand put them on an 8X8 and 33 touchThe Rule of 9

Quick Math ….. 9 Core Advocates plus 9 of their Core Advocates is 90 in your database immediately.

Research shows, that for every 12 people you connect with in this way, you should expect to net 2 sales. For these 90 that would be 15 sales. Pretty awesome right? I’m finding that agents with no limitations on their thinking get immediate results from contacting their closest Core Advocates. Now if you have someone who is uncomfortable helping you with this, in my opinion, they’re probably not a true Core Advocate.


Once you get this in place start filling the rest of your database using the systems, tools and methods outlined in the book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”. If you don’t have this book email me at and I’ll tell you where you can get one.

I really encourage you to get this set up quickly utilizing your closest friends and family.

“The rule of Nine and you’ll be fine”

Blog you soon

Watch Out for Real Estate Traffic

Watch Out for Real Estate Traffic

By: Rick Guthrie

We as real estate agents need to watch out for real estate traffic as we head into the fall, which is when the real estate industry starts to slow down.  We need to be constantly researching the real estate market as the number of houses that are being listed and sold change. Agents need to be reporting to our sellers to keep them educated about the market and where it is heading.

A good agent is watching the housing market, a great agent is educating their clients about the market as it does change.  So, if a house isn’t selling it is most likely over priced.  As the market slows that would be the best time to be taking a look at other houses in the area that are on the market or have recently sold.

After doing your research, re-educating your seller about what their house should be listed at is a way of keeping your clients knowledgeable, about the industry.  Not only should you be contacting your sellers when the market is changing but you should also be following up with them about once a week.  You should be letting the sellers know about the feedback you are receiving from other agents about their home.  If people aren’t calling to see the house then that should be a big indicator that the house isn’t listed for the appropriate price to bring buyers in to make an offer.  Make pricing your focus this week!

If you would like to talk with me about moving to Keller Williams, ways to increase your business or just to introduce yourself please contact me by clicking here.  Look forward to hearing from you!

Well it's About Time-The FOCUS Triangle

Well it’s About Time – The FOCUS Triangle

By: Rick Guthrie

We’re back on my blog series “Plane, Space and Time”. Thanks for reading.

I want to continue with the blog, “Well it’s about time”. Last time we ended with the understanding that we would be discussing more on planning. Remember I wrote, “It’s all about knowing, having and doing”? Let’s expand on that with this great tool. This is too cool!

I would like to give credit where credit is due, but honestly I can’t remember who to give it to. All I know is this tool has morphed into something I got from someone. I’m guessing either Gary Keller and or John Maxwell or a combination of both. That said, I use it all the time. I call it the “Focus Triangle”.

When you have your “One Thing” that you need to accomplish, this is a great planning tool and crazy/simple to use. FOCUS triangle   Basically just draw a large triangle on a sheet of paper. In the middle of the triangle write in  what you need to accomplish. On the left side of the triangle write the word KNOW, on the  right side the word HAVE and on the bottom the word DO! Then draw four lines beside  each word and number those lines 1-4. Now as you can see, I have made one up and saved it  so I can grab it off of the computer any time I need it. If you want one, just email me at and I’ll get you one. So let’s put together a quick plan for our  Focus Triangle.

Let’s say you wanted to drop expired listing packets tomorrow, it may look like this;


What do I need to KNOW?
1. The Newly expired listings from the MLS
2. If they have been re-listed with another Realtor®
3. Quick stats on the property and area
4. Owner Information and if the property is vacant, the owners phone number

What do I need to HAVE?
1. The proper number of expired packets
2. A practiced great expired script
3. Routes and maps to the various expired occupied homes
4. A full tank of gas

What do I need to do?
1. Get up early
2. Door knock those expired listings on the way to the office
3. If no one is home, leave the packet. (I like to roll it up and put it in the garage door
4. Follow up with a phone call and put them on a daily 8X8.

There you made an easy quick plan. Now all you have to do is follow the plan. You’re saying to yourself, “That sounds too easy”…… It is!

You can use this for any type of lead generation, marketing planning or just doing the Saturday yard work. When I have a lot I think I have to do, I use this and I start doing the things I need to and should be doing. There is a difference. Again, I would prepare your Focus Triangle the night before so you’re ready to go the next day. Believe me you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished tons!

Blog ya’ soon

Is it Zulia or Trillow? Agent Please!

Is it Zulia or Trillow? Agent Please!

By: Rick Guthrie

How is the Zillow Trulia merger going to affect my business? That is what I have been asked all week by agents. If you have made it through the previous issues that have affected the housing industry why wouldn’t your business make it through this?

The way to have business is through relationships.  If you haven’t been working on finding your business through contacts then you probably don’t have much of a business.  Most people want to work with someone they know not the brand, or company but the person.  Don’t let a little blip on your radar keep you from accomplishing what you need to get done today in order to keep helping clients buy and sell their homes.

zulia or trillow

Do You Want a Home or a Deal?

Do You Want a Home or a Deal?

By: Rick Guthrie

Do you know the difference between buyers that are looking for a home and those that are looking for a deal? How are you communicating with your buyers and sellers?  A lot of buyers fall into one of two categories, the first category is buyers that are looking for a home and the other is those that are looking for a deal.

Take a look at your buyers and think about what is motivating them the move?  By knowing the difference and adjusting your strategy to better meet their needs you will not only have more success in finding them the best possible home but you will also save time and potentially create a life long customer. Remember if you aren’t hearing their needs and motivations to move then you may be missing the opportunity to help them find what they are looking for.

want a home