The Takeaway with Nobu Hata, Featuring Amy Broghamer
Amy Broghamer of KW Advisors, Keller Williams Realty, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky, uses a 21-step process to sell each and every listing she takes. She shares her steps with Nobu Hata, director of member engagement with the National Association of REALTORS®, in his podcast, The Takeaway with Nobu Hata.
The Takeaway With Nobu Hata is an audio podcast series. It features in-depth discussions on business-building tips that successful real estate pros are using in the field.
Listen and share The Takeaway with Nobu Hata.
Nobu Hata, NAR Director of Member Engagement: Welcome to The Takeaway, folks! This is Nobu Hata, Director of Member Engagement for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. I am stoked to bring you Amy Broghamer. Amy, where in the world are you calling in from?
Amy Broghamer, KW Advisors, Keller Williams Realty, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky: I am located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I also service parts of Northern Kentucky, which is right across the river.
Nobu: You’ve got a really good process to sell every listing that you have and set expectations with sellers and to follow up with them and after the transaction. You are willing to share your secrets and success with us?
Nobu: Awesome! Before we get into actually talking about selling every listing, I want to talk to you about how you’re able talk to For Sale by Owners (FSBOs)? Everyone kicks around the idea of selling their home on their own, but you get a ridiculous amount of people knocking on your door to sell their listing. When it comes to somebody who’s thinking about selling on their own, what kind of advice can you give them about the value you bring to the table in a day and age where people think they can throw it online and sell their home?
Amy: Yes, that brings up many steps in our process. First of all, one of the most important questions I ask when I’m prequalifying a seller is, have you thought about selling the home on your own? A lot of agents fear in asking that question because they’re going to get the answer, “Yes, I’m going to try and sell it on my own.” I’d rather know that up front and then I ask them, if they do want to do that, how are they going to do it? How long are you going to attempt that for? What appeals to you about doing that? And just have a conversation with them and understand from their viewpoint what they think the value is of that? Our job as real estate professionals is to show our value. The more value you add, the more valuable you become and so if you’re not sharing your value with a For Sale by Owner, they’re not going to understand what it is. So, it’s our job to do that. We begin that in our introduction package or what is typically referred to as a prelisting package. Also, value is given when we’re asking our prequalification questions in the marketing strategy. I mean every single step of the way if you’re not spelling your value to them, they don’t understand what it is.
The other thing that we know—and we know it from NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers—is that 92 percent of FSBOs end up listings, so it’s totally fine if they want to try it on their own and find out how long they’re going to do that and let them know you’ll be here if and when they decide they need assistance, because 92 percent of people do need assistance. And we also know from the NAR report that when an agent is involved in a transaction, the average sale is 38 percent higher. That is massive.
Nobu: It’s an amazing thing! I think one of the things that you do that I don’t hear a lot of agents doing is nipping these problems in the bud. I think a lot of folks are shy about asking these simple questions because what seller hasn’t thought about selling their home on their own? Kudos to you for talking about this upfront. It needs to happen more, because sellers need to understand what the reality is. Here’s HGTV, right? Selling a home isn’t even close to what things look like online.
Nobu: How do you do those prequalification sessions? Is it via email? Is it over the phone?
Amy: Yes, I have a two page questionnaire that I go through on the phone and that’s the first step to my process. It’s about a 15-30 minute phone call. I developed it over my 12-year career of learning how to ask the questions in a right way and in the right order to build rapport, gain trust, get the information I need to verify this is the listing I want to move forward with, because sometimes the best listings you take are the ones you don’t. And to make sure the person on the other end of the phone understands that this is a legitimate business transaction and they need to treat it as such. We are setting that expectation from the very beginning and these questions set me apart from anyone else that they are talking to.
The very first question I ask sets the tone for the whole call is, Do I have permission to be honest with you about what it is going to take to get your home sold? Rarely do I hear no. If I do, we’re done! Trust is the most important part of this process and if it’s not established, I can’t do my job. Another really great question—and speaking of questions that agents don’t like to ask—is, Are you planning on interviewing other agents in selling your home? I would really like to know the answer now versus after I have spent all of this time going through the process.
Nobu: And this is regardless of whether or not these people have been referred to you, right? So, cold seller or warm or hot seller, you do ask and you get these questions out of the way quickly?
Amy: Seriously, you never assume anything.
Nobu: Are you finding more and more of your sellers are interviewing other agents regardless if they have been referred to you?
Amy: Rarely, and if I ask the question and they say yes, they are going to interview someone else, I ask them, How did you receive the information? And then I ask some questions, like, What is important to you about the agent that you hired so I can understand from their perspective what they are looking for, so I can position myself correctly? A lot of times when I ask them if they’re interviewing somebody else, after they get through this 30 minute call with me, and they understand the depth of the questions and they see a couple of the items from my introduction package, honestly more than half of the time they don’t even interview the other agent. They see how professional this process is.
Nobu: Between your prequalification and your in-person meeting you do something pretty unique too, right? You do these video emails to these prospective sellers. It’s kind of a pre-strategy education session? Can you give folks what you do in those videos?
Amy: So, it’s basically an easier way to deliver a pre-listing package, which is extremely important to set myself apart as the expert as soon as possible in the transaction. I realized that the easy way for me to do that and the most efficient way and the way I know that they’ll get it every single time is to do a series of video emails. I mention that at the end of my prequalification phone call that they’ll be getting a series of five emails that will tell them what it’s like to work with my team, expectations that we might have, and it’ll answer the questions that they may have or that they may have in the future. I ask them if they will take the time to watch and read those prior to our pricing and strategy meeting when we sit down together. And those videos paired with the email copy and a couple of additional documentation items like my process and I will show them with the process looks like so they can follow along. But the video is the key. The video is what really engages a seller and it endears them to you. It builds trust and rapport so quickly and what I found is when I’m doing these video emails and the people watch them and get informed by them, when I arrive for the pricing and strategy meeting, which is generally the first time I’m meeting them, I get a hug from them at the front door like they’ve known me their whole life. I’m just meeting them for the first time.
Nobu: Video is great for rapport.
Amy: It’s unbelievable for rapport and only five percent of agents are actually using it. It’s setting you apart from the very minute that you put them on that campaign.
Nobu: And you use BombBomb or MailChimp, or something like that?
Amy: I use BombBomb, MailChimp, a bunch of different options to do that. Currently, BombBomb is very easy and intuitive.
Nobu: Yes, that’s a great way to use the video and these are no longer than 30 seconds or a minute, right? How long are these introductory videos?
Amy: They are less than two minutes in general and then there’s a couple of paragraphs of information and they usually link to one or two items. Maybe it’s a testimonial or an article about staging or pre-inspections that we want them to review or understand before we sit down face-to-face.
Nobu: It makes that face-to-face meeting less of a presentation and more of a strategy meeting, which I think is fantastic. You have these meetings, you get the hug, and you do the strategy meeting. Is this where you set expectations with them and you kind of cement the previous communication in stone with them? Like here’s my team, here’s the way we work, this is the reason I work 9-5 during the week, which is unheard of nowadays. These strategy sessions: what goes into them? And how are you impacting these folks?
Amy: Well, the purpose of sending a lot of that information in the beginning is so we don’t have to address it at the meeting. I’m generally not repeating myself at all, but expectations begin to be set from the very moment that we schedule our prequalification phone call. I give them times between 8 and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to schedule the call. I do a quick site visit before I start my pricing analysis and I’ll schedule that between 8 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. When we schedule that pricing and strategy meeting, I will give them some time that I’m available. I may do a 6 to 7 a.m. meeting to accommodate their work schedule, but, again, I’m giving them the times that I’m available and with technology these days, we can do a Zoom call online. I can share my screen. I can show the reports that I’m showing them in a strategy meeting and we can all be in our own offices doing it in the middle of the day and nobody has to drive anywhere. There’s no reason why we can’t come up with ways to minimize our work.
Nobu: We let our clients kind of dictate our time. This is an issue. We try to get folks to look at us like doctors, lawyers, and accountants, and all of that other stuff, but doctors and lawyers have 9-5 hours too and it should be no difference if you’re a professional.
Amy: And you know what’s funny is, this week I’ve been dealing with a man and his wife and he’s just not interested in being at the meeting. I told them unless you can both be there I’m not going to move forward with you, because I need to know that you’re motivated to get this done. If you can’t make a meeting, a phone meeting, a video meeting than I just don’t think we’re a fit. Again, disqualifying, looking for red flags, and being aware of them.
Nobu: And how has that message gone over with the person who doesn’t want to meet? It does provide a lot of insight into them and their motivation.
Amy: It sure does, and he was willing to do a video meeting, so we have scheduled that, but I’m a hundred percent ready to walk away.
Nobu: What do you use for these video meetings?
Amy: I’ve been using Zoom, and it’s great. You can share your screen. It’s like $14 a month. You can record the meeting. The video quality is good and its super intuitive to use, and you can use it on a phone, an ipPad or a laptop, or whatever method you need.
Nobu: We’re talking using an Uber conference service and that does the exact same thing, free conference call with screen sharing. It’s really amazing what technology can do when you’re thinking about removing friction from the process, which is what you do in your seller presentation. Because a lot of folks don’t realize how hard it is to sell a house. As that NAR report shows, 92 percent of folks out there realize that, per the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, but you’re doing this everyday with sellers who think they can do it on their own.
Amy: Yeah, once I show them the process—which is my 21-step process—I think they begin to realize there’s a lot more to this than what they originally thought. They know right where we’re at in the process and what’s going to happen next. They feel informed. Maybe they feel a little overwhelmed, so they need me and my team and we just get the job done.
Nobu: And you have specialists within your team that the sellers can call if they should have any questions, correct? That is the best way to build a team.
Amy: Yes, we’re a small team and integrity and client care are the number one and two things that we focus on. So, I’m the listing specialist. We have a buyer specialist. Even so, it’s important to make sure that our clients who hire us know that if you hire Amy you work with Amy. I do have an administrative assistant who makes sure our paperwork is in and everybody finds everything and keeps us on track. She’s always at her desk to answer questions so that’s always available to them but so am I.
Nobu: So true. The hands-on approach and even to real estate online now is the thing. Well, we’ve talked about four of the 21 steps that you have to selling your listing and you’re going to give the listeners here the rest of your steps in a nice little flyer?
Nobu: You teach classes on this, too, right, remotely and what not?
Amy: Yes, I have an online course that’s a 7-week course and it’s called “Sell 100 Percent of Your Listings” and it helps agents understand a repeatable process that’ll get their listings sold every time. And it also helps them bullet proof the transaction and makes sure that there are no surprises.
It’ll sell the homes quicker and for more money. We’ve got something like 13-hours of content on that 7-week class.
Nobu: Awesome! And you also do a lot for CRS as well? I know you are a celebrity with the CRS folk. So, I do appreciate your time! Amy, thank you so much for spending time with us at The Takeaway here!
Nobu: Thank you for tuning in!
About Our Speakers
Nobu Hata is the director of digital engagement for the National Association of REALTORS®. Before joining NAR, he was a real estate agent with Edina Realty in Minnesota. The self-described geek has called Alaska and Minnesota home. Now, he’s in in Chicago or on the road meeting with REALTORS® and association executives to talk about NAR, their business, and the integration of digital technologies in the real estate industry.