Monday, December 11, 2006

Making Your Real Estate Listings SOAR

This article from Marketing Profs was primarily about how to market yourself during a job interview, but I feel that it is extremely applicable to a listing presentation. After all, during a real estate listing or real estate sales presentation, you are really applying for a job. The article details the SOAR approach to selling yourself. The author’s description of SOAR is to use an example that has the S.O.A.R components, as described below, to demonstrate your value and unique selling proposition. Maybe a better name for the approach is “Let me give you an example of how quickly I can sell your home for maximum profit.”

Here are the points as described by the article:
Situation: The situation (briefly) provides the context for the specific accomplishment you want to talk about. This allows the other party to find out the basic facts about the situation you dealt with and establish an overall context for what you are talking about. A mistake people often make is that they forget they need only set the scene and not tell their whole life story.

Example: "We were dealing with a situation where voluntary attrition rates among employees were running as high as 50%. As a result, the morale was low, the customer service was poor, and the hidden costs were sky high. We estimated that the total cost to the business was more than $3 million annually. This was clearly not sustainable."

Obstacles: The obstacle describes why the situation was particularly problematic or thorny. It describes why your accomplishment deserves even greater kudos. Depending on the situation, particularly a forward-looking scenario, you can also use "O" for Opportunity instead of obstacles.

Example: "What made this situation even more difficult was that we were dealing with several call centers across the country with different job markets and leadership styles. To make things worse, the unemployment rate was at a historic low. In essence we were dealing with an employee's market."

Actions: The actions describe specific actions you took to remedy the situation or capitalize on the opportunity. The actions are only important to the extent they will showcase the competencies in question. Make sure that you describe the actions with powerful verbs rather than worn-out, boring expressions. (Hint: Highlight the word in question in Microsoft Word and press Shift-F7 for synonyms.)

Example: "I scrutinized the attrition data using a sophisticated statistical technique. Based on that, I generated profiles of employees who were leaving the company at a much faster rate than the average. I brainstormed with the larger team the root causes. We crafted specific action plans in three key areas: selection, engagement, and leadership effectiveness. We rolled out these insights in the form of an employee retention workshop with the help of the leadership team on the ground."

Results: Just as the proof of the pudding is in eating, the proof of your accomplishment is in the results. This is where the value of your solution is demonstrated. Make them powerful also using action verbs. The results need to be believable, justifiable, and sustainable.

Example: "The result was a dramatic 40% improvement in employee retention in less than six months. There was an equally dramatic upsurge in customer satisfaction and in quality scores of 10 percentage points. Most importantly, the enhanced retention was responsible for slashing more than $1.5 million in recruitment, training, quality, and productivity costs."

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