Real Estate

My No. 1 Secret For Effective Listing Conversations Without Rote Scripts

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To be at the top of your game in real estate, there is one conversation in particular you must master — the listing conversation. Note the distinction that we’re calling it a conversation, not a presentation. To have a listing “presentation” denotes that the agent is there to “present” or put on a show. In my experience, especially with today’s consumers, that’s selling — not serving. 

However, when agents come into a seller’s home to have a conversation, to be truly present and engaged and eager to find out what it really is that the sellers are committed to so that they can help them accomplish those goals — that’s where they not only will earn a listing, but also the trust and respect of those sellers and the foundation for creating customers for life.

I’m sharing the No. 1 secret to delivering a solid listing presentation without having to memorize complicated and “salesy” scripts. 

What’s the secret?

The not-so-secret inside secret for having these conversations without feeling like you’ve just brought a cold can of prepackaged script to your seller’s kitchen table is using metaphors and analogies to communicate your process, the industry, and the value you bring. When you do, two things happen…

1. You don’t have to rely on memorized scripts.

This is good for you and your clients because you’re more present, more engaged, and active listening rather than focusing on what to “say next” from your speech. It’s more natural, honest, and organic – therefore it works so much better! 

2. You communicate more effectively on many levels.  

Metaphors and analogies are communication connectors – they help people connect the dots mentally and emotionally during conversations. 

Let me give you an example: 

Imagine you’re working with a potential seller who says they want to use a service that will just put their listing on the internet. To explain why this limited service won’t get the best job done for them, I like to use the hammer analogy. 

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, imagine if instead of selling your home you decide to build an extension and improve the property. So, you go to the local big box store head over to the tool aisle, and buy the biggest, best, most impressive hammer they have, and you bring it home and put it on the kitchen counter.

My question is do you think that hammer is going to, of its own volition, build you an extension?  No, of course not, right?  Because the hammer is just a tool and one tool in itself is not going to get you the results you want. 

That’s what putting your home on the MLS is as well. It’s just a tool. One tool to help get your home sold. One tool is not enough.

You also need someone who knows how to use that tool and everything else in the tool chest. 

Take that same hammer and put it in the hands of an inexperienced contractor and sure, you might get that extension built, eventually, but at what cost? What will the quality of the result be? However, give it to a licensed, bonded, experienced contractor and you’ll get an extension that improves the value of your home and creates a space your family will love and trust. 

The same is true when selling your home. In this market, to get the best price for your home, a higher return on your investment, and protect your family’s interest – especially in multiple offer situations, you need a lot more tools than just an MLS listing (or hammer!). 

Let me show you the tools I have to get your home sold for the most money in the least amount of time with the fewest headaches…”

Can you see how using that analogy can shift a seller’s mindset and get them to look at something differently than they might have if you were “just speaking real estate”? Metaphors and analogies help make sense of even complicated situations by breaking them down into easy-to-relatable terms. 

 Even if you only read the hammer analogy once, you get the concept so you wouldn’t need to memorize it to explain it to a seller. That’s the key – find an analogy that works for your most common tools and objections (we’ve got a million of them) and soon enough they will become a natural part of your conversations. 

There has never been a more important time as a real estate professional to take your communication skills to the next level. Competition is high, and buyers and sellers need you more than ever to navigate a complex market. 

Teaching agents to use metaphors, analogies, and stories to communicate more effectively has been a cornerstone of our coaching program for more than 35 years. Why? Because it works, and because it helps agents approach conversations with more presence and authenticity.  They are tremendous connection tools that agents can start to learn and explore immediately. 

How can you start to dive in, ditch scripts and authentically use metaphors and analogies in your own conversations? 


Then practice some more. Picture the amazing professionals on the old show Who’s Line is it Anyway? They were given a prompt and then, BOOM, they had to work it into a conversation.

That kind of language agility doesn’t normally just happen, we know. But wow, when you can conceptualize it and practice it, it can truly be the game point when you are competing with other agents. Plus, honestly, it can be a fun and rewarding challenge. So much so that we are bringing in an improv instructor for our next event to teach this very skill.

Study everyday objects and scenarios

Become an observer of your environment and the everyday interactions and objects around you. Think about how common things and situations can relate to real estate concepts. For example, compare a well-oiled machine to a smoothly run open house, or liken a ship navigating through a storm to navigating through a tough market. This will expand your library of analogies to draw from when you need them.

Read widely and diversely

Exposure to different subjects, such as psychology, business, sports and even literature, can provide a wealth of material for analogies. Reading widely helps you understand how different fields explain complex concepts in simple terms. Incorporate this learning into your real estate conversations to make complex real estate processes understandable to clients.

Know your niche

Specializing in a particular niche requires an in-depth understanding of what drives and motivates that specific group. Whether your clients are doctors, lawyers, seniors or first-time homebuyers, gaining insights into their unique needs and perspectives enables you to craft on-the-spot metaphors that resonate deeply and foster stronger connections.

Lean into learning metaphors and analogies and you’ll never have to learn another memorized script in your life. Remember to practice, study, educate yourself and stay focused on your niche topics that can really help you stand out in a crowd.  

Darryl Davis is the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube

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