July 25, 2016 by Jeff Lowen
You’ve got a hot lead. A new prospective client that wants to sell… Or do they? Once you speak with them, you hear…
- We’re afraid we won’t be able to find another home if we sell.
- We don’t have enough equity in our current home to move right now.
- We think we should put some “negotiating room” in the price.
- We are not comfortable with your commission rate.
- We think we can save money if we FSBO.
Have you heard these? Do you know how to address them? Can you tell the difference between an objection, a concern and a condition? Can you ask the right questions to dig deep enough to even get to these questions?
I like to consider myself a real estate doctor. And what’s a doctor do? After the head nurse comes in and takes your vitals, asks a bunch of questions about history, current condition, aches, pains, etc… The doctor comes in and pokes, prods, pushes, twists, rubs, and feels; all the while watching you for where it hurts…
Then, he starts there.
That’s what you should do. This is the only way you’ll uncover what’s really going on in the hearts and minds of your clients ~ or prospective clients. Sure, you can learn scripts and dialogues, and those of you that know me, know that I’m big on that; however, if you aren’t prepared to dig deep and find out exactly what your prospects’ reasons and desires are, then you’re doing them (and yourself) a disservice.
In this day and age of information overload, every Jim, Jane, and Jack-be-nimble has some sort of blog or newsletter filled with ideas about what’s best for the home seller or buyer. And let’s face it, much of it is just noise.
Everyone is different and every situation unique. Yes, there are similarities, but if you’re a seller, you’re not interested in that. You are only interested how to solve your own real estate quandary that’s best for you and your family.
Not that I suggest you rush out and start working with them, but some of the best education I ever received in my real estate career was working with expired listings, for sale by owners and complete (cold) strangers. This not only built my circle of friends and relationships, but it caused me to practice. It makes me prepare. It demands I show up ready to play my “A” game. Did you know that the average professional football player practices nearly 3,000 hours in one season? And that’s just the ones that don’t make the playoffs! Do you call yourself a professional? If you’re practicing on paying customers, you’re doing yourself, your clients and the industry a severe disservice.
Even if you pride yourself on being the Facebook lead generating queen or king, at some point, you’ll have to find out what the problem your clients want you to solve. If you’re not prepared, you’ll end up treating the symptom and not the root issue. Realtors who treat symptoms end up losing the listing to another agent.
I know from experience, that sometimes people don’t want to divulge deep seeded information about their current situation without a little reach-around. I mean ya gotta give ’em some love first!
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Ever heard that one? When I look in the mirror, I sometimes see it tattooed to my forehead! It’s important to remind yourself of this regularly.
So how then, after all this setup, can we address the concerns of our clientele like the five statements above?
The first one, “We’re afraid we won’t be able to find another home if we sell,” is obviously a symptom of a much larger problem. A concern that may easily turn into concrete shoes in getting your clients to move in any direction. What if before this statement, comes, “We’re just not ready,” or “We want to wait and see what the market does…” You see, even driving down to the, ‘we’re afraid we won’t be able to find another home if we sell’ concern, could be a journey in itself. Still, as I said before this is a symptom. Chances are, there was or is currently an event in their lives that’s caused a bit of fear in the process of moving from one home to another without perfect, flawless timing that makes this a problem.
It could be anything from; advice they received from a work buddy, a story they read in a publication or heard on the radio or TV. If you don’t address this before going further, you’ve not only lost an opportunity to build the relationship, but you’ve subconsciously shown them that you don’t really care about it. And, if it’s advice from a friend or family member, you may just have dug a hole and forgot to toss out the shovel!
“Your actions speak louder than your words. Even if you’re unaware of them.”
Honestly, a simple repeating of the statement asking it like it’s a question, or asking them to tell you a little more about it, will usually uncover valuable insight of their feelings and help you solve the bigger, more global issue; getting them from where they are now, to where they want to be seamlessly and successfully. And in the process, turning them into raving fans and life-long champions.
The little things like, taking notes and occasionally repeating or summarizing what they’ve just explained not only helps them realize that you’re truly paying attention, but helps you grasp the gravity of each concern, objection or condition.
As an objection is just pushing you away mostly. Almost a defense mechanism. You’ll want to get deeper, so the objection falls away and the concern emerges. Like, “We’re afraid we won’t be able to find another home if we sell,” sheltered by objections like “We’re not ready,” “We need to fix the house up,” and “There’s nothing on the market we like.”
Now, are these hard and fast rules? Of course not. Remember everyone’s unique and someone may truly prioritize the timing selling with finding another home much lower than them being not ready. That’s where playing real estate doctor and digging past the symptoms comes in. Do your clients a service and find out exactly what they are trying to do. It usually has little to do with buying or selling a house. Besides, that’s why agents get the big bucks!
Like these ideas, want to learn more and solve all the concerns, objections, and issues, your clients have? Just go to the “Start Here” page.