I’m going on the premise that you now realize FSBO’s need your service, based on reading my last post.
The problem is that FSBO’s don’t know this to be true. It’s a little like an intervention where you know the person is hurting themselves, but they don’t think so, and they lash out at you for trying to get them to stop.
So, I want you to realize a FSBO is doing what they think is best. They’re misguided based on all the data, but they want to do what they think is best for them and their family. Knowing that, you don’t have to have an adversarial relationship with them. It’s not you against the FSBO. They just need a little guidance is all.
Again, I will state: studies have shown, for various reasons discussed in previous posts, that, of the small percentage of For Sale By Owner homes that actually do sell, on the average, they sell for significantly less than those homes that are listed.
Before we get into how to list and sell FSBO’s, I want you to know that I think it’s a process. For Sale By Owners took some steps and spent some money to do this. If you call a FSBO on the first couple days of their advertising, it’s very difficult for them to give up so quickly and just set an appointment to list with you. While there are always exceptions, be prepared to do good, consistent follow up with them. I personally feel it’s over the course of 30 days, give or take. If a FSBO hasn’t sold by then, they start to get frustrated and may want help.
I listed a good amount of FSBO’s in my real estate career, and not once did I get an appointment on the first day of calling them. It was all because of my follow up, usually within about 30 days.
To get FSBO leads:
1. Subscribe to a FSBO service like Landvoice, ArchTelecom or RedEx. When I was selling, I used Landvoice when they were under a different name. These are companies that for a monthly fee comb all the resources in your market and email you FSBO leads daily. Typically, you’ll get the owner name, house address, copy in the ad and the phone number. And, they’ll only send the ad once, on the first day of advertising. They’re not perfect, but they’re pretty good and take time off of your hands. Regardless…
2. Suscribe to your market’s big daily newspaper Sunday edition and comb the ads over your morning coffee. Also, get your market’s free weekly paper and do the same.
3. Get out in your market and look for FSBO signs. Take different routes to and from the office and home. Look on the way to and from appointments, while your going to the grocery store, etc.
4. Have your family and friends do #3 for you as well. Enlist the help of those close to you. They don’t have to go out of their way, just ask them to get you the info if they see it. These days it’s easy to just text you the info, so it’s not a huge inconvenience for them.
What to do with the leads:
1. CALL THEM!!!
A) Don’t worry about the DNC: I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure in America (I know Canada’s got different laws) the Do Not Call List goes out the window when someone’s advertising their number.
All I can say is this: 1) The top agents are not affected by the DNC, especially when FSBO’s are involved. I’m not saying they don’t scrub their expireds and other leads against the list, I’m saying they don’t think about it and aren’t going to NOT call a FSBO because of it. 2) The agents that worry about the DNC usually are lower producing agents because it’s another reason not to lead generate. 3) I never once got in trouble with the DNC, and only two times (on just listed/just solds) did someone even mention the DNC to me, and that was in the first year of it’s existence when it was all the rage. 4) Of all the agents I worked with, coach and do/have known — and most of them run their business by daily phone prospecting — I have yet to see one get a fine for the DNC.
B) Don’t worry about the ads that say “no realtors”. 99% of the time it’s a scare tactic…and it works, since realtors don’t call. First, that “no realtors” attitude will go away in 30,60,90 days when they haven’t sold. Second, do you mean to tell me that if I had a qualified buyer that wanted to pay your advertised price, you wouldn’t want me to bring you a written offer?
For these people you can usually start off with, “I know you’re not interested in talking to realtors, but I was wondering, if I had a buyer for your house would I be able to show it to them?”
2. DROP BY THEIR HOME – DOOR KNOCK – if you’re worried about the DNC, then stop by. Actually, it’s a good idea to do this regardless of your DNC/phone fears. Most agents won’t do this, so it’s a step above the rest and will get you points in the seller’s eyes.
A) Be prepared – have some decent marketing materials like your business card, your track record (or your office’s if you’re new), a list of homes you (or your office) sold that first were FSBO’s, etc.
Don’t give them too much information, and don’t go for the fluffy glossy flyers, etc. It’s crap anyway, and it will just overwhelm them and they won’t read the good stuff.
***Have listing agreements with you. It’s a great expectation for you to have. At the very least it will give you a confident edge; it’s very assumptive. You don’t actually have to give it to them, just have them with you in case you need them.
What to Say To FSBO’s:
There are a number of free scripts available online, and I highly suggest you have a script. Whether you develop your own, or use someone else’s, to be professional is to have a script. Why wing it?
Scripts should be nothing more than a brief intro and a series of questions designed to gather information and lead to an appointment anyway. So why wouldn’t you want to have a list of questions that you use for every FSBO? Why chance forgetting what’s in your head when you go to wing it? What’s different from FSBO to FSBO that would make you ask one different questions than the other?
Email me at email@example.com and I’ll point you in the right FSBO script direction.
1. Start off with a very brief intro including “I know you’re looking to sell the home yourself, and ask them something like, “If the home doesn’t sell, will you be interviewing agents?” or, “Do you not like real estate agents, or are you simply looking to save the commission?” (Most of the time they’ll say “save the commission.’)
2. Keep asking questions along the lines of: How soon do you want/need to be sold? Are you moving out of the area? Is your move for business or pleasure? If it doesn’t sell on your own, how much time will it take for you to think about interviewing agents? Etc., etc.
3. Ask pre-qualifying questions as discussed in a previous post, especially if you’ve set a listing appointment.
If you’ve set an appointment on your first call, then celebrate and go get that listing!.
However, don’t confuse a listing appointment with a preview appointment. Many FSBO’s would be more than happy for you to come over to see their beautiful house. You might have a buyer. While a preview appointment can go a long way to ultimatetly listing the home, the worst thing you can do is go on what the seller thinks is a preview and you think is a listing appointment. You’ll be closing for the listing and they will be pissed!
What to do for follow up:
1. Ask if you can send them information or drop it off (the same information that you would have dropped off if you did a stop-by).
2. Call a few days later to follow up with the information you dropped off. Do a combination of calls and/or drop by’s about once a week after that.
3. If not doing drop by, ask if you can come over and preview the house. Either keep it strictly as a preview, or let them know ahead of time that you will also talk to them about your services just in case the home doesn’t sell and they decide to list with an agent.
4. Ask if they’d like a Comparative Market Analysis to see where they are compared to the competition. Don’t do an elaborate time consuming one that looks pretty, because they won’t care about that anyway. Just do a quick spreadsheet of comps so they know where they stand.
When doing the follow up calls/stop-by’s (#2), give them updates. Let them know of homes that came on the market, or homes that went under contract or sold.
This does two things: 1) it shows you know your stuff and, 2) it keeps reinforcing what’s going on around them. Either too much competition is coming on the market, or too many homes that aren’t theirs are selling around them.
5. As it gets further along, find out what their time frame is and ask for the appointment.
6. After you’ve set the appointment, if you haven’t done this already, ask the same pre-qualifying questions I mentioned in a previous post to be sure you have a saleable listing.
BEWARE!!! – a basic CMA and your track record info is more than enough. If you give them everything you have to sell homes, they will relish in the free information and never need to use you (why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?). So, be careful you don’t spend every weekend at their house, or hours on the phone giving them advice, etc. The advice you give them is you doing your job when listing and selling the home.
When they ask you about the market, and they will, you need to give them data on homes coming on the market and pending/sold homes. They need to see that houses are selling around them, and that competition is outshining them.
1. Buy our Now What Do I Say? ebook, book, book on audio, and/or live role play CD to learn how top agents handle objections.
2. As much as possible, avoid handling objections over the phone, especially ones about commission. Only handle objections that can lead you to setting an appointment. And, if you go with it being a process that takes about 30 days, you really won’t need to handle many objections while talking to them, following up, giving them info, etc.
3. When it is time to handle the objections, remember that getting them is a good thing. People would give objections if they weren’t at least entertaining the idea of using you. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t care to object.
How to sell FSBO listings:
1. The same way you sell every listing. Price it right, and if you missed the mark, get reductions until it’s priced right.
***The key to listing and selling FSBO’s is consistent follow up and the mindset of helping them. Remember, they think they can do this on their own (but probably don’t really WANT to be bothered with it), and they think they can save money (but most likely WON’T). If you understand that position, you can empathize with them and ultimately be the one they call on when they go to list.
It seems like a lot of work for one listing, but most agents do more work for non-leads anyway. Besides, it’s not about the one listing. It’s about creating a good system that has you calling, mailing, dropping by all the FSBO’s in your market, so that you ultimately list as many as possible. It will become a huge percentage of your business and cause it to grow tremendously.
But you can’t “try” it for a short amount of time. You need to do this as a committment with the mindset that you are a FSBO leader in your market. At the bare minimum you need to give it your all for 90 days before you can even begin to think about it not working. And by then, it will be working like a charm!
Stay tuned…I’ll talk about how to be the expired listing leader in your market soon!
Scott Friedman (firstname.lastname@example.org)