When a buyer calls to inquire about a property you have for sale, they want to get the information, get it quickly, and be left alone. You have literally only seconds to capture their attention and gain instant rapport with them.
If you don’t convert them, I don’t have to tell you there are hundreds of other agents out there who will. What’s the difference in those agents that are able to quickly convert leads, and those that aren’t? They have skills. They have training. They have the desire or need to sell more houses. They care about what the client wants. They listen better. They communicate well. They have a coach. They are accountable. They have goals to meet. They have bills to pay. I could go on and on, and then you could probably add to the list. The bottom line is at the end of the day, if they can convert a buyer, you can too!
But, how do you do that in such a short time period over the phone?
It’s way easier to convert buyers than you can ever imagine when you learn not only WHAT to say, but HOW to say it.
First of all, do you always answer your phone personally? It may be best that you don’t, and instead let it go to voice mail with a message saying when phone calls will be returned. Will you lose a buyer because of not always personally answering your phone, possibly! And by being able to return the client’s call when you’re actually prepared for it, in your office with the information about the home, in the mind set to powerfully communicate with them vs racing late to an appointment from your car, trust me, you’ll convert many many more than you did before.
Never ever personally answer your phone if possible. I tell the agents I coach this all the time. If you educate your clients that you utilize the efficiency of voice mail, they’ll follow suit. It’s much more efficient for you to have your clients leave a detailed message with what they need or want so you can call them back with an answer to their question than for you to be tied up on the phone with them while they go on and on with all the emotion and drama that so often comes with the nature of this business.
If you get in the habit of using voice mail, following a schedule where you return calls at specified times during the day; you’ll be much more powerful for both you and your clients.
This particular article is about converting buyers though not scheduling and efficiency. I will write on that in a future article for you.
So when you return the buyers call the first thing you want to do is tell them who you are, that you’re returning their call about such and such house and ask them what questions you can answer for them about it. The goal is to get THEM talking. Ask the customer questions instead of them asking you questions whenever possible.
It’s been proven that people love to talk about themselves and as an agent that’s our goal, to allow the client to talk instead of being the one doing all the talking.
So if they say, we just want to know where it is. You can answer with, terrific, it is still available and it’s located in x county, is that a location you’re looking to be in? (Because guess what? If not, there’s no need in you wasting 20 minutes of your time or theirs talking about the house if the location doesn’t work for them). If they say yes, great you respond with, the address is x, would you like me to email the report to you with all the information and photos of the home? Or great, would you like to schedule an appointment to see the house?
They will say yes or no. If they say yes, say terrific, I will send that right over, what’s your email address? The goal is the keep the conversation going by asking questions while coming from a place of being truly interested in what they’re up to and not sounding like a desperate or pushy salesperson.
Instead, you want it to feel like you’re having a conversation with a family member or one of your best friends. For instance, so, how long have you been looking for a home? Where do you live now? How soon are you looking to be in your new home? Have you seen any homes that you like so far? Have you had an agent research to ensure you have access to all homes that are currently for sale based on what you’re looking for? Have you already talked with a lender to ensure you’re looking in the price range that will give you the monthly payment you’re looking to stay under? Have you had an agent explain the entire home buying process and all the options? Do you have a house to sell before you buy or are you currently renting? Have you ever bought before or will this be your first time? What’s the most important thing you want to have in your new home?
These are just examples of various questions you can ask the customer to keep the conversation going and the client talking. Again, the more questions you ask the better. When asking the questions you want to periodically approve and repeat what they say so they know you’re actually listening to them. For example, you’ve been looking for three months, terrific, and which homes have you liked best since you started looking?
Whenever you’re talking about financing with them you want to be VERY careful how you state things. The worst thing you can do is make the client feel like you’re not interested in working with them if they aren’t pre approved. And no, I’m not suggesting that you do in fact I recommend you never tote buyers around until they are approved. I’m just talking about how you present it to the potential buyer so you have them feel good about it and not as though all you care about is finding out if they’re worth your time.
The way I present it is, “so, have you already talked with a mortgage company to determine what price range you want to stay under? In most cases you’ll qualify for more than you really want to spend so I tell my buyers to decide ahead of time what monthly payment you want to stay under and then have the lender run the figures backwards to ensure you’re looking under the price range that will give you a monthly payment you want”. And then I ask them if they’d like me to get them in touch with one of the lenders we generally use and recommend. This leaves the buyer feeling like you’re looking out for them, their best interests, and trying to keep them in a price range where they’re comfortable vs trying to push them above their price range which I hear time and again from buyers who say agents kept sending them homes in a higher price range than they wanted to be. Don’t do that guys, LISTEN to what your buyer wants and do that.
I hope this has been insightful and helpful to you. Please let me know if I may be of support to you in any way with your business. I have monthly free business planning calls where I talk about scheduling, administration, efficiency, and developing more business. If you’d like to join one of these calls, please email me at email@example.com and let me know, I’ll get you on my schedule for the next call.
“Christy Crouch is the co-founder of You’re The Difference Sales & Life Coaching, co-author of the highly acclaimed real estate objection handler book, Now What Do I Say? A collection of more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections faced in the real estate industry. She is still an active agent in Virginia, has participated in closing thousands of transactions in her career, and was inducted in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for her production. Christy is in the top 2.3% of her marketplace. Her goal is to share what she’s learned with other agents to support them in having a highly successful real estate sales business while having a happy and balanced life. To learn more about her coaching and products please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.yourethedifference.com”