What is the number one skill involved in selling real estate? Getting listings? Finding buyers? Matching up buyers and sellers? Real estate agents who develop the skill of asking questions and truly listening to the answers are the most successful.
Questions build rapport between an agent and a buyer (or seller), and rapport involves understanding. The more understanding between the agent and buyer (remember that the seller is buying too – they are buying you as the agent and your ability to sell their property) the greater the chance of arriving at a win win for everyone involved. Therefore, the more questions you ask the closer you will get to a listing or a sale.
The added benefit of asking questions is that it helps you find out what the buyer wants. There is a special magic in this, because wants are what makes life worth living. You can either sell to a need or a want. Needs are the things we see as essential in life, and they are therefore looked at like commodities. If you are selling to a need, you will be competing on price.
When you sell to a want, price doesn’t matter. That is why so many people lust after a Maserati or Range Rover Sport. A Hyundai Excel doesn’t seem to have the same effect.
If you’re showing a home to a potential buyer instead of saying the home has a great wood fired pizza oven and pool, turn this into a question.
“What are your thoughts about the woodfired oven and the pool? How is that going to fit in with your lifestyle?”
This gets the buyer’s attention on their want, and keeps their mind thinking about what they like about this house.
If you do this, and they don’t want a wood fired pizza oven and a pool, then you are not giving them what they want. You’ve just shown them that you don’t listen and you don’t value their time.
While questions help you understand what they want, they also help internalise the want in the mind of the buyer.
And while it’s important to frequently ask questions it is also important to acknowledge what the buyer is saying and let them know you are with them in the conversation.
Vocal acknowledgements and body language are crucial as they help build trust. If you don’t place importance on this you may come across as dismissive and never get the listing.
The biggest mistake in real estate is telling the customer what you think they want to hear.
If you have followed these steps –
1. Build rapport (by asking questions)
2. Find out what they want (again by asking questions)
3. Give them what they want (balance between answering their questions, telling them about the product you can offer and asking questions to determine if it fits what they want)
Then you will be able to:
4. Ask for their business – either the listing or for an offer.
About the Author
Mike Irving is a Performance Coach and Founder of Advanced Business Abilities. He has 20 years experience and results in Business Management, Leadership Performance Coaching and Team Building. For information on staff recruitment and improving workplace culture, visit advancedbusinessabilities.com