In 2013, your clients will be contacting you to confirm their own research on the market. You will need to be ready with the knowledge to answer these queries, and be able to provide a further educational point of value. A ‘scripts and dialogues’ update by Rik Rushton.
Rik Rushston will be speaking at this years Idea’s Exchange 2013.
As we look to develop our communication skills in 2013, there’s a consistent need to improve our scripts and dialogues when dealing with buyers and sellers alike. The dialogue of 2012 simply won’t pass the best practice test in 2013. Depending on your market, you will concentrate most of your energy in 2013 educating sellers towards more realistic prices, or buyers towards making offers under competition! In either scenario, the sellers need to hear these words: ‘As seller and agent we can set the price at any level; however, in this market it’s the buyers who determine value, and here’s where buyers are seeing value for similar homes to yours.’
In some of the hot markets I have already been to in 2013, buyers need to be educated with dialogue that ensures they’re offering their best up front: ‘If I put forward your current offer to the vendor, you’ll have the brochure on this property but a competing buyer will get the keys!’
In 2013, your scripts must have an ‘educational point’ to a more informed consumer. It’s not enough just to use the words! More importantly, you need to educate the buyers on the outcome they will experience. This is done by adding the words, ‘And what that means to you is this…’ Given the two previously detailed examples above, you might broadcast a better message by stating the following: And what that means to you is this… if you want to keep your home you don’t have to do anything, but if you want to sell you’ll need to change something. What do you think we need to change?’ Most vendors would identify price as the main change required. For buyers, you could say:‘And what that means to you is this… your reward for all the time and leg work you’ve spent researching properties, to confirm that this home is worthy of making an offer, will be a glossy brochure – when you could have the keys with a little more thought.’
Good agents across the country will role-play similar dialogue on a weekly basis! Great agents like the ones I get the privilege to coach will video such dialogue to send to the buyers and sellers they are looking to educate. Weekly feedback letters need to be replaced with weekly video updates, emailed to clients and controlled through your own YouTube channel to ensure privacy. It’s like a news bulletin; you don’t set the market conditions, but you must report them! Granted, there’s far more power in a weekly face to face update; however, there are many markets across the country, like the Sunshine Coast, where the sellers are often living in another state and the buyer is coming in for the weekend from interstate to view properties, making regular face to face meetings extremely challenging! Video updates are the next best way to influence prospects, if time and or distance don’t allow for a ‘belly to belly’ meeting. Part of your success strategy in 2013 must incorporate a video presence that can educate prospects to the opportunities in your market.
If you were to add video to your communication strategy in 2013, you would create a point of difference from your competitors and gain a sustainable advantage that could last for many years ahead. Five years ago, business referrals were mainly generated by word of mouth;todayit’s‘wordofclick!’ Many more consumers now are researching real estate market trends online before engaging an agent. Indeed, 23 years ago when I entered the real estate industry, clients would contact us to gain information on the market, given the fact that agents in the late 1980s to early 1990s were the ‘gatekeepers’ of property information. Today clients call us in to confirm their own research on the market.
Knowing this to be the case, here are a few ‘do’s and don’ts’ around video education.
Don’t broadcast a ‘thought’ or your best guess! Do broadcast facts that are easily understood by the clients and even easier for them to verify. You want to be regarded as the local expert reporting the market news, not the weather person being ridiculed when your predictions in time are proven wrong!
Don’t broad cast in a negative manner! Do broadcast the facts, (as negative as they may be) and most importantly, the opportunities for the client to take advantage of the market conditions. Even in tough markets, the opportunity to minimise changeover costs can be a genuine positive: ‘When the tide of the market goes out it takes all house boats with it; but whilst you’re not getting as much as you hoped for, you won’t have to pay as much on your next home either, so you will save on transfer fees and borrowing.’
If you can use that dialogue in front of a whiteboard and show the net savings a vendor can achieve by changing over in a down market, you’ve put a positive perspective on a negative market. Once that’s broadcast to your clients you’ve moved from being a ‘facilitator’ of market news, to the ‘catalyst’ of a positive real estate move! Mastering scripts and dialogues is a basic requirement for any agent looking for success in 2013. On their own they don’t provide any real competitive advantage. I think that’s due to the fact that words can be replicated almost instantly by any agent. Your goal, as a highly trained and professional agent, is to package the words in a digital format that can provide a presence in the mind of the client when you can’t be physically present with them. So take your one true point of difference (you and your skill set), and start filming short, sharp educational messages of real value today. Make 2013 your best year yet!