WE’VE ALL HEARD THE SAYING ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and real estate agents should take heed of this when they’re prospecting for new listings. Josh Phegan explains why you need to think about listing ahead of the curve – for the future.
THE IDEA OF listing ahead of the curve may make you think you need to list quick and fast, but even more important is to convert the highest amount of ‘could be’ clients into actual vendors.
The secret to doing this is slowing down and finding out exactly what stage of the selling process your client is at. Just because you’re ready and eager to launch their property to the market it doesn’t mean your client’s mind is at the same place.
If you race ahead and push the issue you may scare the client away.
A powerful strategy that can completely change the course of your business is ‘provide value first, invoice second’. This means preparing your clients to go to market eventually, when they and the property are truly ready.
One of the great challenges I have in working with agents is that, when they are prospecting, the dialogue they use is aimed at selling now and in the moment.
Instead of doing this, I urge agents to take a step back and ask themselves what their goal is for each and every phone call, whether it’s an open for inspection call back, a just-sold call, a just-listed call or a market appraisal call.
Before you pick up the handset you need to know exactly what your goal is. Usually it is twofold:
- Progress the customer according to their situation.
- If you progress the customer enough, close by making a face-to-face appointment.
Most agents go straight for the appointment without finding out what the client needs or wants from the sale of their property. You will have much greater success if you start by asking the kinds of questions that will encourage your clients to reveal themselves and their situations. Then you will know exactly what you need to do to guide them through the sales process step by step.
But how do you uncover this information? By asking the right questions. Some of the best questions you can use are:
‘How have things progressed?’ This allows the customer to tell you about themselves and their exact situation.
‘What are the next steps for you?’ This will tell you how realistic their expectations are. This is also a good place to refer them to any other professionals they may need to work with, such as bankers, solicitors or even a home handyman.
‘How can I help?’ Your client’s response to this will tell you their level of comfort with the process so far. The downside to asking these questions is that the client may try to stall you and suggest a delay in the sale process.
What you say next is crucial and has the ability to move the process forward or hold it back. The key dialogue to say next is:
‘That’s fine but, quick question: if I had a buyer right now could I mention your place or should I sell them something else?’
This statement has the power to shake your client out of their fear mode and prompt them to think about the future and possibilities.
If your client answers ‘yes, you can tell them about my property,’ then this is your chance to make an appointment and initiate momentum. You might not sign a listing agreement straight away, but you have your foot in the door and are heading in the right direction.
To allow for this slightly slower, but highly effective, process you need to work on listing properties two to three months out from when you will take them to market. If you can work ahead of the curve and secure listings for the future you’ll see a boom in your business.
Now is the time to face your fear of the phone, perfect your scripts and actually book the appointment.