The business of selling homes does not need to be complicated. Think of the basic premise of working with home buyers and home sellers. It’s a 7 step process…
- Find someone who needs your help
- Follow-up on the lead
- Prequalify them
- Show them homes or list their property
- Find what they want and put the deal together
- Close the transaction
- Stay in touch afterwards and maintain the relationship
That’s IT! That’s all you have to do. Keep it simple… here are 9 great real estate sales strategies to get help you get the job done:
Strategy #1. The Reluctant Home Seller
“You can come over but…”
Frequently when you are working hard to set an appointment with a reluctant home seller they will throw you a curve by saying…
“You can come over but we’re not going to sign any contract”.
It’s almost like they’re saying you can apply for the job but “we’re not planning on hiring anybody right now… at least not you”. Here’s a great response that will reverse the path they’re trying to take you down and open up doors for future possibilities:
“No problem Mr./Mrs. Seller, we’re not even at that stage yet. I’m not sure if your home even qualifies for my advanced marketing techniques. I’m not asking you to make a commitment over the phone… I’m just asking you to keep an open mind, okay?”
Whatever they say from that point on is inconsequential. You’ve made your point (… keep an open mind, okay?) and helped them see that you have something very worthwhile to offer (… advanced marketing techniques). Now you can move forward.
Strategy #2. Time for a Price Reduction?
Here’s a great price reduction script based around the CORE Approach called “the Two Contests”…
Your Seller says… “We don’t want to reduce our price”… here’s your response…
I understand Mr./Mrs. Seller… and at the same time it’s very important that I give you all the information you need to know BEFORE you decide. Can I tell you what I mean? (Okay)
Just so you know, in order to get your home sold in this very competitive market, your home needs to win TWO contests, may I explain? (Very well)
Your home needs to win both a Beauty Contest and a Popularity Contest. Now you have done a great job at fixing up your home and it shows extremely well. The good news is it does win the Beauty Contest.
The problem is your home is not winning the Popularity Contest… everyone loves your place but is priced too high for anyone to make a meaningful offer. Here’s what we need to do…
We need to reduce your price to $495,000 so that not only do you win the Beauty Contest… but you also win the Popularity Contest. Does that make sense? (Yes I guess it does when you explain it that way)
Let’s get the paperwork signed so we can win both contests, okay? (Very well)
Strategy #3. It Helps to Be on Target
Here’s another of those humorous “makes you think” quotes that Zig Ziglar was so famous for…
“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time”
Is it time to revisit your personal goals for this year? (i.e.: My health, My family, & My financial future)
Is it time to revisit your business goals for this year? (i.e.: Gross commissions/number of home sales closed as a result of… listing appointments, listings taken, listings under contract, home buyers under contract)
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making changes to your original goals. There is plenty wrong with never revisiting your original plan, or having unclear targets, or having no targets at all.
As Zig says… make sure you know what you are aiming at. Stay motivated – it’s a great way to be!
Strategy #4. The Danger of “Discipline Decline”
Beat the Clock
If you want to learn how to get the important things done every day, you need to be conscious of a curious human failing that is pretty universal. I call it the “discipline decline”. Here it is…
“The further you are in your day… the less self-discipline you will have”. BK
Let me share a real-life example… you get up in the morning and make a commitment that sounds like this… “Tonight I’m just going to have a salad, this is going to be one of those healthy eating days!”. Then after a long day, your commitment goes by the wayside and you come to the conclusion that… “I’ve really had a tough day, I think I’ll just order a pizza – I have earned it.” Does that ever happen to you?
That’s one way this “discipline decline” shows up. Let me show you another… you don’t get your lead generation done first thing in the day in spite of what your schedule says. At some point you promise yourself that “I’ll just do my prospecting later this afternoon”.
All the good intentions disappear as the clock moves forward into the day. By the time you get to about 4:30 PM you decide it is too late to do your lead generation and… “I’ll just have to catch up tomorrow”. It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it?
This doesn’t mean you’re weak, it’s just human nature. Your self-discipline loses power as the day moves on. The only way to beat the clock and stick to your discipline is to make sure you get the important tasks done first. Don’t procrastinate!
PS…If you’re still going to order that pizza, do it at lunchtime – not in the evening.
Strategy #5. “Procrastinate on Purpose”
Having the Right Systems
Author Rory Vaden has recently published another excellent book. This one is entitled, “Procrastinate on Purpose”. In it he tells of his 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. One of these Permissions focuses on the use of Systems. Mr. Vaden says that Systems “will save you time on an ongoing basis… not just once”.
Here is a key insight… “Systems in place have the same effect on your time as compound interest has on your money. As long as the system is in place, the benefits keep on building forever.”
The word Procrastinate in the title of his book refers to the concept of installing Systems that make things happen automatically. There is no doubt that with better Systems you will be leveraging yourself to greater productivity. By Systems I’m referring to your lead generation system, handling objections, closing for the appointment, etc.
Two aspects of Systems I’d suggest you look at for your real estate sales practice:
- Do I have the right systems in place? Example: lead follow-up, staying in touch with past clients and center of influence, pre-listing system, keeping my environment organized and clean, etc.
- Can I enhance any of the existing systems I currently rely on? Are these Systems working as effectively as I want them to? Example: self-improvement – practicing scripts and dialogs, my listing presentation – especially when presenting my Marketing Plan, my money management system, etc.
Great Systems in your business are like a secret weapon… they aren’t as exciting as taking a new listing or putting together a new buyer transaction. However… the reality is if you really want to take your business to a whole new level… make sure yours Systems are always improving.
Have a look at your answers to the two questions above. The better your systems, the more money you will make. Like Rory Vaden says… the compound effect on your time saved is enormous.
Strategy #6. What Did You Say?
A Couple of Hearing Aids
Here’s a couple of tips I’ve accumulated regarding LISTENING Skills:
Tip #1. This first one relates especially to when you are prequalifying a home seller or a home buyer. It starts with this observation… “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand… rather we listen to reply”.
The questions in the “All the Right Words” prequalification scripts for home sellers and buyers are pretty straightforward and to the point. The key is when the responses are offered, make sure you understand what’s behind their response. What’s important to them? What are their greatest fears? What are they trying to accomplish?
Tip #2. Blogger Seth Godin defines two kinds of listening:
- a) Passive Listening is letting the other person talk
- b) Active Listening requires that you interrupt when you need clarification. It also requires that you ask a truly difficult question when the speaker is finished.
Seth goes on to say that “if it’s worth listening to, it’s worth questioning until you understand it.”
Conclusion: many real estate Salespeople pride themselves on their listening skills. Self-evaluation can be a bit misleading at times. Take a look again at the above two points. Use these techniques the next time you are in communication mode with a customer or even a personal acquaintance. Are you really listening to understand?
Strategy #7. Converting Internet Leads
Converting Internet Leads
4 Tips for Internet Leads
How do you view your Internet Leads… worthwhile or time wasters? Rest assured, handled properly – often “there’s gold in them thar hills“. Here are some suggestions so you can make sure that they are “worthwhile”:
- Have a realistic expectation level…a conversion factor of only 2 – 4% is normal. Why so low? Because it’s so easy to create an inquiry. Anyone can get on the Internet, anyone can push a button and ask for more information. Don’t expect a high return, that’s why you need to work through them quickly.
- Your follow-up should never exceed more than 3 attempts to get their phone number. Anything more and it’s obvious they don’t want to create a two-way connection. Don’t spend a lot of time hoping they’ll change their mind. It’s not rejection, they’re just not motivated enough to connect with you personally. Treat these as “non-leads”.
- Every time you respond to an inquiry, use this formula… answer their question and always end with a question. This will keep the communication channel open. Examples… Could you tell me more about what you’re looking for? How soon do you want to move? At what point would just like to start looking at homes? Do you own your own home, if so – at what point do you want to put it on the market?
- Getting their phone number… “I have some ideas for you, what would be the best phone number for me to reach you at?” or “When’s the best time for us to connect and…what # should I call?”
Conclusion…The best approach with Internet leads is to:
- a) move quickly through them
- b) have an attitude that says “I’m also doing regular prospecting so I don’t have to be totally dependent on the success of this follow-up”
- c) remember Internet leads are just one more source of business… NOT the only source.
Strategy #8. JFK Wisdom
5 Ways for Taking Action
The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) came up with some amazing quotes in his 52 years. Here’s another…
“There are risks and costs to a plan of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
It’s his last two words that really hit home… “comfortable inaction”. That’s a great way to paraphrase resistance to change. Inaction (doing nothing) is much more comfortable than getting out of your box and stretching yourself. However, as Kennedy said, ultimately the risk of doing nothing is much greater than the risk of stepping up to the plate and taking action.
So…thanks to JFK’s advice, here’s 5 terrific “taking action” ideas for you to consider…
Putting your listing presentation in digital form and presenting from your I Pad, laptop, or tablet. (Check out the “Plug & Play LP” as an option – it’s all there)
Calling your complete center of influence and past client database in the next 30 days and asking every one of them for referrals (ask everyone – not just those you are comfortable speaking to).
Committing to lead generating a minimum of 2 hours a day for the next 20 days in a row without interruptions (Monday to Friday – four weeks, 20 days)… and not miss a day, no matter what. NO Excuses
Separating all your leads into two piles… 30 day leads and longer-term leads.
Pile #1. Keep the short-term leads on hot pink paper and carry them with you everywhere – following up daily.
Pile #2. Put the longer-term leads out of sight and filed with the appropriate dates for follow-up. Less clutter that way.
Take a minimum of 1 – 1.5 days off every week for the next four weeks. No cell phone, no “I just have to take this one call”, no changing your mind at the last moment. Book it in your calendar so you are absolutely not available no matter what comes up. This is one of those “less is more” situations. You will be amazed at how much more productive you are during the scheduled work hours.
So are you up to the task? Are you up to taking action in a more definitive way? Don’t get caught up in “comfortable inaction”. It’s not doing you any favors and it’s holding you back from the growth you are more than capable of taking on. Be the real estate Salesperson know you can be.
Strategy #9. Best Lead Management System
5 Lead Board Ideas
Want a great system for closing more business? Here are some quick tips for Effective Lead Management…
- Have a whiteboard in your office with a short list of your current HOT leads (remember, the HOT Pink paper?)
- Keep it simple – show only those potential Buyers and Sellers who you believe will do something in the next 30 days
- Just show their last name and… this is CRITICAL… the exact day you intend to follow up with them next (ie: 3/19 or 3/22)
- First thing every morning, look at your lead board and identify who you are supposed to be calling that day
- After making your follow-up call, revise the date. Forget about the rest of the names for now… it’s not their turn yet
That’s it… don’t make it complicated. One final caution… if you have more than 10 names on your board at any point in time… chances are some of them don’t qualify to be on the list. Be selective.
Remember that “the bad leads will hide the good ones”. Set up your board today and make sure that the dates are always current. You never want to walk into your office and look at a lead with yesterday’s date on it! It’s a great way of adding to your in-house Accountability.