Most real estate agents fall into two categories: those who utilize hard-core sales tactics and those who turn their nose up at the idea of selling altogether.
The later often refer to themselves as advisers or consultants and refuse to identify as salespeople. The truth is, if you’re a real estate agent, you’re in the business of selling homes. And the way you approach sales will absolutely affect how many people you can help … and how much money you make over the long term.
However, sales should NOT be:
Nobody likes the feeling of being sold. We don’t want to feel like we’re being coerced or convinced or scammed. We commonly think of a salesperson as someone who wants to sell us something whether we need it or not.
That’s the old way of doing business.
MASTER THE “NEW SCHOOL” SALES TECHNIQUES
In the days, sales equaled money. You convinced someone that they needed what you’re selling and that they should give you their money to get it.
“New school” sales techniques focus on LOVE instead.
Love your customers. Care about who they are, what they want, what they need … and help them get it.
A client says, “my roof is leaking.” Can you fix it? No. But you can connect them with someone who can. There might not be an immediate financial return. But by employing new school sales techniques, your business will grow over the long term.
How do you employ a new school sales philosophy in your business? We’ve outlined three simple steps to get you started.
Step 1: Pick Up the Phone
Realtors don’t like picking up the phone for three reasons:
- We don’t know who to call.
- We don’t know what to say.
- We can’t deal with rejection.
We get rejected on phone calls because we’re approaching them the wrong way.
For example, let’s say you’re calling a list of expired or for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings. These are often people who have been burned or disappointed by a real estate agent in the past.
Some agents call this “dialing for dollars.” We call it “phoning to offer help.” The average agent will call and say:
“Hi, this is Garry with GoodLife Realty. Are you still interested in selling your house, because I’ve got a buyer for you.”
Clients will see right through this. They’ve probably had 10 other agents call and say the same thing. Instead, approach your call with the intent of helping the person on the other line.
“Hi, this is Garry with GoodLife Realty. I noticed that your home did not sell. Are you still interested in selling your home?
I don’t want to waste your time. I’m here to just see if I can help you.
Do you mind if I ask, why do you think your home didn’t sell?”
Chances are, no other agent has cared about what they think or feel or want. All the other agents were focused on convincing the seller to hire them. If you change your mindset to focus on helping, the money will follow.
And don’t limit your outreach to expired listings and FSBOs. Past clients want to hear from you, too, as long as you’re calling for a good reason. Offer help and then ask for their help. Here’s how.
“Hi, this is Garry. How are you doing?
I always like to follow up with my clients six months after they buy a home. And the reason is, I want to call and see how you’re settling in.
I’m so glad I got to participate in helping you find your home. I also wanted to find out if there is anything you need done at your house that I can help with.
If you don’t mind, I have a question for you. I’m setting up my business plan for 2018. What I’d like to do is help more clients like you in the coming year. Are there any people you know who are looking to buy or sell real estate in the next 90 days?”
Step 2: Listen to Concerns
Listening is one of the most important skills required for success in real estate.
Most of us listen while thinking, “what am I going to say when they stop talking?” Instead, try focusing 100% on what your customers are saying … without thinking about what you are going to say next.
During your initial phone consultation, we recommend writing or typing notes to document exactly what your customer is saying. If possible, record the exact phrases they use.
When you meet with them, review what was said.
“I wanted to read back my notes from our discussion the other day. I really listened, but I also want to make sure I heard and understood what you said.”
Your clients will feel heard when you repeat back what they said in their own words. This shows them you are truly in tune with their needs.
Step 3: Take Care of Your People
Taking care of your clients might not mean selling them a house right now. It might mean advising them to wait.
Always put your clients’ best interests above your own financial gain. Your clients will recognize that you’re putting them first … and you’ll likely earn a client for life.
Here’s a script we use with sellers on an initial phone consultation to show them we’re listening and ready to put their needs and desires first.
“Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to talk with me. I want to make sure I address absolutely everything you want to talk about today.
When you hang up the phone, I want you to leave thinking, ‘Wow that was a great experience.’
Now, typically people have three to five primary things that they want to talk about and I would love to find out what those are from you now so I can make sure I address them.”
Most agents have a sales script focused on the information they want to share. Instead, ask your client what they want to hear about, and use that information to guide your discussion.
3 SENTENCES TO CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS
One of the keys to mastering new school sales techniques is to understand your clients’ true desires and motivations.
All sellers care about time and money. But what are their motivating factors?
People aren’t always forthcoming about their motivations, so it’s helpful to have some simple scripts you can employ to convey your eagerness to listen and offer help.
Sentence #1: “Can you tell me more about that?”
This is particularly useful if you are stuck in a conversation. It’s a good way to dig deeper into a concern or objection.
Sentence #2: “That sounds really important to you.”
This shows that you listened to them and you understand them.
Sentence #3: “If I could…, would you…?”
This is a way to offer to do something and then get something from them. Examples:
“If I could open that house for you at 4, would you like to meet there?”
“If I could show you how, on average, we at GoodLife Realty net our clients more money than the average realtor in Austin, would you be interested in having a 30-minute conversation with me?”
If you can master the use of these three sentences, it will transform the way you interact with customers.
SALES = SERVICE
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar
Today’s top real estate agents are moving away from the high-pressure sales tactics that gave us a bad reputation in the past and moving toward new school sales techniques that focus on helping rather than coercing clients.
If you build your real estate business around a true desire to help and serve others, success will follow.
Looking for more tested and proven real estate sales scripts? Check out our blog post on Scripts and Templates to Turn Expired Listing Leads Into Clients.