August 23, 2017 by realestateresource
This topic was a specific request from a new real estate agent, and is the number one thing I see my new agents struggle with in our business. Some agents feel like a deer in headlights when they get on the phone with a potential new client. First Initial Contact how to… something we all try to nail down and should nail down as quickly as possible. . It takes time to set your own process up but in order to do this, and you should always be open to tweaking and bettering all of your set processes. In order to do this, you must first establish the following:
1) What do I Say?
It’s not just what you say, but how quickly you say it. In our day and age of immediate and accessible information, buyer and sellers expect immediate contact or they will reach out to the soonest available real estate agent. Time is most definitely of the essence and is our most valuable asset. Quick response time is one of the assets that will help set you apart.
Give your buyer or seller information that they may not have accessible to them and showcase your local knowledge. Take 3 minutes to pull up the home on the MLS or property records and find what you can, and then get the phone to being making that personal connection. When I say information they don’t have what do I mean?
If they are a seller, that information should be what their competition might be (resales and new construction!) what they can expect from you as a listing agent, and what their property may be worth. You can quickly pull comps to give them an idea based on recent sales, but securing an appointment will be crucial as value is often based on condition. Now is not the time to give your spill on commissions! Our focus is not on our pay at this point, but on establishing a relationship and making sure you have very informed sellers.
If they are a buyer, that information should be if the home they are inquiring about is available. If it is not you should automatically be pulling comparable properties for them to consider and view. You should be about inquiring about their pre-approval status, and what they may be looking for.
In addition to the sales portion of our job, there is also a very personal side, and the personal side of you, and what you share, is what will, inevtibaly, stick with them after your conversation is over. I like to look up a client’s area code, to see where they are from. Establish a connection and they will remember you.
2) What to Ask?
Open up your CRM (see blog post #2) before you call your future client, so that you can make notes as you go. Little scraps of paper get lost, but if you must, make sure you fill in the blanks later. Don’t hold off on a call back because of this.
Buyers: Are they pre-approved?
I cannot tell you how many new agents make the mistake of showing people 22 houses before they ask. Please ask this first and foremost. There are different parameters to each type of loan, property, and lender, so in order to be able to do your job the best you can, you need the full scope of what you are looking for. Areas, wants, needs, must-haves, and time frame for moving are also important parts of a buyer’s profile. You should also consider what they are using the property for. Will they want to live it in? Is it for an office? DO they care about an HOA, privacy? Will they rent it out and use it sometimes, or is this an investment purchase? The more you know, the more successful you will be in finding what they want and closing the property successfully.
Sellers: Details, Details!
Have they done any upgrades to their home? What are the ages of the AC and the roof? Be sensitive to these things, as some people who have lived in their home for a long time, may have some sentimental attachments and may not want to hear that what they have chosen is outdated, or unattractive to buyers right away.
What are they looking for in an agent? I can promise you that lack of communication is most seller’s biggest concern if they have been listed with another agent before. Communication is key, whether the news is good news, bad news or no news at all. If you are able to get them a CMA (comparative market analysis) and a net sheet, make sure you find out if they have a mortgage pay off. If they are a foreign seller, they may be susceptible to a 15% FIRPTA tax withholding so make sure to disclose that as well. More to come about listing appointments in a later blog.
Make sure to be a resource to both your buyer’s and sellers. If they don’t have a lender, provide them with some local options; if they are not sure about their FIRPTA status, put them in touch with a tax accountant. Let them know that you can help them get in to the right position to use your services now or down the road.
3) What is your goal?
Do not be afraid to ask for their business! If you don’t ask you just don’t know.
The goal should always be to get an appointment! Securing a face to face meeting, and following through with that appointment are the most important part of your phone call. Whether you meet for coffee to go over listings, or you meet at their home to take some pictures and hopefully get that listing, that is your goal. If they are not ready for the next steps with you, keep them in your CRM and followup as needed.
Get comfortable on the phone, and in person, and also get comfortable with rejection! Not everyone is going to like you or like the way you do business. Take that feedback and put it work for you. The more you put your skills to use, the more you will be able to fine tune them. The more experience we get as real estate agents, the less amount of “leads” we need to procure the same number of sales and listings (OR MORE!) because we then, better at overcoming obstacles.
Got something you want to know more about? Send me a topic!
Thanks for reading and I look forward to growing with you.