Category Archives: Floor Calls

Always, always, always, try to get the name, phone number/numbers and email address.

I work with many outstanding agents.  Irena and Suzanne Aistrop are  two of those outstanding agents.  Year after year they do what it takes to succeed.  There are no excuses with these two ladies, regardless of the market, they find a way to sell more real estate than the average REALTOR in our market place.  These ladies are awesome with floor duty.  I asked Irena to give me her thoughts on why she has so much success on floor.  Here is a portion of her comments and opinions.

“Always, always, always, try to get the name, phone number/numbers and email address for the customer whether buyer or seller and make sure you have offered to be of help even though they may be initially unreceptive. 

Try to keep them talking.  Even unreceptive customers can frequently be persuaded to open up by friendly helpful conversation.  And don’t forget to give them your details.

Ask a few sensible pre qualifying questions but, contrary to all you have probably been told, do NOT insist on seeing a pre qualification letter or proof of cash to close before you show a home. 

Use that first viewing as a chance to build rapport and then at that point seek further financing/cash confirmation which is always easier to obtain face to face. 

If you are not prepared to risk a little of your time to gain a commission, you are most likely going to miss out on a good few strong buyers and are probably in the wrong profession!”

 

What can you do to get the buyer committed?

The phone rings and a buyer is on the other end asking about the price of a home located at 111 Pick-a-name St.  Because this is your listing you can, in great detail, describe the home from the tile flooring to the new shingles on the roof.  However, the buyer only wants the price.

Your initial response to the buyer’s question is probably going to be along the lines of:

My name is Greg Staker. This is a great home you have called about, and may I ask your name.  Or your response might be; let me pull this information and send you an email or give you a call with the information, your contact information is? 

Your goal is to get the buyer’s contact information, find out what they want and then sell them what they want. More often than not you find out quickly that the person calling is not concerned about your goals.

Your goals are not the buyers

You are most likely one of several agents this buyer has called today or this week, asking about a house.  There is an old saying, why buy the cow when the milk is free, and this is played out daily in real estate offices throughout the country.  Inexperienced and less successful agents are more than happy to act as information providers without requiring any commitment from the buyer.  List prices or addresses are offered up freely to anonymous persons on the other end of the line.  In return, the potential buyer is unwilling to offer up the information you have requested and will counter you with any of the following excuses.

I just want to know the price.

I am looking for a friend.

I want to drive by the home.

Sound familiar?

When encountering those excuses, many agents offer the buyer the same service as other agents in hopes of starting a customer relationship with the buyer.  How many times have you said or heard someone say this to a buyer?

I have access to all of the listings for sale in this area; there is no need for you to call anyone else.

 It is better for you to pick an agent and let them do the leg work for you so that you don’t miss out on the latest listings? 

A few agents even give in to magical thinking; somehow, someway this buyer will just call them back.   The only thing of “value” the agent offers is their cell phone number.

I’ll provide you with my cell phone number and if you like the home or see another home you’re interested in, give me a call.

When you offer the buyer the same value as the agent before you, and the agent after you, what reason would the buyer have to commit to you? 

If they commit to you in the small things, the big things will follow.

 The buyer does not know you. There are no reasons for the buyer to feel comfortable enough to commit to anything.  Fear creates trust issues.  Buyer fears are based on their uncertainty, inexperience, bad experiences, or feelings of being rushed into a decision.  Establishing a relationship with the buyer or getting a commitment from them is best handled in small steps. 

The first step in relationship building is in letting them know right from the start that you can provide them with something of real value. Immediately after their initial inquiry about price or location you may want to respond in a manner similar to the following.

You may be happy to learn that my services as an agent are free to you.  Additionally, I am able to provide you with the information you need to purchase the best home for the best price.

You just told them you can provide them with what the 2009 National Association of REALTORS survey indicated that buyers want most from a real estate agent.  Help in finding the right home to purchase.  Initially, you’ve not asked for anything from them, which helps to ease their fears, you have also eased the fear of uncertainty as it relates to what this is going to cost them by your use of the word “free”. 

From your initial offer you will then move to the next step in helping them feel at ease.  When a buyer feels at ease, it helps them to open up to the possibility of their trust and commitment to you.  I suggest holding back from boring housing statistics which could result in you coming across to the buyer as cold and uninvolved and instead replace those stats with a story about the home or neighborhood that a friend might tell over a glass of tea. 

Let me provide you with the specific information you have requested.  By-the-way, my name is Greg Staker.  You are asking about the price of the home at 111 Pick-a-name St.?  I love that area.  I remember walking down that street on my way to school or the community park is a great place for picnic, or my granddaughter took her first ride on a swing close to the house you’re asking about.

If they are residents of your community, you might then add a follow up question, perhaps asking what school they attended or you could ask them a “do you remember when” question about the city or community. If they are new to the area, then your follow up might include an additional highlight about the area; you could tell them they will want to visit the local library or a popular downtown store.

So far, in addition to offering them something of value, you have shown them that you know the area, live in the area and can help them get to know the area.  You spoke to them about growing up in the community and a few of the good features to be found.  This helps to take you from a salesperson in their eyes and turn you into more of a neighbor/person. 

Your next step is to ask one small favor of them.

Ok, I have the information here.  I am sorry, when I introduced myself I did not ask you for your name?

At this point it is reasonable to expect the buyer feels comfortable enough to offer you their name.  Once you know who you are speaking with you can proceed with building a relationship by again offering them something of value.

By the way Mr. Buyer since we are talking about price, did you know that the median sales price of a home in this area is $$$$?  That is right, $$$$.  Half of the homes sold this year have been lower and half have been higher than $$$$!  Is it your goal to purchase a home lower than, higher than or around the median sales price? 

You are hoping to spend lower?  Great, there are 1,000 homes listed right now for sale that are lower than the median sales price.  The particular price of the home you’re inquiring about is $$$.  If you’d be willing to provide me with your email address/phone number, I’d be happy to screen the current list of homes in your price range.  I can also include size and location or other criteria you’re seeking and provide you with the addresses and prices, if that would be convenient for you?

 Earlier I discussed how every agent the buyer speaks to will offer to provide them with information on all houses for sale in their area.  But you are the only agent who will offer to provide them with more.

Not only can I provide you with a list of homes for sale in that area, I can take it one step further. 

  • I can provide you a list of homes that are being sold with a home warranty for your added protection against costly repair work after you move in. 
  • I can provide you a list of homes that have had new roofs or tiling or carpet or windows, etc installed within the past year. 
  • I can provide you a list of homes where the seller is offering to pay a portion of your closing costs. 
  • I can provide you a list of homes where the seller has indicated they are motivated to sell, perhaps resulting in a better deal for you. 
  • I can provide you a list of homes complete with a comparison chart of what similar homes have sold for so that you are comfortable you are not paying too much.

You can go on and on adding to the list or including features or concessions that the buyer has indicated is important to them, thus providing even more value to a task that everyone says they can do, it is just that you can do the same task, better.

Once the buyer gives you a name and contact information, you are half way there to commitment, to allowing you to assist them with the purchase of their home.  The rest of the way will require that you continue to offer them service and care of real value that other agents do not offer.

Using the steps above will help you get a commitment that allows you to start building a customer service relationship from buyers who call you while on floor or from your advertisements.  – Remember to listen, listen, listen and be sincere with your potential customer, instead of sounding like you’re reading, well, a script. –  From there it is up to you to continue providing the buyer with reasons to trust and have confidence in you in order for you to maintain that commitment with them throughout your sales career.

What is the customer’s first impression of you?

As the floor agent you need to be keenly concerned with the first impression the customer has of you when they walk into your office. During this first meeting the customer will form an opinion about you and your company within the first few minutes. When a customer walks into your office, what you do, what you say and how you act, is when the customer will form their opinion of you and your company.

You need to stand, smile and extend your hand in greeting whenever someone walks into your office. This will give the customer a warm, welcome feeling. Once you have determined that they are interested in buying or selling a home, take them away from the reception area and back into an office where they can feel comfortable to discuss their situation in private.

You should avoid; answering a ringing phone while they are with you or trying to conduct business with them at the front desk.

Customers who walk in are usually potential home buyers. Their expectation is that you will help them find a house. Take your time and work on building a relationship with them before you start hammering them for financial information. Make small talk first, why did they stop into your office? Do they live in the area? Have they lived here long? What do they think about the amazing weather, the local sports team? Let them get comfortable with you and you with them. Keep an eye on their body language and adjust your conversation accordingly. Ask them what type of house they are interested in and then listen. Find out if they are first time home buyers or repeat buyers and ask them if they have questions about the process; listen and answer . Once they feel you care and that you will listen, they will be more inclined to talk about the personal stuff like financing and getting qualified.

A great first impression followed up by great customer service will result in a customer who will turn to you for real estate assistance throughout your career.

Real estate floor call script short version

Real estate floor call script

Customer: I drove by/saw an ad/ heard about a house for sale on 111 Main Street and was would like to know the price?

Agent: Ok, that was 111 Main Street and who am I speaking with?

Customer: This is Mr. Just Looking.

Agent: Thank you Mr. Looking for calling our office. I am going to gather all of the available information for this home. This will take several minutes so instead having you remain on hold I will call you right back with 30 minutes. What is the best number to reach you?

The Goal

This script is focused on getting the main information from the potential buyer;

  • why they have called,
  • who are they
  • how can you reach them

Arranging to call them back within 30 minutes will allow you to also look for other property in the area of 111 Main St. in case the price of the home they called on is too high or the home is to big/small.

Continue to do the things that will increase your business

In order to grow, improve or kick-start your business you will need to continue to do the things that will increase your business.

Buyers

If you are not working with enough buyers then you should plan on holding several open houses over the next few months. Pick homes that are on busy streets or sought after communities. Agents who have success with open houses walk the neighborhood prior to the open house and personally invite the neighbors to attend.

During the open house successful agents do not act as wallflowers instead they warmly greet each person who walks through the door, engaging them in conversation about the home, or the neighborhood or the real estate market in general. If you are listening you should be able to quickly determine the reason your guest is there and what steps you will need to take to build an agent-customer relationship that will result in future business.

Continue to put yourself in the path of buyers and your business will increase.

Sellers

Having a large, well-managed listing inventory has always translated into success. Expired listings continue to be a leading source of listings.

Listings of your competition that have expired may have never been provided any more information about the current market except that it has “slowed down.” The sellers who really want to sell will appreciate you being truthful. With the competition so fierce, homes need to be priced competitively in order to sale. The best valued home at the best price and in the best condition will result in offers and a sale.

These are just 2 of the steps that an agent who wants to increase their business should take. These steps work for those agents who work them continually.

Listen and then give the customer what they want.

This was the advice given during a recent sales meeting by agents who are achieving a level of success this year above what their counterparts are experiencing.  So what does this mean?  I believe it includes the following.

Listen

  • What is their motivation for buying/selling?
  • What is the time frame they expect this to happen?
  • What have they heard about current market conditions and how does this influence their thought process?
  • What has been their experience with buying/selling a home in the past?  What did they like? Dislike?
  • What don’t they want to hear?
  • Who makes the decision?  Who do they need to consult with before signing a contract?
  • Why did they contact you or decide to use your services?

Give the customer what they want

  • As a buyer they want the best value available.
  • As a seller they want the most money in the fastest amount of time.
  • They want your patience and understanding when they are nervous, confused, or seeking more information.
  • They want to know up front what buying a house will cost them or how much they can expect to receive from selling their home.
  • They expect you to update them continuously during the transaction.
  • They expect you to be more concerned with their complete satisfaction than you are about getting paid.
  • They want you to speak politely and professional to them even when they are upset or tense.

Ask yourself, if you are successfully meeting people but not closing transactions are you failing to listen or provide the customer what they want?  There are steps you can take to improve your listening and customer service skills.

  •  Shadow an agent in your office who is doing well and pay close attention to their manner and style when discussing real estate with a potential customer. 
  • Ask your manager of another agent to listen and observe you when you are on floor, at an open house of in front of a customer.  Then ask them to give you an honest review of how you did and have them include helpful critique and suggestions.

The customer will tell you what it is they want in order to work with you; you just need to hear them.

Open houses are better than floor for meeting people

Open houses can be just like floor as a matter of fact they are better than floor as far as meeting new people to add to your contact lists. If you hold a home open house and do it correctly you are guaranteed to meet new people. How?

 First if the open house is in a high traffic area, and you have well placed directional signs, you increase the chances of buyers wandering in. You might be able to add the potential for more buyer traffic by simply doing a post card/phone call blast to apartment complexes in the same area announcing the open house you are having.

 If you do not want to leave meeting new people to chance then open houses are perfect because it gives you a reason to knock on a  the neighbors doors either before or immediately after the open house. You might use a script like:

 Hi my name is Successful Real Estate Agent and I just wanted you to know that I will be holding Mr. and Mrs. Want to Move’s home open today between 2-4. Feel free to stop on over I have some cookies and interesting stats about your neighborhood that I am sharing with my guests today.  Thanks

 That is it, short and sweet and now you have branded yourself in the mind of this potential buyer, seller, or referral source.

 If you do not have an open house scheduled, think about having one next week and every week until your bank account is so full you have to give away money!

A simple real estate tool that may help you engage the floor duty customer

If your office or website is offering to provide a free list of bank owned/foreclosure properties to potential customers I am sure you have been receiving a ton of activity in the way of walk-ins, floor calls and emails. I have an outline that I created which contains a foreclosure/bank owned/etc. list you may want to adapt and use when handling floor customers.

Your goal for promoting a free list of foreclosures/bank owned is to get the customer’s contact information so you can work towards selling them a house. You have no doubt found that on occasion all the person who walks in, emails or calls want is the list and nothing else. Creating a document similar to the one I have outlined may help you engage the customer further or at the very least could serve as a silent salesman for you.

I would strongly suggest using your listings, your company listings or HUD/VA listings and keep the number of listings you use to a minimum. We want them buy the cow not just drink the milk for free.

 

 Your logo and contact information

 

Foreclosure, REO and HUD Property

 

REO/Bank Owned

 111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

 

In Foreclosure

 111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

 

HUD Government Homes

 111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

111 Main St.  Your City $100,000

 

 Availability of inventory is subject to change without notice. 

 Currently there are nearly _______ homes listed for sale in Insert Your County that are either in or pre-foreclosure, bank owned, HUD acquired or short sales.  In the entire MLS that number increases to well over ________.  I have complete access to information about these properties.

 In many cases Foreclosure/REO/Bank Owned/distressed property sell within days of being listed.  If you are serious about buying a home, provide me with your contact information, style of home, price range and location that you are interested in and I will keep you apprised of all homes that become available.

Real estate floor time questions

If you are an agent who takes advantage of the floor time available in your real estate office you will find that your success rate will be increased by the questions you ask of the customer who calls or walks in more so that the questions you answer for them.  Unsuccessful floor time agents spend the most of their time on floor playing operator or information giver and never ask a single question in return.  The questions you would want to ask of anyone inquiring about real estate would include:

  • Do you have a home to sell?
  • May I ask for your name? your phone number? Your email address?
  • Would you like to speak with one of our lenders to discuss mortgage programs available for you?
  • Can we meet this evening?  This weekend?
  • When do you plan to move?
  • When do you plan to buy?
  • What is it about the home you called in on that you most like?
  • When can we get together to discuss your real estate needs

Successful agents will look for every opportunity to engage the customer, asking for the appointment and trying to meet with them whenever possible.