Category Archives: Sellers

Staying connected. What to say when your customer is not ready to buy or sell.

stay connected with your customers

When the customer is not ready

There will be times when you meet a potential buyer or seller and the customer is not ready to move forward.  There are number of reasons why the customer has reached out to you for preliminary information but is not able to put their house on the market or purchase a home right now.

When this happens, you will want to make sure to follow up with the customer regularly using your CRM.  Once the customer has made it clear they are not ready to buy or sell,  I would suggest communicating the following:

Staying connected script

The real estate landscape will be different over the next 18 months (insert their time frame) so I will suspend my specific searching/researching for you and reestablish it again closer to your time frame for buying/selling.  With your permission, I will continue to provide you general information about the area.   In the meantime if I can be of any help at all please do not hesitate to call or email me.  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future.

Asking for permission to stay in touch regularly is important.  We don’t want to totally ignore them for 18 months only to discover their time frame changed and they forgot about us.

Using this simple script will help you stay in contact with and maintain a business relationship with customers not ready for your services.

6 Tips to help you take more listings!

Tips to help you take more listings

There is a good chance you have not experienced a market like we are experiencing today.  Listings are the name of the game and to help you take more of the listings, once you get the appointment, there are tips that agents have used for years that can help.  Take the time to read through the suggestions below and add your own personality to the materials and presentation you will be using.

Build your credibility.

Include a resume of sorts about you, flyers about your company, your mortgage department, your relocation division, your awards and recognition.

Dress for success.

You will most likely be the only agent that shows up at their door with business attire on. Brag about that fact so that they notice the difference should they meet with other agents. Dressing professionally won’t cost you a transaction but there is a pretty good chance it could help get you one during the course of the year.

Be well prepared.

Sometimes it is good to drive past the house a day before the appointment. That will give you a chance to view the active, pending, expired and sold homes in the area of the listing you are trying to get. Pull the tax record of the property and use the tax records search for comparable homes sold for sale by owner. Pull recent expired listings. The expired listings are great for helping the seller understand the result of overpricing. Have information available on all pending and recent sold homes in the area. These will help you prepare your CMA and can be used to show the customer what the competition looks like.

Know what is important to them

Remember that most sellers will be focused on 3 points when listing their home; how much money will they receive, how long will it take and how stressful/bothersome will the process be on them and their personal life. You should be prepared to cover those 3 points in detail with the seller to their satisfaction.

Fact find.

Ask all the right questions. Who will be making the decision to list the home, will they be attending the presentation? Why are you wanting to sell? Where are they moving? What do they think the home is worth? Information is valuable and you know the only way to get it is to ask questions and then, listen.

Take the listing.

Make sure you have a sign, lockbox and a complete listing package filled out with everything but the price when you arrive at the listing. After the small talk, after the presentation of marketing plan and after the CMA, ask for the listing. Don’t spend a second more selling yourself when the customer has said they are ready. Start getting signatures!

These are just a few extra little suggestions for you to use. Most successful listing agents are familiar with most if not all of these points.

Go get those listings!

1 outgoing real estate referral during 2012

We have a goal as an office of 1 outgoing referral from each of our agents during 2012. It would seem to be an easy goal to hit, since we are only asking for 1 outgoing referral but like many real estate agents, sometimes we get so busy listing new property or closing our transactions that we sometimes forget to ask the people we know if they know of someone wanting to buy or sell a home outside of our market area.

I would imagine most of us have a family member or friends that live outside of the State of Florida or outside whatever State you do business in. Those people would be our center of influence to help us pick up at least 1 referral for all of 2012. Additionally your sellers may be moving out of our area, which should be one of the first questions asked when taking the listing, where are you moving to?

A qualified referral equals great service to your friend or family member since you can make sure they are connected to a top producing agent located in the area your friend or family members are interested and you will get paid!

Please join with me in helping us reach our goal, which by the way will help us reach our individual goals of making more money this year.

Here is a simple short sale script that you may want to use when calling homeowners facing foreclosure.

Distressed Homeowners script

Hello, may I speak with Mr. Distressed?

Hello Mr. Distressed, My name is Greg Staker and I am with Watson Realty Corp. I will assume that you are busy so I will be brief.

I am calling homeowners in our area to talk about the potential benefits of short selling their home.

Are you familiar with how a short sale works? I have found that many people are not aware of this option when they find themselves upside down on their mortgage. Simply put, a short sale is the process where the owner can sell their home for less than what is owed to their lender.

Is this something you would be interested in learning more about?

Keep it short and sweet

Keeping  the script short and to the point on the telephone reduces the stress the home owner might experience talking to a complete stranger about their personal financial situation. Getting to the point and offering to explain a potential option for them, should result in more face to face meetings with distressed homeowners in your area.

Are you inviting the right people to your open house?

Many agents will tell their sellers that open houses are an ineffective way to market the seller’s home. Some believe that the agent is the only one who benefits from holding an open house reasoning that the agent will pick up new clients. It would seem to me that this is a great reason agents would want to increase the open houses they hold but then that is another post. What can be done to hold an open house that benefits the seller?

Inviting the right people

In many cases if the agent markets the open house in the traditional ways they could be leaving it to chance that a qualified buyer will follow the directional signs to the home, or might have seen the open house posting in the local newspaper or on the company website.

My suggestion to anyone interested in having an open house that might result in the home selling is to invite the right people. Who are these right people? The right people to attend your open house would be the area real estate professionals. These are the men and women who are in contact with the majority of homebuyers in a market area. These are the people who will remember the home and in the days or weeks to follow will be able to mentally match up the home to one of their buyers.

So how do you get these professionals to your open house? Well first it is about the timing. If you do not have success with getting agents to attend your open house on the weekend, try holding the open house during the week. Try Tuesdays immediately after sales meetings or during lunch. Tuesdays are traditionally when a majority of agents are in the office conducting business.

In order to get them to visit it might take more than just sending over an invitation via a fax to everyone in the office. If you really want to increase your chances of agents coming, personally invite them with a phone call a day or two in advance. If there are hundreds of agents in your market area, center your invites to those agents who have sold property in the area of your open house.

You can take this a step further and also personally invite lenders in your area, local title insurance companies, home inspectors in your area and other affiliates involved in your day-to-day business.

By getting the right people to your open house you will increase the likelihood of successfully selling the home as a result of your efforts.

Make sure your seller knows what you know

Keeping an open line of communication with your sellers is important in order to sell their home. Sellers need to know what you know about the market and the competition they are facing for available buyers. This knowledge will help them determine the best pricing and enhancements needed to secure a buyer.

For example it would be useful for the seller to know what the home builders in the area are offering as incentives. Showing your seller the builder’s emails and flyers that you are receiving promoting huge incentives to both potential buyers and real estate agents who bring the builder a buyer will show the seller what they are up against.

Additionally you should provide MLS information to the seller that shows when or if they have “lost a buyer” during the course of their listing. Take a look at the seller’s neighborhood or market area to see if any home in that area has went under contract since you took their listing. This information will be critical to you and your seller. If buyers are buying in that area, what are they buying? How much? How long was the house on the market? If no sales have taken place, then even if the seller’s home is the lowest priced in the neighborhood that low may not be low enough.

Making sure your seller knows what you know will result in a healthy listing inventory and an increase in sales.

Show me your marketing plan

You are sitting across the table from a home owner who is going to be listing their home and the home owner asks you to show them your marketing plan.  Are you prepared for this request?  Do you have a written market plan?  Does it work?  If you do not have a marketing plan you should start building one now. 

If you have been in the business for any length of time and have sold several of your listings, then writing down your market plan will be easy, you will simply write down what has worked.  If you are new to the business you may want to speak with your Broker or one or two of the top producing agents in your office in order to get some ideas on what you should put in your marketing plan. 

I would suggest your marketing plan include:

  • Internet marketing.  How will you promote the seller’s house across the web?  Will you use social media marketing or blogging to advertise the home, or promote the home on your personal website? Does your Company have a visible website that generates buyer leads?  Do you list your property on the online version of your local paper?
  • Direct agent contact.  Your marketing plan should include promoting the owner’s house to other real estate agents.  Does your office caravan new listings?  Will you be holding Broker opens? Will the top agents in your market place receive a virtual tour of the house?  A flyer?  Will you personally call those agents in your area who have had success selling homes similar in price, size and location of your home.

These are two elements that might make up your marketing plan.  It is up to you to decide what works best in your market and then make sure you incorporate those into your plan.  Having a well thought out written marketing plan will separate you from your competition.

If you do not ask the seller to reduce the price you are creating an expired listing

How are expired listings created?  An expired listing is a home or real estate that does not sell during the listing contract period.  If you do not ask the seller to reduce the price you are creating an expired listing.  There is a very good chance that the next agent who calls your former seller once the house expires will not only ask for a reduction but will likely make it clear that your failure to ask for a price reduction is why the home has not sold.

The market is competitive right now and your seller is relying on you to provide them with information they need to make informed decisions that will lead to a sale.

Why your listings are not selling

On paper your listing price appears to be in line with comparable property in the neighborhood.  Your CMA took into account the number of bedrooms and baths, the square footage, the age, and so on.  So what gives?  Why no offers?  When size, location and features are similar and your listing is still not selling the reason(s) might be found in one of the following.

  • Hard to show.  Does the listing require an appointment?  Are there unreasonable limitations to showing times?  Do you have to be there for every showing?  Does the seller have to be there?
  • Smoke em if you got em.  Does the listing smell like an ashtray?  Have the sellers smoked inside the home for some time, discoloring the curtains, walls, etc?
  • Unable to move.  Has all the extra square feet in the home been filled to capacity leaving no room to move?  Are bedrooms, closets, the garage crammed filled with boxes and other valuables the seller just cannot seem to get rid of?
  • You just have to hold the handle down is all.  Look around, how many minor to major repairs need to be made in the home?  Are cracks, chips, breaks, leaks or missing parts keeping the listing from showing at its very best?

As the professional real estate agent it is your job to talk straight with the seller on enhancements that will help them receive a fair offer.  Taking the initiative early on will increase the number of your listings that are selling.