All top professionals must practice their skills relentlessly in order to stay at the top of their game. Actors must rehearse their lines hundreds of times before performing for an audience; airplane pilots are required to complete hundreds of hours in flight simulators before their first flight; and most professional athletes endure countless hours of rigorous training in order to have an extra edge on the competition. This same “practice makes perfect” philosophy also holds true for successful real estate agents.
As a real estate agent, it is likely that most of your training focused primarily on how to fill out a contract, rather than how to effectively list, negotiate and close a deal. But in order to be successful, agents need to use the clearest, most effective words they can find at every stage of the process. That’s where scripts and dialogues come in. They are useful tools used by top agents to help them perform their jobs more effectively. Here are just a few examples of scripts that have proven to work in the most common real estate scenarios.
Scripts for Qualifying Buyers
One of the most important sets of scripts you can use when working with buyers is for qualifying. Use your scripts over the phone to determine what type of home your buyers would like and how ready they are to buy, in turn significantly reducing the time you will have to spend on showings. Here are a few to practice:
- “So I fully understand how to follow up with you, how would you rate yourself as a buyer from 1-10, with 1 being no immediate need, and 10 being you need to purchase a home today?”
(If less than 10…)
What would it take for you to become a 10? Do you have a time period in which you think that may occur?
“OK, then you might be a 10 in three months?”
- “If I am able to listen properly and you are able to articulate what your needs are, we should be able to find the home you’ll buy within the first five homes we look at. If I find that within the first five homes we’re not doing that, then we have a problem. At that point, I’ll ask you more questions so I can re-evaluate your needs. Fair enough?”
- “There are two numbers that are important here. One is the amount of money that you feel you can spend on a house, and the other is what the bank feels you can spend. As long as those two numbers are in agreement, we’ll have no problem. However, if those two numbers are a little out of sync, we may have a different story. So let me ask you a few questions….”
Setting the Stage for a Sale:
- “The first day is going to be adjusting. Tell me how you feel, what you like, what you don’t like. When you get into the car, open up to me. I’m not going to live with you, so you don’t have to be polite with me. If you don’t tell me exactly how you feel, good or bad, then I’ll just keep repeating the same thing because I’m getting messages from you that it is OK. So can I count on you to be very candid with me?”
- “I’m going to tell you everything about the house, both good and bad. My job is to provide you with enough information so that you can make an intelligent, informed decision. Fair enough?”
- “Please rate the first three homes that we see — first, second and third choice. When we see the fourth home, you can still only have your top three homes. You will tell me which of the first three homes you want to eliminate or if we should eliminate the fourth home.”
Overcoming Buyer Indecision
Your buyers may look at 30 homes that would reasonably meet their needs and not choose any of them because none of them are “perfect.” Here are a few great scripts to use in this situation:
- “Do you realize there is no such thing as the perfect home? Say you tried to design the perfect home yourselves. You wouldn’t be in that home for more than 10 minutes before wishing you had done something differently. Would you agree?”
(The buyer usually laughs and agrees)
“What wont you compromise on?”
- “There are two things that are really difficult to change about a house, but everything else can be changed. You need to look at the floor plan and you need to look at the lot. Those two things will be the hardest to change. But everything else we can change. So if you like the floor plan but feel the carpeting is bad or the kitchen needs updating, we can handle that in our offer price.”
- “I sell a lot of brand-new homes and I like brand-new homes too, but I haven’t run into a single person at closing who answers ‘no’ to the question, ‘Is there anything you would have changed about it?’ There’s always something. There is no such thing as a perfect house out there. So please know, we’re just looking for one that comes closest to meeting your needs, OK?”
Buying a home is a costly, emotionally charged transaction. Therefore, practicing scripts and dialogue scenarios are the basis for success for almost every top-performing agent. As with any script, the more you practice it, the better you will become. Try them on your spouse, your kids or in front of a mirror before you try them on your customers. Practice will make them feel natural and your closing ratio will increase.
Howard Brinton is a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of Star Power Systems, a sales training organization that offers tapes, books, videos, conferences and a club that distributes selling techniques from the nation’s top producers.