If you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, then I know you’ve heard all the common things to make sure of before working with a buyer. Things such as making sure they have a preapproval, will meet you at your office for a buyer consultation, or making sure you aren’t wasting your time by finding out if they have an agent.
It seems like since Day One in the business we have been told these three rules time and time again. I am here to tell you times have changed in the way buyers respond to these three requests, and therefore, in our 400-plus buyer transactions annually, we are skipping these three on the first call:
1. Asking if they’re preapproved
We don’t do this on the first call because there’s no need to be tough with someone you’re trying to convert. You can always get this information on the second call with them. Instead, ask them who their lender is and/or what bank they’re working with. That’ll tell you all you need to know without turning them off.
Once you meet them, let them know they need a photo or PDF of their preapproval if they fall in love with something today, because you can’t submit an offer without it.
2. Asking if they’re working with an agent
There is no value in asking this in your initial conversation with a buyer. Instead, leave a question like that for your follow-up call to remind them of the appointment or after the showing is confirmed or during your buyer consultation. But under no circumstances do you ask that at the same time you are trying to make a great first impression because you are essentially handing them an objection. They know if they say yes, you’ll back off and won’t close for an appointment or won’t follow up with them.
Answer their questions, make a great first impression, ask them questions in return and close for an appointment. Worry about who (if anyone) they’re working with later.
3. Asking to meet for a buyer consultation
Conventional wisdom is for conventional markets, and as you know, this market is anything but conventional.
Don’t skip the buyer consultation, just don’t focus on it during your initial call. Today’s buyers have already seen homes, written offers, gotten rejected and have buyer fatigue. The last thing they want to be forced to do is to meet you at your office to “talk about what’s going on in the market.”
Instead, you focus on closing for the first showing during your initial call, and on your confirmation/reminder (or follow up) call you bring up things like the buyer consultation.
I know the above goes against what you and I have been taught, but if you give it a try, you’ll see just how effective it is to go in a different direction than the rest of the crowd.
Jeff Glover is the founder of Live Unreal Companies, the parent company of several real estate related businesses, including the No. 1 homeselling team in Michigan, real estate brokerages consisting of more than 600 agents, and a homebuying mobile app. He is also the No. 1 producing real estate coach in the country, selling more than 100 homes annually in the last decade.