Coaching vs. Closing: How Real Estate Agents Can Help “Lift The Fog” for Buyers and Sellers
April 21, 2021

Coaching vs. Closing: How Real Estate Agents Can Help “Lift The Fog” for Buyers and Sellers

Your job is to clear the fog and to help people see choices, so that they can make smart decisions for their families. 

The first thing I always say to new real estate agents is this: you should never close peopleyou should coach them. When you coach somebody rather than closeand this is a really important distinction, you find out the details of what their commitment really is rather than think about just the listing. 

How to “Lift The Fog” for Buyers and Sellers

You should know, by asking the right questions and being really present with someone, what is going on in their life, and what they want to accomplish.  Your job is to clear the fog and to help people see choices, so that they can choose wisely and knowledgably. When you’re coaching people you are centered on their needs — not three steps ahead in your listing presentation. That’s one of the reasons we like to call it a real estate listing conversation, not a real estate listing presentation. We don’t want you “presenting” – we want you present in the conversation.

A Muddy View 

Here’s what happenswhen somebody has a lot of things going on, or a lot of choices to decide between, they are going to feel anxious. They can feel overwhelmed. I want you to picture filling up a jar with half dirt, half water, then shaking it up. All you see is mud, right? You can’t see anything clearly. That’s what it is like when someone gets anxious and there are too many things happening at once and there is not any clear direction. The view — gets muddy. 

Now picture putting the jar down and letting the contents settleand eventuallythe water and the dirt separate and the dirt settles on the bottom. Now you can see through the clear water again. 

What we do when we coach people is we help them get clear, and we avoid disturbing the waters all over again. We say, “Okay here’s the choices that you have: you can do this, and here’s what will happen. Here are the challenges, and what might happen in this other scenario.” What you want to do is empower them to make a choice. You present the facts and all the options, and then let them decide their next course of action. 

Now, you might be thinking, “But I did all that, and my client isn’t calling me back!” It’s most likely that they aren’t returning your call because you didn’t coach them, you tried to close them. You gave them more anxiety, not less. 

Lifting The Fog 

Here’s another analogy for you. Let’s say that you and your seller are driving down the highway at night and you are in the passenger seat next to him. As you two are driving along, the fog comes in. You start telling him to drive faster instead of telling him to slow down, and that’s going to give him more anxiety. Slowing down until you can help clear the fog will ease his anxiety.  

It’s possible that you might lose the listing, but you can make a phone call leave a message saying, “Hey, John. I haven’t heard back from you. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you more. I think you have some options, I just want to be here to coach you through the process and if I if I seemed a little aggressive with it, I apologize for that. Just know that’s just sometimes I do that but that’s how I am for my clients. But listen, I‘m here for you, if you need something. 

Power Agents®, remember what we do. We coach, not close. We serve, not sell. That distinction will allow you to be authentic and present in your listing conversations which will help you to build trust, rapport, and endear you to the sellers. Be patient and present. We’re here to help!


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