Powerfact: When you know that you can help a homeowner sell their home for more money in less time and with less stress – your goal is to just get in the door.
By Darryl Davis, CSP
When I first got into real estate, one of my first brokers, Mac Levitt, was the one who taught me all about FSBO’s. He was a top producer, but he wasn’t a great trainer. He didn’t know how to break things down to instruct.
There was this time he was trying to train me, and I was calling FSBO’s and not getting anywhere, so I asked him, “What should I have said to get that appointment?” All he said in response was “Get in the door.” He had no dialogue suggestions, no other tips or ideas, he only ever said, “Just get in the door.” It was frustrating, but eventually, I began to understand the point.
When you call a FSBO and they respond with “I have a friend in the business” or “I already have an agent I would list with” or “I want to try selling on my own for a while first”, the only thing that you need to focus on is to get in the door.
Why? Because nothing can ever happen on the phone.
The purpose of that phone call is to build a relationship with the sellers.
You want them to like you and get comfortable with you. You want them to develop some trust in you to let you through the door.
So, when they tell you their excuse, this is what you can say. “Well, that’s great! So, I’m just looking at a copy of your ad, and it’s really nice! Did you write it yourself? You did a great job! I see you have four bedrooms…can I just ask, is that two up and two down? Oh, and it’s a full basement…is it finished? How big is the backyard? That’s great. Hey, would you be offended if I just stopped by to have a look at your house so I could see if there is a way I could help you?”
Basically…no matter what excuse they give you, ignore it. No matter what they say that keeps you from getting a face to face, just keep working to build the relationship and ask questions about the house.
They will probably repeat themselves and tell you they already have an agent they would list with, but this is how you respond. “Of course, I understand. I don’t want you to list with me, I just want to come see your home to see if there is any way I could possibly help you out.”
They will inevitably ask, “Why would you do that?” And this is what you tell them. “Well, you’re letting complete strangers into the house, and honestly, you don’t know who they are or if they can afford your house, or if they are even really planning on buying a home or just curious! I’m licensed by the state, and frankly, the safest appointment you can have. Not to mention, I could potentially have several buyers that your house might be perfect for, so letting me in to have a look is just like letting a whole bunch of buyers in at the same time! So, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so can I come over at 6, or would 7 be better?”
Get in the door.
They have put an ad out there, inviting people to come over to look at their house. Why not you too? If they are willing to let all those other people in, why the heck wouldn’t they let you in? Every FSBO should become an appointment.
Get in the door!
When you get there, be prepared to have the full listing conversation, and this is why.
Who you talk to on the phone will not be the same “person” as when you go to their home. On the phone, anything they say may not be (and probably isn’t) real, which is why we decide to ignore it.
FSBO’s are taught to make excuses to handle objections from real estate professionals. Most of the time, this other agent they are talking about listing with, the “good friend” they are talking about, is most likely some business card or postcard they got in the mail but don’t really know.
There is another thing to note: When they list their excuses to keep you out of their home, they aren’t speaking to you — they are speaking to their fabricated perceptions of the real estate agent that is going to cost them money. They aren’t interacting with you, they are interacting with their made-up perception of who you are. They don’t know anything about you because they haven’t met you yet!
When you get to their home, set your stuff down at the kitchen table and start touring the house with them. Let them get to know you. Ask questions and compliment their home. When you are engaging and interacting, they get to see who you really are.
You become two human beings building a relationship. Pretty soon, they will let down their guard and the real homeowner will show up because they will see the real you. You will FEEL when that shift happens!
When the tour is done, you sit down at the kitchen table and continue the conversation. “This is really nice, what you have here. How long have you lived here? Why are you making this move? What’s the time frame you are working with? If I could help you make this move in your time frame, would you be interested in that? Let me share something with you about me.” There…you just started your listing conversation.
“Get in the door.”
Ready, Set, Go!
Are you ready to start taking things to the next level? Knowing your strengths and finding ways to answer the challenges and learn from them is a key part of living a life worth smiling about.
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