When a Seller Says, “I want to interview more agents.”
“I want to interview other agents” leaves most professionals scrambling for an answer to turn the listing conversation around…we’ve got you covered.
One of the questions that frequently comes up during our coaching calls is, “How do I respond when the seller tells me they still want to interview more agents?” Especially when it results in zero response back. Sound familiar?
Why You Keep Getting This Objection
Before we dive into how to handle this objection, you need to understand why you keep getting it. If you keep getting the same objection repeatedly, it’s not a weird mistake. It’s happening because you may be doing something (or NOT doing something) that is creating this consistent objection. Ask yourself, “What am I doing/not doing that makes people say they want to interview other agents?” Analyze your verbiage and presentation objectively to see if you are creating this hesitation, then correct the problem. Enlist the help of another person to help, if need be.
Related reading: How to Deliver a Powerful Real Estate Listing Presentation
Dialogue to Responding to their Objection
When you are on this listing appointment, and the seller says they want to interview other agents, start off by asking, “I respect that. I’m just curious, though. What is it that you’re looking for by interviewing other agents? What are you looking for? Are you looking for someone more charming than me?” (Alright, you might not want to ask that, but humor can be a great way to connect with people!)
Humor aside, determining what they are looking for in an agent will help you narrow down what their REAL objection is. “Are you looking for an agent with a lower commission? Do you want someone that specializes in a certain type of market?” Once you know the source of their hesitation, you can start to address that.
An Example With Sprinklers
We were recently doing some work on my house. I always like to interview vendors before I hire someone, and part of the reason I do that is that every time I talk to another vendor, I learn more and more about the process of what they do and how they do it because each company will say different things about the job they do.
Let me show you what I mean. We are in the process of installing a sprinkler system in our yard. Every time I interview someone, I learn something new that the previous sprinkler installer didn’t tell me, so I learn about what works and what doesn’t work and can determine what sprinkler system would be best for my needs.
However, after conversations with them, after they came out to look at my lawn and determine our sprinkler needs, none of them ever asked me, “What do I need to do to earn your business right now?” Not a single one of them asked what I wanted in a Sprinkler Installation Company! They came over, looked at my lawn, and told me they would email me a quote (not one of them would give me a quote on the spot), and my point is this: if someone had given me a quote that same day and then asked, “What do I need to do, Mr. Davis, to earn your business now?”
I might have responded by looking at the quotes: “One company said $X and another company said $X,” but if one had said to me, “You know the saying, ‘you get what you pay for’, so if you feel like you’re in better hands with me rather than another company, would it be worth that $1000 difference?”
I probably would have hired that sprinkler installer on the spot, and here’s why: He believes in himself and validated himself while handling my concern.
How You Can Validate Yourself on the Listing Appointment
It’s like that on Listing Conversations too. You can’t assume they will call you back; we need to get the listing while you’re there.
“What’s holding you back? What have I not explained? What question do you still have, because I can’t handle the question once I leave. So, is it the commission? The price?”
If they say they want to compare commissions, you can respond with, “Let me ask you a question. If I can prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m worth any extra percentage over any other broker, and if you feel comfortable that because you choose to hire me, I would put more money in your pocket than any other agent, would you hire me right now?”
You are giving the sellers a chance to express their hesitations, and when they do, you have the best chance of getting hired because you can address them.
How to Handle This if You are the First Agent Interviewed
The above dialogues work great when the homeowner has already interviewed a couple of agents, but what if you’re the first one being interviewed? What if they have no other agents to compare you to?
While it might be a little harder to handle the objection about interviewing other agents, you do have an advantage as well if you have done a great job in building rapport and trust.
“You are always welcome to interview other agents, but the truth is, I’m here right now, and if you like me and trust me and think I’ll do a great job, then I can save you the time and energy of interviewing a bunch of other agents.”
The unfortunate truth is that if you walk out that door, the odds of those homeowners calling you back to say, “We want to hire you” is pretty low, which is why we need to be a little more aggressive in asking for the listing before we leave the house.
Imagine what might happen if you were to pause before you put your hand on the doorknob to leave and ask, “Let me ask you, what do I need to do or show you now to win your business today? Because I really want to work with you, what do I have to show you or tell you to earn your business today?” What if you ended every listing conversation that you weren’t getting the listing that way?
Back in My Day…
When I was a real estate agent, my listing appointments were two hours long. I didn’t rush them because I liked to spend time developing rapport and building trust. I used analogies a lot, and I’m not afraid to admit that basically, I wore them down!
There are two things that I did, and you can also do, to make a difference:
- Use metaphors and analogies. This is such a different style of listing presentation that no other agents use, so you are going to stand out in the sea of competition. Storytelling is engaging and relatable, and that’s why it works. Metaphors and analogies are a way of connecting with people and ideas and concepts and a very unique and specific way of approaching the listing conversation.
- Use the real estate agent comparison chart in our Classroom. You can show this to your sellers and say, “I respect that you say this, but I want you to look at this list, and if other agents aren’t doing all of these things, they should be. I know my competition, and I know many of them don’t do these things, or they do them improperly.” This gives sellers a metric by which to assess the agents they are interviewing and how you compare.
Bonus Idea for POWER AGENTS®
For POWER AGENTS® who have been in the program long enough, you have received your special POWER AGENT® pin. When you wear this pin every time you leave the house, you attract attention because people will be curious about it and ask. You can respond with the following:
“It’s a group of very elite real estate agents, less that 1% of all agents in North America have this designation and I happen to be one of them. We are a group of people who are committed to ongoing education and learning, so we can better serve our buyers and sellers to get to their Next Level® in life, because serving our clients needs and commitments is what we do.”
Why You Need to Give the Right Vibe
When you walk into a listing appointment, you need to go confidently into that appointment with the belief they are going to list with you. If YOU don’t even have the confidence they will list with you, then these sellers definitely won’t have confidence! Whether you realize it or not, sellers can pick up on the vibe you give off.
Author Betty Jamie Chung once said, “Comparison with myself brings improvement; comparison with others brings discontent.” It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, whether it’s comparing income, listings per year, the size of their home, and so on, but when you compare yourself to other agents, you are forgetting about what’s important. You should be asking yourself, “Am I a good person? Am I committed to helping people? Do I used real estate as the tool to make a difference in the world? Do I have integrity? Can people trust me?”
Related reading: Four Tips For Building Confidence In Your Real Estate Career
When you can have the confidence that comes from knowing that you are in real estate as a genuine reason to help make a difference in people’s lives, that alone is worth thousands and thousands of dollars. A disappointing number of agents don’t understand how important keeping your word is. They focus on the money and the sales, not the human beings they are helping.
Here’s the secret sauce to getting listings: sellers would rather work with someone with integrity than a top producer. Focus on what makes you special and bring that to the conversation.
Related reading: Home Sellers 101: What a Homeowner REALLY Wants When They List With You
“Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are and aren’t that you will truly succeed.” (Anonymous)
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