Being engaging can come so easily for so many people, but for others it may seem like climbing Mount Everest. As a new realtor, being engaging and appealing (as an agent) to a perfect stranger can mean the difference between earning business and not. Now that I’ve properly built up the importance of being the most likable person in the room. Allow me to break down the Real Estate education behind it.. Being engaging comes down to ONE very specific characteristic trait that anybody/everybody already has. You just have to be willing to engage that ONE characteristic inside you and allow it to shine through.
Here it is…YOU HAVE TO CARE!!!!! For examples, ask questions about the people that you’re talking to. Take all the pressure off of selling a home, a neighborhood, a great room, a kitchen, or an RV gate. Instead, put all you focus into finding out who these people are that just walked in the door. But, what types of questions should you be asking? Be observant…what are the clients wearing? Clothing can be the first clue to what people are doing that day and help to give you establish a common ground. Sports and recreation habits can shine though in what a person is wearing and can become an instant talking point. This makes you engaging…at least for a moment.
Next step; actually listen to their responses and ask a follow up questions based on what you’ve heard. You’ll be amazed how much people are willing to talk about themselves (I know I am). If you even go a step further and show that you actually care about the responses that you’re getting a person is liable to talk for days. There you have it, the secret to being engaging. You have now received the most vital piece of this Real Estate Education blog Once you’ve completed Step One and Step Two, just keep repeating…OVER and OVER again. Eventually, something might come up about the home. Remember, as a Real Estate Agent the #1 priority is to be engaging and building those relationships. Below are the 3 levels of questioning that you should be looking to advance potential clients through when you meet them at any event. To make this a little more understandable I chose to put these meetings in an environment that every realtor can relate to; clients visiting your MEGA Open House.
REMEMBER: YOUR MOST CRITICAL MUST!!!
- #1- It is imperative that these potential clients feel NO PRESSURE from you!!!
- #2- They MUST feel as though you are just trying to be helpful as they try to negotiate the path of finding a home!!!
- #3- NO Hovering or Stalking!!! If you see people developing exit strategies…re-work your approach
Level 1 Questions– Engaging the potential client?
Opener Question…“Familiar with the neighborhood?”
When someone first walks through your Open House door they are going to travel down one of two paths; the Noisy Neighbor Path OR the Perspective Buyer Path. This one question will help you to identify which path you will be guiding them down. Once you’re able to make that determination you can start aligning an appropriate line of questioning for each individual guest.
PATH 1- Nosey Neighbor
The “nosey neighbor” is crucial to your long terms success within your farm area so there is NO SLACKING these guest!!! Give them every bit of your attention and focus. Besides, these nosey neighbors might be able to give you those little nuggets of information that you can pass on to those visitors on the Perspective Buyer Path that make you seem like a meticulous agent in terms of your preparation and research of the area.
- Possible pieces of information that you can gain from a Nosey Neighbor…
- If there has there been any remodeling done to the base model the builder offered
- Potential options the builder did offered, but weren’t included in this home (this could help potential buyers envision some changes that they could be made to the home once they move in!!!)
- Local amenities that are coming soon (parks, shopping, etc.)
- Any upgrades that they see in the home
- Quality of local school system
PATH 2- Prospective Buyers
Asking a client about their knowledge of the neighborhood is a great way to break the ice, but it’s secondary to your objective of developing a more specific line of questioning about their buying potential. That generic conversation starter can very easily be converted into a much more personal line of questioning. If they ARE familiar with the area you can capitalize on that knowledge and begin conversations based on the interesting aspects of the surroundings…NOT the selling points of the home or their interest in the home.
If they ARE NOT familiar with the area; ask them about where they come from and some of the different things that area has to offers. Your #1 goal is to establish a relationship…NOT sell the home. By keeping this in mind you will be much more approachable and less threatening. Let the clients bring the conversation to the property and its selling points. Once that happens, it’s your time to shine!!! This will opens up the next layer of questions. You’ve officially moved on to Level 2 questioning…
Level 2 Questions– Light retrieval of information
General Informational questions…
For those on PATH 2, once you have broken the ice you can begin to gently (not aggressively) ask some informational questions about their real estate goals. But, how exactly does that happen. At this point in the conversation, after you’ve asked several questions about their interest. Your guest will not want to be rude and you will find that the clients will begin to engage you about some of the details of the home. Given the fact that they know absolutely NOTHING about you, their general “go to” line of questioning will be about the listing. This is a great transition; and one that THEY made…even better!!! Once THEY have shifted the focus of the conversation on the listing. Follow up with some very non-threatening/non-committal type of questions. (while also mixing in some friendly banter on the previous topics)
- Where do you currently live?
- How long have you been there?
- Do you own/rent? What’s your rent? When is your lease up?
- Looking to downsize/upsize?
- What’s on your wish list?
- Do you work in the area?
- How long have you been looking?
- What is your timeline?
The purpose of these questions is to gain a better understanding of the clients needs, wants, and price points to better server them. YES, priority is to serve them, NOT to get that commission. When you come off as a money grubbing agent you have FAILED and destroyed all the the work you’ve done to build this relationship!!! Do NOT pass Go. Do NOT collect a commission. YOU GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL (you loser). REMEMBER: you have to CARE (not about your paycheck). If you’ve done your job and it seems like you’ve have a good feel for where the consumer is at and what you can do to help them, you can now move onto some more specifically motivated questioning that is accompanied by a “Call to Action” for your new client to execute. This is a huge step…
Level 3 Questions– Specifically Motivated Questions
Is anyone helping you look or are you just scoping things out on your own?
- Follow Up–
- If their answer is NO. Your first step should be getting them in contact with a lender to get pre-qualified. You should be able to jump pretty quickly to this step because you’ve already done the necessary relationship building. Do this immediately…make the phone call yourself!!! (“While you’re checking out the home, I’ll go ahead and call my lender to get you some information.” If the visitors appear hesitant, you can use the phrase…
“The lender will help to give us a better idea about where you are with your credit score and your buying power. So we can really hone in our search…”
“As we start to get more serious in our search we’re going to need to get this process under way. It could be beneficial to get that started now as opposed to waiting on it.”
“There are a TON of programs out there that help people regardless of their credit score, but they can take time to put in place…getting this information now will help us stay ahead of the market.”
- Call to Action– Ask them if they would like to…
- set up a Buyer’s Consult where they can give the clients a better idea of what value you can offer them
- set up a time for you to visit to their property and give them a CMA
- set up a Listing Search for them that meets their needs/wants
This is a nice little outline of how you can engage the visitors to your Open House by being engaging and NOT alarming while also serving purpose of gaining information through your questioning.
I’ve got 3 Lines of questioning that will get you to the CALL TO ACTION…and it’s FREE!!!