(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd) – New and sometimes even seasoned agents find themselves spending their days opening key boxes for many buyers they think will become clients. In reality, largely because of today’s technologies, would-be buyers are able to access listing inventory from any number of web sites or phone and tablet apps. The only thing they are lacking from finding their own house to purchase is gaining access to the listed inventory. These home seeking mouse clickers have but two choices when it comes to viewing listings: 1. call the property owner; or 2. call a real estate agent.
These are our top 7 tips for helping to make sure you are showing inventory to someone who will eventually buy from you:
- Ask if they are already working with a real estate agent. This seems obvious, but this is one of the most forgotten questions. If they are working with another agent, there isn’t any reason you should spend time with them. After all, they are another agent’s client. Politely decline to engage and suggest they call their own agent. Agents who belong to the National Association of REALTORS® have an affirmative obligation to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the prospect is subject to a current, valid exclusive buyer service agreement for the same type of real estate services they are offering. If they do, send them back to the agent before you find yourself the subject of an ethics investigation.
- Qualify their motivation. Your buyer will either be a prospect or a looker. Ask probing questions to find out which they are and to determine if they have an urgency to buy. And remember to ask if they have a house to sell before buying.
- Qualify their financial ability. Whether you do this yourself or send them to your favorite mortgage broker won’t really matter. Just get it done! If they refuse to give over their financial information, don’t waste your time and move on to the next prospect.
- Explain your services. All too often real estate agents assume the public know what services they provide. Surveys show that buyer’s don’t know everything you will do for them, or even how you get paid. Keep your explanation as brief as possible, only elaborating when questions are asked. Don’t hijack the prospect with a drawn-out sales pitch.
- Enter into a contract. Use your Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement (Buyer Broker Agreement). Don’t just assume that everyone who calls is going to work with you, exclusively. Bring out the contract, explain it, and then handover the pen! For those who refuse to sign, you’ll need to decide if the risk is worth any potential reward. When you are able to get and give a commitment, all parties win.
- Ask questions and listen to the answers. Do this over and over with each prospect. People love it when they know someone is listening.
- Take the Lead. Discuss with your buyer the various options to review and tour inventory. Try to always be the one who sends the leads, rather than allowing the buyer to find their own. You will be more in control when you are able to filter properties based on buyer parameters, bring them to their attention, preview them on their behalf, and finally set showing appointments for those meeting their strict standards.
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