By: Bob Corcoran
If you’ve been selling real estate for any length of time, you’ve run across that sleepy owner who drags his feet about deciding whether or not to put his house on the market. You know the kind, the guy who feeds you every excuse in the book – procrastinate is his middle name.
So what do you do to wake this potential seller up? Slap him around? Put smelling salts under his nose? Call him names?
Nope, you make yourself an alarm clock – and here’s how:
1. Understand that each seller has a different timeline. When I work with my clients on this topic, I like to categorize into A, B and C slots. An “A” seller is looking to sell immediately – definitely within 30 days. “B” sellers will typically be ready to list in 30 to 90 days. And “C” sellers are looking to list beyond 90 days. Understanding what category a particular seller is in helps set your own expectations. Yes, in a perfect world, we want all sellers to be “A” sellers, but as you well know, this is far from a perfect world. So first, just take time to get to know potential sellers and where they are in their timeline.
2. Develop a contact plan for each category of seller. Here’s a rule of thumb that I ask my clients to follow so that they’re constantly in touch with all of their potential sellers each month: You must always have a face-to-face appointment with an “A” seller. The “B” sellers should be called the week of the first and the fifteenth of each month. The “C” sellers should be called the second week of each month. This ensures a consistently filled pipeline with prospects and it also it keeps people moving along in that pipeline from initial call to the closing table – in other words, it keeps sellers awake and thinking about selling.
3. Understand the current market and use the facts to explain the importance of acting. This is a critical step, especially in today’s market. It’s tough to argue with facts and the facts today favor sellers getting their homes on the market. Why? Because the market is starting to warm up and buyers have started waking up. Corelogic, a real estate research services company, has reported that 42 of the 50 markets recently surveyed in the United States have started to rise. What’s more, housing affordability is the best it’s been in two decades. Add to this interest rates that are at rock-bottom (in fact, they're at 60-year lows) and you have fertile ground for sellers to actually sell their listings.
4. Finally, stir in the urgency. When you’re explaining today’s market, you have to do so with a sense of urgency. If I can guarantee you anything, I can guarantee you this: those interest rates will not stay as low as they are. Potential sellers need to hear this loud and clear and it’s your job to be yelling that into their ears. Sellers (and buyers, too) need to act now to take advantage of what may never be available again in our lifetimes. And remember, in a buying situation, people hate to lose opportunities. Emphasize what they may lose it they don't act now in all your communications with consumers.
Let me hear from you? How are you getting sleepy sellers to wake up? Have you had success getting sellers to act more quickly? What are you doing? Do you feel like you could do better at getting sellers to act more quickly? Please send any comments or questions you have to Article@CorcoranCoaching.com
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.