Why do agents miss deals from people they know? Why don’t we get more repeat and referral business. The answer is painful, but simple. It’s primarily because we are afraid.
4 THINGS AGENTS FEAR ABOUT ASKING PEOPLE THEY KNOW FOR BUSINESS:
So what is the solution? How can you get over the fear?
What is the one thing that hurts the most as a real estate agent?
Hi, my name is Kevin Ward. I’m the founder of YESMasters Real Estate Success Training, helping you get more yes’s and more successes in your business and in your life. I’m also the author of the number one bestselling book The Book of Yes: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide.
I was just thinking about it. What hurts the most in real estate? I used to think, when I first started, my biggest fear in real estate was getting somebody to slam the door in my face or hang up on me. It was that fear of getting rejected, and maybe for some people, but you know what hurts the most? What hurts the most is when you find out that somebody that you know very well used someone else instead of you for a real estate transaction. When you find out there’s a friend or a family member or even a past client, and you thought they loved you, you thought you had a great relationship, and they trust you, and all of a sudden, you find out they’ve listed their house with someone else. Are you kidding me? It just makes you want to call off the day. So brutally painful.
My question is, and what I want to talk about today is why do agents not get more repeat and referral business? Why do they not do it, because the National Association of Realtors, every time they do this survey of buyers and sellers, when they ask buyers and sellers, “Will you use your real estate agent next time? Will you use them again?”
Every time when they do that, the results are between 75 on the low end and 88% on the high end of buyers and sellers say, “Yeah, I’m going to use my same agent again,” and yet, the reality is that less than 15% of buyers and sellers actually end up using the same real estate agent again, when they move again. They just don’t do it. 80% or more say they will, and only 15% or less actually do. Where’s the disconnect? Where’s that gap? Why don’t we get more business from the people that know us?
I know the answer. I’m going to tell you the answer today. I’m going to let you know that it’s painful. Here’s what it is: It’s your fault. It’s our fault, as real estate agents, that the reason that they don’t give us more business is because we’re afraid. That’s why. That’s why you don’t get more business from your friends, from your family, from your past clients, from people that know you, is because you’re afraid.
Well, what are you afraid of? Well, there’s a lot. There’s four different things that we can be afraid of that I’ve seen and that are very, very common.
One is because we’re afraid of bugging people. We don’t want to be annoying. I don’t want to ever, time I talk to them, I don’t want them to think it’s always about real estate, that I’m always asking them for business. I don’t want to sound like I’m, I don’t want to be bugging them.
Number two, I don’t want to sound desperate. I don’t want to sound like I’m begging them for business. We don’t want to be begging, and we don’t want to be bugging. I don’t want to sound like I’m desperate like I need the business.
Another reason is because we’re afraid of rejection. We’re afraid that they may use someone else, and so if I don’t say anything about it, then if they do use someone else, it doesn’t hurt so bad. I’m still mad, I’m still hurt, but doesn’t hurt as bad as if I had really put myself out there, so we don’t put ourselves out there because we don’t want to get that sense of rejection that we’re afraid that they may not trust us. They may go like, “Yeah, but you’re pretty new, right?” See, we don’t want to hear that. We’re afraid, and so we don’t say anything.
We’re like … How many times have you heard an agent say this, or maybe you’ve thought it or said it yourself, and that is, “Well, I’m going to go out and prove myself, and once I get successful, then I’m going to ask my friends and family for business.” Really? It’s the best source of business, and we’re not going to get it until we get other business. That’s the hardest to get. Kind of a little self-defeating, but I get it. I totally understand it. It’s just wrong thinking.
The fourth reason that we’re afraid is we’re afraid of failing, and that is, “What if they do use me, or they do refer me to someone, and I fail? What if they refer me to their neighbor, and I list the house, and it doesn’t sell? Oh my gosh, then I’m going to look really bad, then I’m going to be guilty, then they’re going to be mad at me, and … ” We’re afraid of failing.
Those four fears are what keep most real estate agents, new and seasoned, from asking the people that they know for business. What’s the solution? I want to talk about how do you solve that? How do we get over this thing of missing deals. I mean, don’t you want to stop doing that? Do you want to stop missing the deals that should be the gimmes, they should be the slam dunks. This is the business from people that already know you, they mostly like you, and they already trust you for the most part. How do you stop missing those deals and start getting the tens of thousands of dollars, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in business that you may be missing right now because of your fear?
Here’s how you do it. There’s three steps.
Number one is get very, very, very, very good at what you do. That’ll take care of the fear, like, “What if I fail?” If you’re the best in the world at what you do, why in the world would you be afraid of telling your friends? The reason we’re afraid is because we don’t think we’re any good, and when we’re brand new, you may not be that good. What do you do? You gotta get good. You gotta make a commitment to stop being an amateur and go pro to become great at what you do. Great at what? Great at getting a result.
Now, I’m going to tell you, a lot of agents get all caught up in, “I want to be the best at branding myself. I want to be the best at marketing.” Nobody cares about any of that. Sellers and buyers, they don’t care about any of that. Here’s what they care about: Can you get me the best result? It’s all they care about. When you get great at getting the best result … For example, if you can say honestly with integrity, “Yes, I sell every listing I take for top dollar, period. That’s all I do.” “What do you do different than all the other agents?” “I’m going to get your house sold for top dollar. That’s what I do. Guaranteed, every time.”
Learn how to do that, and you’re powerful. Get powerful, and you’re confident. Get confident, you’re going to have no problem asking your friends, family for business, number one, because you know what you’re doing. If you want to get over the fear, you gotta get good. How do I do that? Commit. Just commit. “I’m going to become the best in my market at what I do.” I don’t care if you want to be number one or the biggest. I don’t care about that. What I care about is, are you going to be the best agent for your friends and family and the people they know, are you going to be the best agent for them to get the best results? If you are, why would they want to use anyone else? Why would you be afraid to ask them if you know you’re the best?
Number two is, so number one, get very good at what you do. Number two, believe in what you’re doing. Believe in what you’re doing. Believe in your position as a real estate professional. Believe that it has value. Believe that it matters. In other words, if you’re the best at what you do and you believe in what you do, that real estate agency really matters, that I can help people get a better result than they could get on their own or that they could get if they went with an amateur agent, then I look at it as this.
If I don’t put the word out there to my friends and the people I know and ask them to put the word out there and tell me when they know if someone looking to buy or sell, I don’t want that person, my brother’s neighbor, when they get ready to sell their house, I don’t want them to get stuck with an amateur agent. I don’t want them to get stuck with somebody that they know from church or from school or from work that’s part time and isn’t that good. I don’t want them because I want to help them have a great experience and have a great result, so it’s my responsibility to get the word out. Why would you …
Look. This gets me. I’ve heard this, and I heard this recently is somebody just goes, “You know what? I just don’t do any, I don’t do any business with friends and family. I just don’t do it because it’s just too personal, it’s too emotional, and I just don’t do it.” I’m like, are you kidding me? That means that the people that you care the most about, the people that you have a relationship with, the people that matter to you in your world, you don’t want to help them because why? Oh, because it’s too personal.
Look, so are you okay if they go out and get stuck with an amateur agent? Now, the only reason you would be okay with it is if you’re an amateur. Sorry to tell you this, and I told at the beginning, you’re not going to like, some of this is going to painful. If you are the best at what you do, then you have a responsibility to protect them from agents that don’t know what they’re doing, and you know what I’m talking about. You know there’s a lot of agents out there that are incompetent, they are self-serving, they’re just in it for a commission check, they’re part-time, they don’t have a clue what they’re doing, they only sell two homes year, and they are dangerous to a client because they’re not representing the client. They’re just trying to get a deal and get a commission check.
I believe your responsibility is to protect anybody that matters to you, you gotta protect them from those kind of amateur, unscrupulous, unethical, untrained, incompetent real estate agents. First, it’s incumbent on you not to be one to be one of those agents, and second, it’s incumbent on you to believe that what your doing matters and that you owe it to the people that you care about to protect them and serve their best interest, which means let them know and ask them, “Who do you know?”
Third, here’s the third solution, once I get that, once I’m great at what I do, and once I believe in the value of what I do and that it matters is number three is expect that the people that you know will want to refer people to you. They’ll want to use you. Why? Number one, because they like you.
Here’s what’s crazy, and this is the one thing that … I coach real estate agents on this all the time, and I have a program, a coaching program called 100-Day ListMaster Challenge, and one of the things we do is I require them to put the word out and ask everyone they know for business. They’ll freak out over that, like, ” … I haven’t talked to them in 10 years. I’ve been a real estate agent in 15 years, haven’t talked to them in 10 years. They may not even remember me.”
Then what happens is, is crazy. When they actually start calling them and start talking to them, they go like, “I can’t believe how excited people were to hear from me. I thought they’d be mad at me.” They haven’t been waiting for you to call. They’re excited to hear from you, and if they like you, and most of the time they do, they’re excited to help. It’s crazy. Why do we have this fear? Why do we have this … It’s an irrational fear. It is a limiting belief that we have that this story we create that they’re going to be upset at me because I haven’t been talking to them regularly, because I haven’t talked to them since I helped them buy a house four years ago, and I haven’t talked to them since.
They haven’t been expecting you to call. They didn’t know that was your job. When you actually contact them and say, “Hey, how’s it going? I’ve been thinking about you. Just wanted to reach out and see how things are going.” “Things are going great.” “Great. Well, listen. I need your help. Do you have a quick minute?” Then ask, “Who do you know get buyer or seller to invest in real estate that I can help?” Just straightforward conversation, and when you’re great at what you do, when you believe that what you do matters, and you expect people that know you to want to help you, it’s a beautiful thing. Not only do they want to help you, but they want you to help the people they care about because they know that you’ll take great care of them.
Get out of the cycle of being afraid to ask for business, especially from the people that you know. Play to win, and always expect yes. Last thing, you gotta ask, and when you ask, you’re going to get the yeses you want.