Imagine, for a second, that you’re a seller trying to get out of his home. As a seller, you no longer have all the market information or real estate knowledge that you’ve cultivated as an agent. You can’t simply reference industry tools to set a competitive price and you can’t draw on the community of buyers you’ve built to find a likely prospect quickly.
Sounds like a pretty daunting task, right??
You know that there are people out there – real estate agents – who can help you with the home selling process, but even that possible solution turns up more questions than it answers. How do you know which agent to work with? How can you choose from the dozens of different agencies in your city in order to find the realtor who will get the job done for you?
You might contact your friends or family members for referrals, or you might just start calling agencies to see who’s available to help you out. Along the way, you develop a framework to sort the good agents from the bad by asking questions like:
Now, if you’re an agent, this kind of interrogation can be intimidating – especially if you’re a young agent or somebody who’s newly entered the field. You know that the seller’s decision on who to work with rests on your answers, but you also have no way of beefing up your credentials without outright lying. And even if you’re amongst the most successful, most experienced agents out there, there’s almost always somebody who can beat you in a sheer numbers-to-numbers game.
So does that mean that you’re out of luck if you can’t compete with other agents when it comes to responding to seller questions? Absolutely not!
The thing that you, as an agent, have to understand is that prospective clients don’t really care about your responses to all of the different questions they might pose. What they’re actually asking you is the one unspoken question that all sellers have:
“Are you the best person to sell my house?”
Most sellers don’t even know that this is what they’re getting at, but this key question is at the heart of all the other sample questions listed above and any others you encounter in the real world. They aren’t asking how long you’ve been selling real estate because they want to work with somebody who has two years of experience versus one. They’re asking because they don’t have a better framework for measuring an agent’s worth than to ask about past experiences – even if this isn’t their real concern!
As a result, the best way to answer any prospecting questions that a seller might pose to you is to do so with confidence. To see how important this is, consider the following two sample responses to the question of how long you’ve been working as a real estate agent:
Sample response #1: “I’ve been selling real estate for a year now.”
Sample response #2: “I’ve only been selling real estate for a year, but I’m confident that I’m the right person to get your house listed and under contract in as little time as possible.”
The first response relies on the seller to determine whether or not a year’s worth of experience is “good” compared to other agents. The second eliminates this comparison altogether by reassuring the prospective seller that he’s making the right choice in hiring you to sell his home.
Whenever possible, pair your responses to seller questions with a statement that demonstrates your confidence in your abilities as a real estate agent. Deliver your responses with an enthusiastic and energetic tone to hammer your point in even further (practice answering seller questions at home in a mirror if you find that your tone or body language betray you when attempting to convey confidence in real life settings).
By understanding what it is sellers are looking for when they ask you qualifying questions, you’ll be able to answer their true unspoken question and reinforce their decision to hire you as a real estate agent.