What do you say when you’re prospecting expired listings and they say to you, “Well, where were you when my house was on the market?” It’s a common objection, because sellers know it works. It was one of the toughest objections for me to ever get past, and I finally realized that Objections stump us for a couple of reasons:
1. Because we’re not prepared.
2. Because we treat the sellers objection as legitimate… “Oh no! He’s right. I wasn’t there…so I’m a loser.” NO!
So today, I’m going to share with you what I figured out AND how to overcome this objection once and for all.
REALITY: You weren’t there because you didn’t have a buyer for his house. That’s the truth…but If you just say the naked truth…you’re out.
That’s where a skilled, no-BS approach comes in.
What NOT to say:
“Because you didn’t hire me to bring a buyer?”
“Your agent didn’t even tell me about your house.” (BS)
“Where were you when my house was on the market?”
1. That’s a great question…and I hear where you’re coming from…
2. The short answer is because your house wasn’t a match for any of my buyers I was working with at the time…. However…can I let you know something else? (Yes.)
3. The reason I didn’t have a buyer match for your home is because…unfortunately…my focus wasn’t specifically on your property. And I say unfortunately…because…it sounds like you are really interested in getting your property sold, correct? (Yes.) Excellent.
4. If you knew you could get the property sold for top dollar in the next 30 days or so, would that be a win for you? (Yes.) Awesome!
5. And if I could help you make that happen, that would be OK with you, yes? (Yes!)
6. Perfect, when would be a good time for us to get together…
FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:
Hi there. It’s Kevin Ward with YesMasters Real Estate Success Training, helping you get more yeses and more successes in your business and in your life.
I want to talk to you about an objection that is a killer, it’s a stumper, it is the great stumper of so many real estate agents and that is, when you’re calling an expired listing and they say to you, “Well, where were you when my house was on the market?” It’s a common objection, it’s a great objection and it’s a great objection because sellers know it works. It was one of the toughest objections for me to ever get past, and I finally realized that was for a couple of reasons. Number one, because I wasn’t well prepared to handle it and the answer I did have, which was very straightforward and simple, it lost ground with the sellers instead of gained ground with the sellers.
I realized that the reason that objections stump us is for a couple of reasons. Number one is because we’re not prepared for how to answer it in a way that gains ground with the seller. In other words, it actually gains credibility rather than losing credibility and it’s not defensive because the second thing is, the second reason objections stump us, is because we take it personal. We actually, emotionally a lot of times, and I see this with a lot of agents and it happened to me many, many times when I was a new agent, was that I took the seller’s objection as legitimate.
In other words, they said, “Well, where were you when [your 00:01:30] house was on the market?” and I’m going like, “Oh, no. He’s right. I wasn’t here when his house was on the market. I’m a loser. I’m a failure.” No, I was not a loser, I was not a failure. Where was I when his house was on the market? I was working my rear end off selling houses, that’s what I was doing. If you tell them that, they’re not going to believe you, so you can’t just give them a straight, here’s what you want to do, is give them a straight-up answer.
What’s the reality? The reality is, number one, “Where were you when my house was on the market?” Hopefully, you were working, you were actually selling houses and, hopefully, you were doing a good job of it. The reality was, you weren’t there because you didn’t have a buyer for their house. That’s the truth. The problem is, if you just say the naked truth, “Well, where was I when the house was on the market? I didn’t have a buyer for your house.” Then they’re going to say, “Well, then I don’t want you to list my house because I want somebody that has a buyer for my house and you don’t have a buyer, so you can’t possibly help me. Why would I want another listing agent? I want somebody to sell my house.”
Here’s a shift that you’ve got to have as a real estate agent. You’ve got to be able to get out of the realtor’s shoes and step into the seller’s shoes and think, what are they hearing when I say, “Well, the reason I wasn’t there is because I didn’t have a buyer for your house?” True, just not very helpful for you in establishing credibility and positioning yourself as a viable alternative to the agent they already had and as a superior choice to all the other real estate agents that they’re hearing from or talking to right now.
Here’s a couple other things that are not powerful and not effective. I’ve tried these and I know, and you probably tried some of these, too. One is to say, “Where was I when your house was on the market? You hadn’t hired me to sell your house. That’s why I wasn’t here.” That’s kind of like saying, “You made a bad choice with the agent you hired. You should have hired me instead.” Number one, they didn’t know who you were and, number two, it’s not going to gain you ground. Don’t go with objection handlers just because it’s something to say that’s not going to gain you ground.
Here’s the worst one that just gets me nuts, is, “You know what? Your previous realtor, that guy, that girl, they didn’t even tell me your house was on the market. They didn’t even tell me about your house.” I’m sorry, but that’s a BS script and I’ve seen the script out there and you may have seen it, too. You may have used it. That is total BS, as if the reason I didn’t bring a buyer to your house was because this listing agent didn’t come and personally tell me about it, as if the reason I didn’t know about it was because the listing agent’s failure to communicate to me? Come on. You and I both know that’s not how real estate works, so why would you act like that’s how it works to a seller? To discredit the listing agent?
Why not do this? The listing agent didn’t get the job done, right? You don’t need to discredit a previous listing agent that failed to get a result. What you’ve got to do is focus on the result the seller wants and help them to see you as the agent that can help them get it. How do you do that? By, number one, connecting with them honestly and, number two, positioning.
I want to share with you a very powerful six-step objection handler that will not only answer their question, but will also position you as the agent that will connect with them so that you can get the appointment and then go and get the listing.
The first thing, “Where were you when my house was on the market?” “It’s a great question and I hear where you’re coming from.” The very first thing you’ve got to do is let them know you understand their frustration in asking that question. “My house expires and all of a sudden, 50 agents show up out of the woodwork wanting to list my house. Where were all 50 of you when I needed to sell my house and it was on the market before?”
They think you’re just after a listing, that’s what they think. You’ve got to, again, get over here in the seller’s perspective. That’s what they think about you. Somehow you’ve got to get past that and acknowledge, “It’s a great question. It’s a fair question and I hear where you’re coming from.” I’m acknowledging to them that I’m not offended by the question, I’m not stumped by the question, I respect and appreciate their frustration and where they’re coming from. “It’s a great question and I hear where you’re coming from.”
Now I’m going to give them the truth. I’m going to give them the short answer but I’m also going to tag it with a question that keeps the conversation going. Watch what happens. Short answer, “The reason I didn’t bring a buyer for your house was, it wasn’t a match for any of them. However, can I let you know something else?” Here’s what just happened. When I say, “However, can I let you know something else?” here’s what they’re going to say. They’re going to say, “Yes.” Why? They’re stuck. Immediately, if you’ve seen my video called, “The Three Magic Words,” you begin to understand the power of becoming a Yes Master. I’ve got to become a master of leading a seller to say “yes” to me, which means getting them to realize I’m on their side or getting them on my side, whichever way you want to look at it.
The short answer is simply, “Because your home was not a match for any of the buyers that I happened to be working with at the time. However, can I let you know something else?” “Yeah, what else is it?” “The reason that your house was not a match, I didn’t have a buyer match for your house, was because, unfortunately, my focus was not on selling your property. The reason I say it’s unfortunate is because it sounds like you do still really want to sell your property, correct?” Again, if they’re motivated, the answer is going to be, “Yes. I do still want to sell my property.”
“Awesome. Let me ask you this. If you could get your property sold for top dollar in the next 30 days, would that be a win for you?” Let’s watch what happens. Would it be a win? His answer, or her answer, is obviously going to be, “Yes.”
Here’s the fourth step, and that is, “If you could accomplish what you want, is that something that would be good for you?” Notice I did not say, “If I could get your property sold.” If I say, “If I could get your property sold,” I’m bringing up something they may not want yet, and that is they may not want to work with me yet. They may want to sell, they just aren’t sold on me. They’re sold on selling, they’re not sold on me.
If I say, “If I could help you get your home sold in the next 30 days for top dollar, would that be a win for you?” I’m asking them two different questions. The first question I’m asking is motivation, “Do you want to sell?” The second question I’m asking is, “Do you like me yet?” If the answer to either one of those questions is “no,” then you’re, instead of getting a “yes,” you’re going to get a “no.”
One of the things that happens is that most real estate agents bring themselves into the equation too early. Write this down. “It’s not about me. It’s about them.” Don’t talk about you. Notice in this entire conversation I’ve talked about me, but I’ve not talked about trying to talk them into using me. I’ve simply explained stuff for them to understand that, “Unfortunately, my focus was not on selling your house. The reason I say unfortunately is because it sounds like you really do want to sell, right?” I’m making it about him and not about me. I’m not defending myself. I’m simply explaining, here’s the reason I wasn’t here. One, I didn’t just happen to have a buyer that matched for yours, and two, it was not my focus, but it sounds like you really do need an agent focused on you. Their motivation is really there.
“Let me just ask you this. If you could get your property sold for top dollar in the next 30 days, would that be a win for you? Is that something that would be good for you?” I’m asking a simple motivation question without bringing me into the equation. Their answer is, “Well, yeah, that’s what we want.” They may still rant and rave a little bit as they answer these yeses, and that’s okay. “Well, and I suppose you think you’re the one to do it?” “I don’t know yet, but it sounds like you do still want to sell. Is that correct? Great. If you could get it done in 30 days, would that be good for you? “Yeah, and I suppose you think you can do it.” “That’s what I do for a living. Let me ask you this. If I could help you make that happen, that would be okay with you, right?”
Finally, step number five, if I can help. Now is when you bring you into the equation. “If you could do this, is that something that would be a win for you?” “Yes.” “Great, and I could help make that happen, that would be okay with you, right?” Notice what I use. I didn’t say, “Would that be okay with you?” I said, “That would be okay with you, right?” It’s called a tie-down. It’s an assumptive question with an assumptive answer brought in at the end.
“Hey, if I could help you get this result that you already said you wanted, that would be okay with you, right?” The answer is almost always going to be, “yes.” Again, it may be mixed in with, “How are you going to do that?” “Would that be okay with you if I could do that?” “Yes.” “Great, because that’s what I do for a living.”
“Perfect,” or “Great, that’s what I do for a living. When would be a great time for us to get together for me just to share with you a goal for exactly how I can help you make that happen. I could come out this afternoon at 4:15 or would tomorrow at 4:15 be better? Perfect, I’ll look forward to seeing you there.”
What I just did was I led them, again, through a process of a couple of things. Number one, I spent the first part of this connecting with them and being honest with them. I didn’t dog anybody else, I did not make an excuse on it and I didn’t take it personal. What I focused on was, here’s the reason, here’s the short answer, can I let you know something else. That keeps the conversation going, and they’ll always stick around to say, “Yeah. What else is there for you to tell me, other than the fact that you didn’t show up with a buyer?” Here’s the reason, “I wasn’t focused on your house, and you know what? It’s unfortunate.”
In other words, I’m telling them I feel bad about it, too. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t be here because it wasn’t on my radar. The reason I say it’s unfortunate is because it sounds like you really do want to make this happen, right?” All I’m doing is tying it all back into his motivation and I’m positioning myself as the person on his side to help him do it because I’m focusing on what he wants. I’m leading him to the magic words of yes, yes, yes, yes. All of this is designed to help you take those opportunities that are out there and gauge them better so that you can always expect yes.
If you like this video, comment on it, share it with other agents that might could use the help with it. Remark or comment with questions or other objections that are stumping you so that I can help you do that. Again, Kevin Ward, Yes Masters Real Estate Success Training, always expect yes.