Do you get clients that just won’t commit?
You met them at an open house or from a sign call; they act like they want to work with you, they ask you to show them more properties, and run you all over town – for weeks. Next thing you know, they buy a home from another agent or decide to tackle the process on their own by buying a FSBO.
That’s so frustrating! You want to blame the customer – but you know what – IT’S YOUR FAULT!
Not enough REALTORS® have an official buyer presentation with customers and ask for their commitment. Remember, you know more about the process than most buyers. You should take the time to get to know them, educate them, and train them. But what exactly do you say and how do you get them to sign that intimidating Buyers Agency agreement tons-full of fine print?
In my business I found a way to almost “trick” the buyers into signing the agreement, EVERY TIME!
The secret is to be helpful, show you’re knowledgeable about the process, then tell them what you are going to do for them! Here is exactly what I did to get them to give me that commitment every time!
When I met someone for the first time that I knew wanted to buy a home, I had to figure out how to get them into the office for the presentation, but you can’t just say “Hey, why don’t you come back to my office so I can show you all the reasons you should hire me to work for you.” If they do agree to that offer, eight out of ten times they’ll stand you up and never show.
The better approach is to make them an offer they can’t refuse. I’d use dialog such as;
“Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage yet? This is the first step in the home buying process and if you haven’t been pre-approved, I have great relationships with lenders in town that I’d love to introduce you to. Will you allow me to assist you with this step?”
“Would you like to find out about homes that match your specific home buying needs sent directly to your email the same day they come on the market? Would that interest you?”
If they say yes to either of these questions, you can get them to come to the office. NOTE: at this point I haven’t mentioned coming to the office. I simply offered them something of value and asked them if I could help them. I just want them to say “YES”.
Now that they’ve said yes, you have to get them in the office with something like;
“Great! When could we meet at my office for 15-20 minutes so we can get started? Would today or tomorrow work best for you?”
I know this process will take nearly an hour, but asking them to stop by for a short period of time makes it very easy for them to say yes. Trust me, once they get there, they will be having so much fun and gathering so much info, they won’t mind if it takes a bit longer.
Now they are in your office, it’s time to collect some info. I had a simple form that asked for their names and contact info (address, phones, emails). Then we drilled down a little to identify what they are looking for in their new home (beds, baths, area, schools, style, etc.). I asked the questions, and I completed the form and took notes while they talked. I was simply gathering data and getting them to open up to me. They got to do most of the talking at this stage.
If they weren’t pre-approved, I pulled out another form that I designed with my lender. It included all their contact info and minimal financial information. I asked where they worked (to be sure they were employed), if they’ve filed bankruptcy in the past two years, and if they had anything saved for a down payment and closing costs. My lender provided me with a disclosure at the bottom authorizing my lender to pull their credit. There was a line for them to sign, then I emailed the form to my lender to start the process. I would tell them that the lender would call them later and have more questions for them, but this should get the process started.
I wasn’t taking a full loan application, but I took enough information to build a relationship with them and to gain their trust. I wanted to be a part of this process so if these clients met another agent who asked if they were pre-approved, they would say “yes, John Ringgold got us pre-approved.” That will stop other agents from trying to poach your buyers.
If they came in already pre-approved, I would find out who they were pre-approved with and while we were sitting there would make a connection with that loan officer to send me a copy of their pre-approval and good faith estimate. This also tells the lender that this client is working with me, so if their lender hears they are looking at homes with another agent, I may get a courtesy call so I can correct the issue.
I spent about 10-15 minutes discussing the entire process of buying (and selling) a home. We discussed why pre-approval is so important, the showing process, the offering process, earnest money, inspections, closing, and all the stuff that goes along with this list. Again, I showed them the value of working with me. Many buyers aren’t aware of all the steps necessary, so why not educate them up front so there are less surprises later.
Here comes the fun part. From the home buying needs form, I pulled up the MLS on my computer and entered their criteria. Hopefully the list is 20-25 homes max. We skimmed through each one on the MLS and discussed what I know about each of these homes and find out why they do or don’t like each one. After this exercise, I have a better understanding what they are really looking for, plus we have a list of their 10-12 favorite homes. I sent this list to a printer in another room in the office.
I excused myself to go pickup the listings in the printer. Before leaving I asked them to review my Exclusive Buyer Guarantee, and I was sure to leave a pen with the form. You can download the magic form here!
The magic of the form is that it is very “non-scary” with no fine print. It clearly starts with what you promise to do for them, then gives them a few guidelines on what you expect them to do for you. It’s magic!
Nearly every time I walked back in the room, the form WAS ALREADY SIGNED! If not, I simply asked them if they had any questions about the form and asked them to sign it. They always did. 🙂 NOTE: I still haven’t handed them the printed listings.
At this point you’ve got them to say “YES” so many times, they won’t stop you now. I saad something like this;
“Great, now that we’ve decided to work together, my office requires I have a few more “official” documents signed.”
I pulled out the BRETTA agreement, reviewed it and asked for signatures, then I pulled out my office’s buyer agreement, reviewed it and asked them to sign. They will sign with few questions and no opposition.
I thanked them for their time and told them how excited I was to be working for them. I gave them a folder with their copies of the paperwork including the printed listings.
I asked them to drive by the list of homes we printed off and call me in the next few days to let me know which of the homes they wanted me to show them. If you remember, we looked at nearly everything currently on the market when we reviewed the MLS, then worked the list down to the top ten or so; now when they do their drive-bys, they will eliminate a few of those. Most of the time, I would go show them this short list of 5-6 homes and they would write an offer on one knowing they’ve mentally eliminated everything else on the market.
This article definitely was much longer than most of the tips and ideas I post on REBR.com, but I want to give you a detailed look at a process that helped me close more sales each and every year. I think I covered all the details, but if you have any questions, please ask me in the comments below!
This process will help you establish a solid relationship with your buyers, and prove to them that you care about them and their transaction, as well as give them confidence that they made a great choice to work with you because of the education and knowledge you bring to help them buy their dream home.
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