By Jesse McCarl
In the prime of his career, Jim Droz was the most successful real estate agent in the world – grossing over a million dollars per year four years in a row. Since then, he has been a prolific speaker at conferences around the country and author of the book Releasing the Winner Within. He is also an advocate for the HouseHunt and TIM System. He hosts monthly webinars exclusively for HouseHunt agents. Here is just a bit of his insight from his most recent webinar! (To learn more about becoming a HouseHunt agent, submit your information in the form to the right.)
Too many Realtors view objections from the client as a bad thing – a sort of confrontation. This is not at all what customers mean when they ask the hard questions, and viewing it was such will only damage your reputation. Instead of getting defensive, use every objection from a prospect as an opportunity to highlight the pros of your business and share your expertise.
There can be objections about anything. Disputes can range from home value to whether or not to use a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard. Here is a list of just about every possible real estate related objection and some appropriate responses from Realtor Mike Ferry. For objections specifically regarding home price, check out our friend Bill Gassett.
No matter the argument though, here is a step-by-step guide to how to handle objections in real estate:
- Let Them Talk. Don’t interrupt the buyer or seller while s/he is presenting his or her concerns. If you interrupt every time you think of a response, you will come across like you’re scrambling to play defense. Very unprofessional.
- Confirm Their Objection. Wait… this seems backwards, right? Believe it or not, the first thing you want to do after a concern is validate the client’s point of view. For example, “I understand this price seems low considering all the work you’ve done to it. The new landscaping will play a valuable role in curb appeal. You even installed hardwood floors which will be great for value. The last thing we want to do after all that effort is under-price your home.”
- Find the Reason Behind the Reason. Discuss the client’s concern more extensively, but listen for clues if there’s a real reason for the objection that isn’t quick to surface. In the example above, the client was concerned about underselling the house because he had put a lot of work into boosting the value. The work he’d put into the resale is a valid reason to be concerned. However, there’s also a chance that he’s been ripped off by another Realtor, or had lofty (though false) promises from other Realtors that he liked better. You can’t qualm the client’s fear until you find its roots!
- Highlight Your Expertise. If you truly believe in the systems you have in place, you can get your customers to believe in them, too! No matter what aspect of your business is in question by the customer, explain your reasoning behind it. Back that reasoning up with market analysis and personal experiences. By the time you’re done explaining your methods, the customer will buy into the vision. Furthermore, since you waited four whole steps before explaining your perspective, you don’t have to worry about making them feel attacked or inferior.
- Revisit the Original Concern. By the time you reach this step, you have already let the client fully explain his qualm, you’ve dug a little deeper to find the real issue, and you’ve explained why your method fits best in this circumstance. So by the time you address the original concern, it will seem nothing short of petty. For example, a seemingly underpriced home will seem irrelevant when you’ve explained the competitive market and how quickly you expect to move the property.
- Move Forward. Now that you’ve settled whatever the issue was with such grace, the client will be more likely to trust your discernment moving forward. Whether you were in the middle of a listing presentation or a purchase negotiation, you can now proceed with the utmost confidence. Even though this whole thing started with what seemed to be an argument, you’ve handled it in a way that actually boosted your reputation in the clients’ eyes.
Follow these six steps, and no objection will trump you. As a matter of fact, each question a customer has for you will actually boost your business and your confidence!