We know you’ve been beaten up by the iBuyers, discount agents, and a super-hot market over the past couple of years. But believe us when we tell you that the power is there for you to conquer the discounters and gain listings without giving up moolah to get them. You do NOT have to work for less than you deserve.
Here are a few key techniques you can apply in your real estate business to take back control of your conversations and stop cutting your commissions.
The Value Triangle
Let’s start with the value triangle. The value triangle shows the balance between the three elements of perceived value: cost, speed, and quality.
You can purchase something fast and cheap, but the quality will be the sacrifice you make. Think of McDonald’s burgers and fries—they’re fast and inexpensive, but you know that the quality is low. And you completely understand that dynamic before you place your order.
The crux of the value triangle is that you will never be able to fulfill all three sides.
The next time you’re sitting with your potential clients on a listing appointment, and they’re wanting you to reduce your commission, think of how that works on the value triangle.
You’re not a bargain basement agent. Explain to your clients that you offer stellar service, which comes at a reasonable price. Keep that dynamic in mind as you move through the following techniques.
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1. Sell the Smaller Ask
In the book, “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion,” Robert Cialdini illustrates the reciprocity principle. He calls it “rejection-then-retreat.” It works when you’re presented with one option that might be a larger ask. You respond negatively, and then you’re presented with a smaller offer.
Your brain wants to be accommodating, so you typically won’t say “no” twice. You generally accept the smaller request before you’ve really had a chance to think.
When sitting down with your potential client, use this principle when discussing your commission or the list price of the home. Ask for the heavier lift first, then get them to settle on the price point you really want, framing it as a smaller request.
2. Alleviate the Pressure
You’ve heard the adage people hate to be sold, but they love to buy. What that really means is people don’t want to feel pressured. There’s an easy way to remove the squeeze from your conversation and help get your potential clients to listen.
This simple frame before you make a statement removes the pressure:
“I’m not sure if it’s for you, but…”
According to the book, “Exactly What to Say for Real Estate Agents,” when you begin a statement with “I’m not sure if it’s for you,” the subconscious brain hears there’s no pressure to say “yes” to the person making the statement.
3. Questions Drive Conversations
The person asking the questions is the person controlling the conversation. Your goal is to uncover your prospect’s fears and anxieties and then present yourself as the person who can help them.
Your potential client will often try to control the conversation by drilling you about your commissions, what their house is worth, and how fast you can get it sold. Take charge by asking them questions instead.
Frame your questions using words like, “What’s your experience with…” to discover their understanding of buying or selling real estate, the market, the process, etc. Once you learn what their comfort level of a real estate transaction is, you can begin to show your value.
4. Know Your Worth
I recently heard a story from Scott Sorrell, a sales strategist and speaker known as “Mr. Charge Higher Prices,” at the Florida Realtors Convention & Expo. He shared a story from a real estate pro who, when asked what his commission was, responded with, “I like to think I’m worth…”
The real estate agent worded the statement in such a way that makes the response tricky. If you try to rebut the statement, you’ll question the person’s worth. It makes any negation difficult on the part of the potential client.
The next time you’re asked what your commission is, confidently reply with, “I like to think I’m worth…” and see if your potential client agrees.
5. Know Your Audience
Make sure you know your audience before you go into your presentation. If you’re not speaking to your potential client’s needs, you won’t be able to sell them your services.
Kick off your conversation by asking them questions about their home, their needs, and what their plans are after selling the home, and discover why they’re selling in the first place.
Your main focus should be uncovering the answers to those questions so that you can tailor your presentation in a way that addresses their concerns.
As Scott Sorrell says, “Clients buy for their reasons, not yours.”
6. Give Them Their Presentation, Not Yours
One mistake many agents make is giving the same spiel for every listing appointment. We get it—scripts help build confidence. But you must listen to your potential seller’s actual needs, wants, and desires and address them specifically.
Instead of diving right into your presentation, use the information you learned by asking them questions to speak directly to their desires and needs. Once you discover their plans, what their priorities are, and their main motivation for selling, then you should adapt your presentation to those needs.
7. Show Them the Proof
Social proof is ingrained in our nature. We’re social pack animals who want to fit in and conform to the rest of the herd.
So when you want to persuade a potential client to choose you, show them others who have already chosen you in the past. Show them your rave reviews.
No one wants to be first. Let your potential client know they’re not alone in choosing you as their awesome real estate professional.
8. Be the Authority
Studies have shown that we, as humans, have trouble saying “no” to someone in an authority position. Establish yourself as the real estate expert in your market to gain a level of trust that is hard to deny.
Of course, most of the work to establish your prowess in your market happens long before you meet your prospects on the listing appointment. Make sure you’re establishing yourself as the “go-to” person in your area for your type of real estate.
The easiest way to accomplish that is to choose a niche and focus all of your attention, energy, and marketing efforts on that niche.
9. Ask for an Introduction
The easiest way to instantly establish your likability with a new prospect is to latch on to someone else who already likes you. That person can be the bridge to your next client.
Before you close out a transaction, ask your client, “Who do you know who might appreciate a current market survey, a home valuation, some investment opportunities, some home buying advice, and so on…”
They may not have anyone that comes to mind in that moment, but continue to ask the question throughout the transaction. They will most likely have someone for you to contact before you wrap up.
But don’t just leave it there—go one step further and ask for an introduction. If they like you as much as they should by this point, they’ll be happy to help you out.
It can be daunting to go on your first few listing appointments. But with practice and a bit of confidence-building, you’ll become a master at the right kinds of conversations it takes to win listings. Take charge in your conversations, and don’t be intimidated by your prospects. You’re the authority. When you can win most of the listing appointments you go on, you’ll be guaranteed success in real estate. Try some of these tips on your next appointment and let us know how it goes in the comments.