Do You Give Good Phone? Screen Your Leads!

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes Realty - BH Referral Associates

 

 

When a transaction goes bad and I get involved, the trainer seems to come out in me!  As a trainer I do pick apart a dead deal to see where we have gone astray. 

In most cases agents simply need to get back to basics to help prevent dead deals. 

In most cases they were never transactions to begin with. 

Certain steps were missed, yes let me say that again, "Certain steps were missed and in most cases the dead deals were never transactions to begin with".

To me the most important step when dealing with the consumer is screening of leads

It's too many times I can be in any real estate office in any given time and I overhear (ok, I listen) a conversation with a realtor and a potential customer.

The value of each lead that calls the office....don't they get it!  If you are going to just give information rather than screen that lead.  Don't Answer the Phone!  

It's better to lose them today rather than 6 months down the road wasting your time, money and expertise on someone who is unable to buy or sell today or ever for that matter.  

Yes, Sweathogs has stuck with me throughout all these years! 

Doesn't matter if you are face to face or over the phone, the bottom line....listen to the consumer...you'll know if they are a true buyer or seller...if you listen..you will learn. 

 

Listen to their words  

  • Need and want are two different things!  "I want a million dollar home but I need a $1000.00 payment because that is all I can afford."  
  • "I am approved for a mortgage." (Have you ever heard of a person who gets approved for a mortgage and they do not want to buy?  They may wait...but they want to buy!)
  • "I have been getting listings in my e-mail for over a year!"  Who sent the listings and why are they still waiting?

Most sales people spend most of the conversation selling their services rather than determining whether they are dealing with a potential customer. 

Most agents lose the customer because they spoke at the customer rather than asking questions and really listening to the customer's needs. 

By listening they will give you hints on whether they have the ABILITY to buy or sell real estate.  

Probe

  • Every-time they ask you a question answer and then respond with a question. It's simple like tennis, let the conversation bounce back and forth.   Allow them to answer and then you ask another question.  You'll get the info you need to determine if they are a ready, willing and able buyer or seller. 
  • Use a lead sheet regardless of how seasoned you are.  A  lead sheet will help the conversation flow and increase the odds of the customer communicating the truth with you.
  • Probe until you get the information you need to get them into the office.  Once in the office you have a better shot in building rapport and creating a bond. 

When you probe you learn.  When you probe you have to listen. The more questions you ask the more open the prospect becomes.  The more open the prospect becomes easier it becomes to be a little more open yourself.  The more open your questions become the more likely the truth will be revealed.  

How long should you screen a lead?  As long as it takes...I would rather spend an hour or two on the phone in advance than spend 6 months in my car to find out they were not buyers.

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
352,337
Donna Yates Real Estate - serving
ReMax Town and Country - Blue Ridge, GA
North Georgia Metro & Mountains
Midori: Listening to the customer and less talking from the Realtor is key.  Also, I am having to break old habits and remember to ask open ended questions that probe deeper rather than just a yes or no answer that really goes nowhere.  Great post and enjoyed the posts of the others you linked too.
October 01, 2007 07:49 AM #30
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Sreening a lead takes skill.  Skill can be developed.  I use a printed list of questions for every incoming buyer/seller lead.  It keeps me focused on asking the right questions and helps me to really LISTEN.
October 01, 2007 09:09 AM #31
Rainmaker
135,689
Scott Cowan
RE/MAX Four Seasons - Puyallup, WA

Midori- Another post that hits the nail squarely on the head. Early on in my real estate career I was too excited to listen.... I simply knew that they were going to buy! Well, months later and I am still taking them around to homes....It was a lesson that took me a while to learn but I have learned it. Thanks for reminding me!

Best,

Scott 

October 01, 2007 10:36 AM #32
Rainer
70,844
Thomas Weiss
Thomas R. Weiss - West Palm Beach, FL

Midori,

I use alot of what you write, to help educate myself, I would like to say thank you because it applies to everyone.

Tom Weiss

October 01, 2007 10:52 AM #33
Rainmaker
457,467
Midori Miller
Better Homes Realty - BH Referral Associates - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Homes In Fort Lauderdale, Real Estate Training - R

Joan-yes the key is to listen.

Jeff and Grace-Run....don't look back!

Al-if all parties don't agree....hmmmm....NO DEAL!

Jeff-my next post!  Thanks...

Hugh-practice but try to not practice on your customers. 

Rosemary-right again!

Bob and Carolin-Youre welcome

Dave-your welcome and I sent you an e-mail

Gitta-I say don't reinvent the wheel....if you ask...most often they will answer

Donna-That is the ticket!  Open ended questions

Dan-Awesome!  Yes regardless of how long any one has been in the business this simple tool will make the difference!

 

October 01, 2007 01:05 PM #34
Rainer
4,021
Joseph Ayscue
Examiner Home Inspections, LLC - Burlington, NC

Having a great personality is a major plus!

You have to sell yourself to your clients, before you can sell what you have.

Talking on personal levels may seem intruding at times, but being friendly and trustworthy says alot about who is representing you.  That matters to your clients.

Examiner Home Inspections, LLC

October 01, 2007 02:49 PM #35
Rainer
51,727
Diane Velikis
Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate - Luzerne, PA
Luzerne County Real Estate
Midori, Great advise! Boy did I ever learn that lesson the hard way    :)
October 01, 2007 08:05 PM #36
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
AMEN! to the comment about spending time on the front end to avoid wasted time on the back end. My personal philosophy...CITO...Come Into The Office!!! Thanks!
October 01, 2007 09:53 PM #37
Rainmaker
457,467
Midori Miller
Better Homes Realty - BH Referral Associates - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Homes In Fort Lauderdale, Real Estate Training - R

Joseph-Yes I agree personality is a plus....I believe you have to build that rapport...the small talk is not so small....the small talk...personal talk all so vital...One of the benefits of screening leads prior to showing property is you get to know your customers better.  That to me is the key.....so let your personality shine through....I do.

Diane-Thank you...I think we all learn the hard way....thats how we invent systems for ourselves...

Elizabeth....Are you a sweathog graduate?  I am........CITO....can't agree with you more... its smarter and much safer. 

October 05, 2007 06:58 AM #38
Rainer
194,096
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
I didn't do sweathogs, but I'm familiar with the program. I've just been around a while and been to a lot of seminars/motivational speeches. I'm the kinda person who puts the things I learn into practice. I know a good thing when I see/hear it! (My husband would agree with that wholeheartedly!)  See ya! Elizabeth 
October 05, 2007 08:26 AM #39
Rainmaker
457,467
Midori Miller
Better Homes Realty - BH Referral Associates - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Homes In Fort Lauderdale, Real Estate Training - R
Elizabeth-Isn't great, taking bits and pieces from all different sources and turning into your own! 
October 06, 2007 05:37 PM #40
Rainer
13,007
Lori DeLoera
Century 21 Sundance - Port Orange, FL
Good advice.  Save time and energy, not to mention gas,  screening your leads.  It allows us to spend time on the customers who need it most.
October 11, 2007 12:54 PM #41
Rainer
51,727
Diane Velikis
Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate - Luzerne, PA
Luzerne County Real Estate
Midori, Good advise from someone who learned the hard way! Thanks for your informative post that could save a lot of wasted time for agents
October 11, 2007 03:38 PM #42
Rainer
49,500
Portland Oregon Real Estate | Alecia Barnes - Broker
Portland, OR
Thanks so much for the awesome post, I have bookmarked it for future reference.
October 11, 2007 03:52 PM #43
Rainmaker
457,467
Midori Miller
Better Homes Realty - BH Referral Associates - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Homes In Fort Lauderdale, Real Estate Training - R

Lori-you are so right.

Diane-Youre welcome

Alecia-You're welcome 

October 12, 2007 07:42 PM #44
Rainmaker
76,036
Natalie Langford
Realty Negotiations - Winchester, VA
Winchester, VA Real Estate
Wow, I haven't heard of a lead sheet on how to qualify those calls.  I'm not sure how to develop one, but I'll certainly ask my sales manager!  Thank you!
October 13, 2007 06:56 PM #45
Rainer
14,763
Pamela Carter
Ed Price & Associates - Trinity, NC
Realtor, SFR - Archdale/Trinity NC Real Estate
Thanks again Midori for a wonderful post and reminder.  I had gotten a little lazy lately.
October 19, 2007 03:05 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,390,940
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Midori,

great post. I am kind of burnt out with talking on cellphones lately. When I get it back I am going to follow some of your guidelines

Thanks

Tom Braatz

October 19, 2007 08:24 PM #47
Rainmaker
298,489
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes
Very good post. Like you said I think even us seasoned people should use lead sheets. Sometimes you let those little things go to the way side and that's when I find myself getting upset, because I didnt fully qualify the lead. Thanks for the reminder.
October 28, 2007 06:12 PM #48
Rainer
24,490
Dawn Coulter
Century 21 Covered Bridges Realty, Inc. - Bloomsburg, PA
e-PRO, One America

Awesome post!

I think you said what many agents all "know" they're doing wrong.  Either the agent doesn't realize what they're doing, or they just didn't work up the nerve to 'go there'.  I think if we all just "GO THERE" in the beginning, we will weed out those who are serious buyers from those who are wasting our time.

 

 

November 01, 2007 07:50 PM #49
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Rainmaker
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Midori Miller

Homes In Fort Lauderdale, Real Estate Training - R
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