Going the Distance

How do you know when a prospect or client is going to waste your time or go the distance? That is something new Agents and some experienced Agents struggle with regularly.

Having a step-by-step pre-qualifying process helps dramatically. It will help you evaluate each person the same. When you go in to get your annual physical the doctor doesn’t just “wing” it. The doctor sends you through the same steps as every other patient taking an annual physical. All patients have their blood pressure checked and blood and urine samples tested. The doctors and nurses don’t skip a step.

Create a step-by-step process to qualify your prospects. There is no substitute for experience. Like anything in life, the more you do something the better you get. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time because of will and practice. Even though he was cut from his high school team, he focused on improving; his practice habits improved between high school and the NBA.

The experience of working with many prospects and clients helps you develop a sixth sense. The only way to develop that sixth sense is through making mistakes and learning from them. Since a sixth sense is developed by experiences, the number of years you do something has very little to do with it. Let’s say that you need to do 100 closings to have a functional and operational sixth sense. You could take 10 years to do those 100 closings or two years. By doing more, you will develop your sixth sense more quickly.

There have been people in my personal sales career that didn’t pass the smell test. There was just something that didn’t feel or smell right. Rather than hoping it would all come out in the wash, I would pour bleach on the situation by questioning and digging deeper. The gray stains would be bleached to white, and I would be able to see my next step much clearer.

I have one rule when working with people: It usually gets worse under pressure, not better. The deal that is pended that is shaky the first week remains shaky all the way through and usually gets worse. My solution was to tighten or kill it in the first week. This solution would either be to remove it from pended status or solidify it, so that it would close easier. The prospect that is flaky at the very beginning usually doesn’t get any better. Qualify him/her hard to either get him to commit to you with certainty or remove him from your life and move on.

This is where you have the opportunity to simply ask a couple of questions, depending if your client is a seller or buyer. There is NO better way to test the loyalty and seriousness of a prospect than requiring them to pay a buyer or seller retainer fee. If someone is willing to invest in their real estate experience, they are less likely NOT to listen to you, less likely to behave in shady manners, (writing offers thru others). NOW they are invested in the “game” (transaction). Therefore much less liable to cancel, do their own thing or not follow your directions.

The seller at the listing appointment who will not take your counsel on price is a great example. Does that person get better or worse 30 days down the road? Usually 30 days later he blames you because his home hasn’t sold. Actually, his failure to accept your price counsel was the reason.

Develop your sixth sense quickly by creating more opportunities with prospects. The more opportunities you have, the more selective you can be with who becomes a client. Don’t neglect to listen to that sixth sense you are developing. Rarely will you be wrong.

Thanks for allowing the “Upper Deck” to Rant.

“I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

~ Michael Jordan


About Lance Berwald, Coldwell Banker Burnet

I am a real estate aspirant and scholar. Always seeking to learn more about an every changing world and industry. Come and seek the truth about life, real estate and what motivates us each and every day!
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