Buying or selling a house in today’s market – and in today’s terminology… it’s a lot.
A lot of stress. A lot of fast-moving parts. A lot of important decisions that need to be made quickly.
And for some people, it’s too much.
I’ve seen several reports in our private Facebook groups and through industry chatter about consumers getting overwhelmed and stepping out of the process, deciding to wait until another time.
Which is their prerogative… but it sucks if they’ve already wasted lots of your time and energy before they reach that decision.
So here are three simple ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to you…
Step 1: Set Realistic Expectations from the Start
The last thing you want to do with a new client is scare them out of their decision to buy or sell a home by telling them how difficult it’s going to be.
But that doesn’t mean you avoid it altogether.
The key is striking a balance to make clear what they’re getting themselves into, and reassuring them from the start by showing them how you’ll guide them through the entire process.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Why have this conversation when I can just address it if they ever bring it up?” Three reasons:
One, when they first feel that tinge of regret or fear, you don’t want them to freak out. If you’ve addressed it beforehand and warned them that they’ll feel this way, it’s far less likely that they pull the ripcord on moving forward. In fact, they’ll appreciate you more because you’ve proactively calmed their fears.
Two, if they do suddenly want to discuss the possibility of slowing down or stopping the process, you can remind them that this was going to happen. If you haven’t told them in the beginning, you’re just going to look like a desperate salesperson saying anything possible to save the deal.
And three, if it is “too much” for them to deal with – emotionally, financially or otherwise – you want to know now, before you invest your precious time in working with these people.
Step 2: Demonstrate Empathy
Don’t forget: You work in this industry every day. You’ve seen the listings that get 64 different offers. You’ve dealt with the insecurities of buyers who are afraid they’re overpaying. You know today’s market isn’t a bubble that’s about to come crashing down.
Your clients? Not so much. It’s very likely they’re not as dialed in to real estate industry happenings, so you need to put yourself in their shoes. Make an effort to understand the questions they need answers to and the feelings they need resolved.
One great approach is to stockpile a few stories that you can share to demonstrate how you’ve helped others through similar situations. Or better yet, stories about how YOU have felt some of those same emotions and how you kept moving forward to get the job done.
Step 3: Use Numbers to Your Advantage
Property values in most markets have increased considerably in the last two years or so.
Use those numbers to your advantage to show buyers that waiting longer will likely only increase what they pay – or decrease how much house they can afford.
If they’re renters, show them the money they’re wasting that could be going toward a mortgage payment instead.
If they’re sellers, show them the record high sales and how much they stand to make off the sale of their property.
If the astronomical numbers you can present in today’s market don’t keep them moving forward, they maybe aren’t that motivated anyway.
Bonus Tip: Adopt a “Next” Mindset!
There’s a chance that you’ll do everything above and still have someone change their mind and call off their home search or sale. When that happens, be satisfied that you did everything within your control… and then move on.
The worst mistake you can make in a market with this much opportunity is to dwell on the one that got away. There are many more buyers and sellers out there who need your advice. Go find them and serve them!