If you’re just starting your real estate career, getting your first client will be exciting. It will be even more exciting when that client is someone you met as a prospect and turned into a client. You’ll need to learn how to use the right sales techniques to achieve that goal. Those skills will serve you well throughout your career.
Sales and the Real Estate Agent
Traditionally, sales skills aren’t included in real estate training. The lack of that training causes problems for many agents when they first start out. You won’t need to worry about selling properties until you have clients. Therefore, your first sales challenge will be selling yourself to your prospects.
Selling in real estate bears no relationship to stereotypical used car sales. In real estate, you need to use consultative selling skills to help your clients make informed decisions. But, there are still sales techniques that will help you succeed.
Identify Qualified Leads
There’s a difference between a lead and a qualified lead. A lead could be someone who registers on your website’s MLS search. But they only wanted to see the photos of the interior of their neighbors’ homes. You could spend time talking to a lead like that one, and you’d just be wasting your time and theirs. Qualifying leads is important to help you focus your efforts on working with leads that have a strong potential for turning into clients.
In real estate, a qualified lead is different whether it’s a buyer or seller lead. A qualified buyer lead must meet a variety of criteria. They must be serious about buying a property and have money for a down payment for example.
Seller leads need to be in the right location, and they need to be serious about selling their property. Typically, you’ll want to work in your target market area. If you have listing clients in many widespread areas, you’ll spend most of your time in the car shuttling between properties you have listed.
In today’s digital world, the technology exists to let you get property owner information for a particular geographic area. In addition, the latest technology offers predictive analytics to identify property owners who are most likely to sell. Taking advantage of this type of software makes the time you devote to selling as effective as it can be.
Stand Out From the Crowd
As you know, real estate is a very competitive industry. You need to explain to leads why they should work with you as opposed to any other agent. That will be easy to do when you have a personal brand that makes you unique in your marketplace.
Some people think that branding is all about the design and color of your logo. You should promote your brand consistently with a meaningful logo. But, you need to start by identifying what that logo stands for. Other people in the industry think that the broker’s brand is all they need. But, you don’t want to be just one of your broker’s agents.
Creating a personal brand will give you a competitive advantage. You’ll go through a process of thinking about the unique things you offer your clients. And then you’ll be able to highlight your competitive advantages when talking to a new lead.
Use Consultative Selling Techniques
You really can’t sell ice cubes to Eskimos, but some people still try. They rely on high-pressure sales techniques that don’t work in today’s marketplace. Today you need to understand your client and help them make the best decisions for their situation. This technique goes by many names, one of which is consultative selling.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a consultant as “one who gives professional advice or services.” And, that’s exactly what real estate agents and brokers do. However, to do that successfully, you need to understand your prospect or client.
The overall goal of consultative selling is to establish a relationship with clients. To do that, you need to listen more than you talk. You need to know the right questions to ask. You need to the right advice that will create happy clients. And, happy clients will give you excellent reviews that will help you grow your business.
Have you ever asked a friend to dinner and gotten a response something like “I’m sorry I can’t. I’ve got too much work to do for an 8 a.m. meeting tomorrow.” You have two choices at that point. You could say, “Okay, maybe next week.” In that situation, you lose your friend’s companionship at dinner.
Or, you could say “You need to eat to get yourself through the night. What if we just grab something quick at Joe’s Restaurant?” In reply, your friend might say, “Oh, well, I could do that. How about 6:00?”
On the other hand, your friend might say “I really won’t have any time and I’ve got food at home I can eat while I work.”
Without thinking about it, people raise objections in conversation all the time. And, if you don’t answer their objections, you lose. If you do answer their objections, you may find that you’ve offered a perspective they hadn’t thought of. On the other hand, the objection may be real and the new idea won’t make any difference.
You’ll run into objections when you consult with your clients and when you’re closing your first lead. You need the right sales techniques to answer those objections effectively. These seller objections will give you some ideas on the best ways to respond.
Use Scripts the Right Way
Sales scripts describe talking points you’ll use when you’re talking to leads and clients. You may have scripts for introducing yourself to new leads, answering objections, and more.
Sales scripts have gotten a bad reputation because too many people use them the wrong way. If you write down what you want to say and then read it from a piece of paper, you’re never going to close your first lead. You’ll sound like a telemarketer. Your speech may sound awkward and you may trip over your words trying to say exactly what’s on the page.
The right way to use a script is as a tool to prepare for interaction with others. Let’s assume that you identified some outstanding reasons why someone should work with you and created a brand. What do you think will happen the first time someone asks what you can do for them?
If you’re like most people, you won’t come up with a professional, concise, and compelling explanation off the top of your head. But, if you write a script for it, practice it, and even memorize it, you’ve set yourself up for success. You don’t need to speak the script exactly as you wrote it. You’ll have all the information you need to sound like you’ve been in the business for years.
ProspectNow Can Help You Close that First Lead
When you’re looking for qualified leads, ProspectNow can help. We offer a database with over 140 million residential and commercial properties. And, our system predicts which commercial or residential properties have the best chance of selling within a 12-month timeframe.
Get your real estate career off to a great start by using qualified leads to grow your business. Contact us for more information.