Influence. It seems to be what is making the world go round right now and real estate professionals have plenty of it when it comes to helping buyers and sellers make educated choices.
The real focus you should have is how can you make these people want to work with you instead of the next guy. I propose a non-traditional sales approach when it comes to real estate. The days of the pushy salesman are long gone. It’s time to shift from a sales style approach to a consultative style of customer interaction.
Here are 5 ways to increase the level of influence you have with buyer, seller and others in the real estate industry:
1. Transparency is key.
This is the era of transparency. Before it was possible to learn anything in the world with a few clicks on the internet, people relied on the knowledge of an expert to guide them and tell them what the best course of action is.
The first point of contact before seeking out an industry expert is an internet search, where the customer will research and learn about a real estate transaction and likely become overwhelmed with what they learn.
The customer now craves the certainty the real estate professional creates for them in a real estate transaction. Every word an agent says to their customer will be “fact-checked” by a simple Google search so it is important to be as transparent as possible with your client.
Anticipate what they might end up finding online and lay out the scenarios for them ahead of time, but most importantly always speak truthfully.
2. Teach rather than sell.
Think about every time you made a decision you ended up regretting.
If you knew the outcome in the beginning, then you would’ve made the better decision! The biggest reason why a buyer or seller makes a bad decision is because either they are missing data needed to make a decision or they misunderstood something that was explained. Many times agents get caught up in the game of objection handling and dropping fancy sales lines. In 2021, the customer can see when it’s happening.
The way to develop a massive level of influence is to teach rather than convince. That means you need to change the approach to your listing presentation or buyers consultation to a style that displays facts, statistics, recent closings, current competition, and market data. The REALTOR(r) needs to focus on empowering the buyer or the seller with knowledge to enable them to make the best decision for themselves. For example, instead of pre-printing comps and going to a listing presentation to tell the seller why you think their house is worth X amount; try bringing a laptop or tablet and sit down with them and open up the MLS right in front of them.
Do a live search and pull up the comps together. Focus on asking questions that allows the client to draw their own conclusions based on the information they’re learning. “Mr. Seller, now that you’ve seen what other houses in your neighborhood have sold for, what do you think is a realistic asking price?” “Miss Buyer, now that you’ve seen what other people are paying for the houses like this one, what do you think is an offer that’s likely to get accepted?” These are just two basic examples of questions which allow customers to draw the conclusion they think is best. If they still have unrealistic expectations after learning so much from you, then there must be something they misunderstood in the consultation.
Don’t be afraid to ask what’s making them draw their conclusions, and then show them the data they need to make the best decision for themselves. Do this and you’ll close 75%-80% more people, guaranteed. Focus on empowering others to make their own decisions, and you’ll never need to convince them to do something. They’ll never forget who taught them! Don’t you remember the name of your favorite teacher?
3. Learn how the purchase price affects the monthly payment.
Mortgaged offers are the most common type of offer agents will end up working with, so it’s safe to say a REALTOR should know a good amount about how mortgages work. There are so many times where a buyer’s agent needs to get their clients’ offer up to a higher amount so that they can beat out the competition and get the house.
On the reverse, a listing agent needs to get the buyer’s offer higher so that the seller will accept it. The problem in these scenarios is that the buyer usually has no understanding on what a higher offer might mean to them. They sometimes lose focus on what is really happening. You are there to bring them back to reality.
Let’s talk about what’s really happening, the buyer using a mortgage is not spending $500,000. They are simply making a promise to pay X amount of dollars per month for the next 15 or 30 years, and they agree to invest a much smaller percentage as a down payment. You should teach the buyer how the price affects the monthly payment.
You can calculate their potential monthly payment with a basic mortgage calculator based on the current offer to get the first number; then calculate the monthly payment for the offer amount you know will get accepted. The difference between the two payments will be lower than the buyer previously thought.
Most recently, I coached a REALTOR to get an accepted offer in a bidding war by getting her client to come up $15,000 over asking price. The way we did that was to show the buyer the monthly payment at asking price, and then the monthly payment for $15,000 over asking. “Mr Buyer, we presented your offer to the seller for you. I want to let you know that the offer you made has a monthly payment estimated to be around $3,200 a month including taxes and insurance. I checked with your loan officer to confirm that number.
In order to win this deal and beat the other offers that are coming in to the seller, you would need to be okay with a monthly payment of $3,228 a month including taxes and insurance. Are you okay with that $28 increase?” No one who wants a home would tell you no $28 is more money than they can handle. The buyer obviously agreed to that monthly payment. I also highlighted that since the seller was going to pay the commission to the two REALTORs, the $15,000 made a big difference to them since they had to pay over $20,000 in commission fees anyway. My coaching clients’ offer was accepted, and we celebrated. If you spend some time learning the in’s and out’s of the mortgage side of real estate, you are guaranteed to win more deals.
4. Keep in Mind Your Approach
You might want to call this a quick lesson in charming people! It sounds like a basic thing, but even the most basic concepts get lost in the working world.
The oil that makes the machinery of human relationships move is good manners—a practice that seems to be lost over time when past experiences cloud present time judgments. Treat the other person with importance (both customers or fellow REALTORs) and always making sure communication is both sent and received.
Arrogance and a forceful approach may win dominion and control but will never win acceptance and respect from another. If you’re accessible, you’ll be sent opportunities. The mistake most busy agents make is they become inaccessible when they have too much going on.
If you can do so you are already on the path of greatness in not only your career but in life! It is guaranteed you will increase your sales in 2021 by minding how accessible you are, treating other REALTORs and all customers with importance, and taking full responsibility to ensure your communications are both sent and received.
5. Start Coaching.
No matter what level you’re performing at, it’s always possible for you to go higher, move faster, and grow larger. There’s a reason professional athletes have a coach watching what’s happening on the side lines—to give them feedback and instruction while the star has their head in the game.
A business coach can push you to the next higher tax bracket by simply pointing out things they see happening while you’re busy with your business. A survey conducted by the International Coaching Federation discovered entrepreneurs who enter business coaching can increase their net income by 46% after surveying over 1,000 organizations in 2016. Can you use a 46% increase in your income?
The same study revealed 62.4% of the businesses surveyed developed more intelligent goal-setting figures and as well as 57.1% reported lowered feelings of anxiety and worry throughout the year. Does that sound like something that would be a game changer for you? Coaching has proven itself as an invaluable asset to the performance of any business in any industry.
Apply the 5 steps above and watch 2021 be the best year you ever had.
Andrew Ragusa is the CEO/Broker of REMI Realty on Long Island , New York. He’s a Licensed Real Estate Broker, Sellers Representative Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, & Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Specialist. Andrew is a regular in the media speaking about real estate issues.