Mastermind for November 7th. The Reverse Cold Call and The Power of Rentals
Well, I’m sitting in the lounge waiting for my flight to Orlando. I am heading down for REBarCamp and NAR, the once yearly convention for Realtors. Since I have nearly an hour to kill and about 15% battery life on my iPad, this is as good a time as any to write a blog about today’s Mastermind session.
I have written about cold calling before, but we haven’t talked about the reverse cold call, that is when someone calls you out of the blue to enquire about one of your listings. We had a great group this morning and as such, we got some great feedback on the different ways agents deal with them but what seemed to be consistent was the fact that while everyone had a different methodology they all asked pertinent questions in order to qualify the caller. Has the caller been looking for long? Are they working with an agent? What are they looking for more specifically? Have they put in any offers? Most of these questions are part of a natural investigation to see if they are working with a Realtor but there’s another important benefit of a long chat…..it’s conversation. It builds rapport. It’s your opportunity to show your professionalism and talk about your value proposition. Remember, if they are hitting your site they are probably hitting 20 other sites so what do you have to offer that is different from everyone else? Regardless, one of the finer points of being a great salesperson is having great listening skills so ask lots of open-ended questions and keep the caller talking. (Maybe pretend that you are talking to a kidnapper and the longer you have them on the phone the more likely your team can pinpoint their location).
Naturally the conversation drifted to the next stage. Assuming you get to the place where the caller is still interested in looking at your listing, when is it appropriate to have them sign a BRA (if at all)? Some agents would argue that buyers don’t get to smell the leather in their car until a BRA is signed. Others would say that they would invest a few hours showing new people around, develop a relationship or find out if they want to work with the buyer or to find out if they are even serious. What about you? Would you have a new buyer meet you in your office to listen to a buyer presentation, or do you work on the fly? I would love to get your opinions.
It is worthwhile recognizing that today more unrepresented buyers are calling listing agents. Why? First, they hope to save on one side of the commission and second, in the fast paced world we live in today, buyers have already done their research. They know what houses they want to see and are happy to go right to the source of the best information available….the listing agent. If you plan on showing your listing, and perhaps a few others, make sure you develop some appropriate dialog to combat any potential objections.
Finally we talked about rentals. For lots of agents they are just a waste of time. Craigslist, ViewIt and a few other sites have given landlords plenty of places to display their properties, nevertheless, many owners don’t want the hassles so are happy to give up a month’s rent to find the right tenant. Consider that one agent in our group did 14 rental deals in the first year. Those rentals translated into 7 sale deals over 2 years (plus a few referrals thrown in as well) and the buyers have become clients for life. Two other agents said that after taking potential renters out to look at a few places they were able to convert them to buyers. Finally when business is slow agents should look at rentals to subsidize their income.
Look at that. Another blog goes into the books with 7% of my battery life to spare and the boarding call just minutes away. I hope to report back shortly on all the great stuff I learn in Orlando!