In last week’s post, we discussed the essential steps required to make your “preview visit” to a prospect’s home a worthwhile (and profitable) experience for both parties.

As we said at the beginning of last week’s post, your first, important goal as a prospecting agent is to GET IN THE DOOR! There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to build rapport with a homeowner.

But once you get in the door and follow the steps to ensure a quality tour with the homeowner, your next goal is to move the process along towards closure. Which means asking the right questions that will provide you with clues as to the homeowner’s intentions, timing an urgency.

In nearly every case, a life-changing event precipitates someone’s decision to sell, such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy, health and finances.

Uncovering motivations gives you a better picture into the seller’s urgency, as well as their time frame for a possible move. The leads to a variety of questions, starting with two Big Questions as we’ll see below.

THE BIG QUESTIONS

The move the process toward closure, you need to start with some essential questions. But here’s the thing: how you ask these essential questions will be dictated by the personality type of the homeowner. Which means you need to be very focused on identifying the prospect’s personality type during the early part of your preview tour.

Let’s look at how the Big Question plays out by personality type:

  • Driver/analytical: You need to be direct and focused on their likely next steps by asking a pointed question: “If it does not sell in the time you would like, what are your plans?” Never ask drivers or analyticals yes/no questions. Focus on facts and details.
  • Amiable/expressive: You want to move the conversation forward by allowing them a comfort zone, and by offering up suggestions for them to build on, such as: “If it does not sell in the time you would like, do you plan on renting it, or interviewing agents?”

THE TIMING QUESTION

If the homeowner is hedging, or is a FSBO who thinks they can make more money by waiting things out and selling on their own, you can ask:

“If it made financial sense to move your time frame up, would you consider it?”

If the prospect is concerned about money, they will be hard-pressed to answer no to this question. As such, you are a step closer to closing the deal.

THE STATEMENT OF FACT

Again, if your prospect does not seem open to moving forward, it’s the perfect to time to pose this compelling statement:

“Here is my concern for you…”

This statement frames a potential loss that may occur by not being more aggressive with their timing. More importantly, it shows empathy (“my concern…”) which is a critical way to develop greater trust with the homeowner.

HYPOTHETICAL

As we said, every statement or question is intended to move the dialog forward toward a decision. The following open-ended question is an effective way to get important insights about the homeowner’s motivation, and urgency:

“If you had to move your time up, when would that be?”

THE CLOSE

The previous question leads you one step closer to the close. By getting a date, or even an approximate date, your next statement is critical:

“Great, I would like to schedule an appointment (or call) with you. How is DATE or DATE?”

Let’s finish this series by looking at five additional tips that can lead to a more effective preview appointment:

  1. Be prepared to take the listing. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But many agents miss the cues that would tell them the listing is theirs.
  2. Have something to leave with the homeowner. It shows you came prepared, and reinforces your role as a consultant.
  3. Take along a pre-listing packet in case they are interested in scheduling a listing appointment.
  4. Advise them that you will stay in touch to monitor that the status of their home.
  5. The basics: speak 30% of the time, make good eye contact and take notes to show you’re interested.

With the tips from these two blog posts, you can hopefully control the flow and direction of the preview appointment. You’ve made it INTO THE HOME. Now you need to pay it off by closing the deal.

Good luck.