Mastering the Preview: Part I

Mastering the preview appointment with a homeowner

GET IN THE DOOR!

As a real estate agent who primarily prospects expired and FSBO listings, you have one, singular, primary goal: to convince the homeowner on the other end of the call to invite you into their home to preview the property.

No matter how good you are at connecting over the phone, true and lasting relationships begin when you are with the homeowner, face-to-face, on their home-turf.

Much of the content in this blog is focused on the process of prospecting expired and FSBO leads. Through prospecting tips and strategies, we help build your confidence to master the art of engaging a prospect over the phone. The goal, of course, is to help you get to the next, crucial level: a preview appointment with the homeowner.

Today’s post, the first of a two-part series, assumes that you’ve used your Espresso Agent leads, CRM and scripts to perfection, and were able to secure a preview to look at the property. We’ll walk you through a step-by-step process to ensure that your nail the preview, and convince the homeowner that you are a high-powered, consultative real estate agent worthy of listing their home.

YOU’RE IN! WHAT’S NEXT?

Congratulations! Your prospecting skills worked and you’ve scheduled an appointment to preview either a newly-expired or FSBO home.

Before you head to the appointment, reflect on the purpose of the preview. Simply, it’s to build a more intimate and personal relationship with the prospect, with the goal of converting them to a listing client. The homeowner must walk away from the preview feeling confident that you are the best possible real estate pro to represent their interests. And get them the most money possible on the sale of their home, in the least amount of time.

Let’ now walk through the crucial steps to master the preview.

AT THE DOOR

Surely, you’ve heard this TV commercial tagline: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” To that end:

  • Always show up ON TIME, which is technically 5 minutes earlier than the appointment time.
  • Be dressed for success; there’s no such thing as “business casual” for top performing agents.
  • Offer a broad, genuine smile….
  • And, a firm handshake.

Here’s one other, important thing to remember: it’s highly likely that the homeowner is watching from behind their living room curtains as you get out of the car and head to the front door. You’re being scrutinized before you even walk in the door, so always be aware of how you carry yourself.

START THE PREVIEW

This is key: don’t tour the house alone while the homeowner sits and waits for you to finish. Again, the goal of the preview is to build rapport with the homeowner, which would be difficult to do if you’re going solo through the house.

So, as soon as you get in the door, say: “Thank you so much for letting me come buy. Can you please show me around?”

THE PREVIEW BEGINS

As you begin to walk through the house with the homeowner at your side, remember that you have four important goals:

  1. You want to build rapport, which happens by asking smart questions and letting them do most of the talking (70% them, 30% you).
  2. You want to determine their motivation and urgency to sell.
  3. Related to motivation is trying to ascertain their pain points.
  4. Find their personality type. This may not always be easy, but to the degree you can identify if their a driver versus an amiable, you’ll be better prepared to ask the right questions as you move toward the close.

THE PREVIEW CONTINUES

Two things to consider as you’re on your tour:

  1. Be conscious as to how you compliment the home (and, by extension, the homeowner). Don’t be overly-gushing and general: “I love your home.” Be specific, focusing on the things you are legitimately impressed by: “I really like how you’ve use custom shelving to get more out of your closet space.” Of course, some houses will be awful, with little to compliment. That doesn’t matter; you must find one or two things that are worthy of praise. Remember, you want to build rapport, but not over-rapport!
  2. ALWAYS have something to write on. Note taking shows your interest and professionalism.

ON FREE ADVICE?

Don’t offer free advice to the homeowner, especially with regard to price? Its’ easy to get pulled into the trap of “being the expert” by showing your knowledge. But it’s better to answer such questions honestly, saying that you need to take time to assess the market before suggesting a price for the home.

In Part II of this blog series, we’ll look at the important questions you’ll need to ask during the preview that will lead to a close, and listing agreement.

 

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