Yesterday, I began the topic of how to speak to potential sellers. Today we’re going to dig deeper into how you can fine-tune your communication skills and go beyond the first 30 seconds.
Find out what you can do for them
Once inside their house, remember – they called you for a reason. They need to be let out of a situation – divorce, bankruptcy, death in the family, sickness, elderly, fire damaged, preforeclosure, laid off, the reasons can go on and on.
What’s your role?
Well, sure, you’re there to assess their situation and see if what YOU DO (pay cash, close quickly OR take over payments & buy on terms) fits in with what they need.
But right now, your job is to listen to them. Let them tell you what’s going on in their lives. And really LISTEN – hidden in the details, could be the solution where you both come out ahead.
Things to Remember
- YOU ARE NOT THERE TO MAKE MONEY. You are there to listen, educate, use your expertise to see if what you do can assist them in their situation, and to figure how to structure a win-win situation, that MAY or may NOT involve a real estate transaction.
- IF YOU CANNOT STRUCTURE A WIN-WIN, no matter how much money you stand to make, it won’t be worth it. Trust me on this.
Sometimes I end up not talking at all for 30 or 45 minutes. Here are some tips:
- Sympathize, ask thoughtful questions.
- Match their tone of voice to get on the same level as they are.
- If they sit down, you sit down.
- If they have pictures on the wall, do your best to ask them questions about their kids, their interests, etc.
- Gently point out the positives in their life through asking innocent questions, usually unrelated to their situation.
Go Beyond Real Estate to Alleviate their Stress
And this is something else to remember… you’ll become their favorite person if you can alleviate their stress directly. Sure, showing them how they will avoid foreclosure or will settle their divorce quickly through a quick sale of their home can help, but what helps MORE is referring them to programs that can help rebuild their credit, so they can buy a new home in the next few years, or to let them know that they will not have to deal with their soon-to-be ex spouse… YOU will do all the necessary communication and running around.
A person who’s father is sick and in a nursing home doesn’t want their house sold so much as they just want to spend more time with their Dad in as good a facility as their money can bring them. Perhaps liquidating the house is a means to that end, but isn’t the end in itself.
Once you’ve mastered this thought process, to see beyond the real estate, you now have the ability to effectively communicate – and will structure more win-win deals and make more money in the process – and feel great about having connected with people on a deep level.
What are your favorite ways to build rapport?
Part III of this series addresses how to talk about the actual distressed asset with the seller…by