Below is a comprehensive guide to the most valuable job in any real estate business. Home Finding. Any successful real estate career is built on a strong foundation of being able to source, at will, people with a strong desire to sell.
The following answers a lot of the questions and addresses a lot of the challenges Home Finders starting out will have to master. Of course, as you go, you will need to keep track of any curly questions/objections you get. Let us know if you get any good ones - We might add them to the list!
Start with "WHY?"
There is no other career quite like that of a Real Estate Sales Person. Even though the hours are long and hard and you need a thick skin to deal with the rejection, the benefits are an amazingly rewarding life that allows you huge amounts of flexibility and self determination and of course, a great income. If you want to earn a certain amount in real estate, all you need to do is to calculate the competant actions required to acheive your goal and get to work fulfilling them!
With such lures of freedom and financial reward, you would think everyone would do it! So why don't they?
The truth is that most fail because they don't have a meaningful and compelling "why" that drives them. Without this why, most people float through their careers hoping to stumble across success. Unfortunately it doesn't work this way. It has been said that sales is the absolute worst way to earn $50,000 but the absolute best way to earn $200,000+. Without a goal you are likely to fall into the former category.
So what is your "why"?
It might be that you have a debt to reduce, a house you want to buy or a holiday you want to go on. What ever it is, it has really mean something to you and to pass the following test:
Is the fear of losing your goal GREATER than the fear of doing the actions required to acheive it?
It might seem like a negative question to ask but often the truth you have to accept is that your goal isn't really something you are prepared to suffer for. If this is the case take, some time alone to consider what you really want. It doesn't have to be big, it just has to mean something and be relatable to income.
If you haven't set goals before, start with a goal that can be acheived in 3 months. As you get better at associating your actions with your outcomes you will find that you can start setting goals with longer time frames.
Remember the words Zig Ziglar said - "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it everytime." So have goals!
Learn your script - then learn to forget it!
Below is an example of a standard script that will be the basis for most of your prospecting. The main purpose is NOT to know it word for word but to understand the “why” of each part so you can naturally speak to a potential client with a clear purpose.
Having said that, learn the following script and their associated explanation then give some time to thinking how YOU would say it:
Door knocking Script
Standard "Bill Nasby" Script
1. Hi, just real estate looking for work. When do you think you will move next?
The purpose of this question is to get to the point and let them know who you are. When someone receives and unexpected knock on the door or phone call from a strange number they assume that you are an energy or religious sales person. The second part of the question is open and requires more than “yes or “no”.
2. "We're not!" - That’s ok! most people aren’t! How long have you been here for?
Questions 2 & 3 are there to release the pressure. They are rapport building because people love talking about themselves. Based on what you know about the client or something you notice on the way to the door, you may decide to ask something else and as long as it slows the conversation down, gets them talking and comfortable it’s fine.
2a. "In the next year" - That’s great! How long have you been here for?
Same as 2. Always give them the time speak about themselves. The temptation, especially after a long day prospecting is to
3. Where did you move from? have you always lived in......?
Same as 2.
4. If you were to ever move, where would you go? OR where are you planning to move to?
This is called a magic wand question. Get them thinking hypothetically. What they would do in the perfect world. The idea is to have them painting a picture of what the perceive as a better life.
5. Why there?
Same as question 4.
6. Out of interest, if we could find you a buyer that would allow you to move now, what would you do?
This is a closing question and determines how serious they really are about moving to the place they described. They will either give you a definitive “yes we’d sell” or a reason that it’s not quite possible now. Be careful when they give you a reason not to sell. Some are objections that can be solved with a long settlement, a buyer that will be happy to renovate etc… If you encounter an objection like that you respond with “Suppose (stated problem) wasn’t there, is there any other reason that you would hesitate to move? (No just that) Ok, so if we could solve that problem for you in such a way that we could allow you to move now, what would you do?”. The goal here is to isolate the objection, solve it and CLOSE!
7. "We'd sell" - Great, I'll have Scott call you to discuss. What is your phone number?
Simple assumptive close. Try to resist the urge to ask if it’s “ok” to have their number. Assume you are going to get it, have your pen ready and after you ask for the number “shut up” and let the silence grow – first to speak loses!
7a. "We're not ready yet" - Ok. we I’ll give you a call in a few months and see where you are at. What is your best number?
Similar to 7. It’s assumptive. Most people you have spent a decent time talking to will be happy. Some you have to explain to that you are looking for nice people to call once in a while rather thatn trudge the street all the time.
8. "I don’t want to be bugged by agents" - Oh of course! I honestly don’t have time to be bugging people! not a great way to leave a good impression! But if I did stumble across someone that would pay you a great price, would you mind if I gave you a call? - get number.
Doesn’t always work but it’s a last chance. You will probably need to promise that you will not call them more than once every 6 months (for example) or if you found a red hot buyer.
Other forms of prospecting all fall under the same banner as the script above. All require an opening that gets to the point. All require the rapport building questions to have them feel comfortable to talk. All require a closing question. The only real difference is the opening line – the rest flows from there.
1. Hi, I hope you don’t mind me knocking. I’m Steve. I’m helping Scott from @realty. I noticed that you had your home on the market and was wondering, now that the market was coming back up if you would reconsider selling?
2. *Go to step 2 of "Bill Nasby"
1. Hi I hope you don’t mind me knocking on your door. I’m Steve. I’m helping Scott from @realty. I just though I’d let you know we sold....... for........... and was wondering if you would consider selling?
2. *Go to step 2 of "Bill Nasby"
Phone call to old Park database for first time.
1. Hi (name of person), it’s Steve here from @realty. It’s a bit of a strange call but I’m calling on behalf of Scott Collins who has recently merged sales departments with Park Real Estate in Boronia. I understand that you had been in touch with them regarding your place at (address) (or; I understand that you had been in touch with them regarding a property purchase in (year). Just wondering when you might look at moving next?
2. *Go to step 2 of "Bill Nasby"
*For a printable copy of the script click HERE.
Time management; including preparation, effective breaks to keep fresh and having a start time.
Full time doorknocking is a time intensive activity. The ability to make every minute of the day count can be the difference between one who struggles and another that flourishes.
Even though your actions during a day are important, effective time management starts the night before. At the end of every working day, start thinking about tomorrow. Ask yourself, "where am I going? How long will it take to get there? Do I have the leaflets I need? What route am I going to take when walking? Where will I park the car? Where will I start and finish?"
Being prepared in this way allows you start the next day immediately.
The next trick is to decide on a time that your knuckle will hit the first door. Don't think about how big the day will be. Don't think about what you will say. Just knock. Getting started is always the hardest, so committing to a start time helps you begin the day.
Set targets for yourself and walk faster if you haven't reached them. Ask: "How many people do I need to have spoken to by 10am? 11am?" etc...
During the day you will need to keep mentally fresh. The best way to do this is to either set time/number targets that you will use as triggers for a break. During the break, return calls, have something to eat or drink or call a friend for a chat. Keep it to 10 minutes max and then keep moving.
"Measure and improve." That's a mantra you will hear a lot. Not only throughout your time as a homefinder but also as a sales person. Without a clear understanding as to what efforts acheive what results, it is impossible to know what is working and what isn't.
Keep track of the following ratios and revisit them everytime you sit down to write your goals:
Time spent prospecting: people spoken to (for each source you work)
People spoken to: Contact details obtained.
People spoken to: Appointments made.
Appointments made: Listings obtained.
As a general rule, the following ratios should apply, but you will find yours vary one way or the other depending on your personality.
Time spent prospecting: people spoken to. Doors - 10 per hour during day. 15 per hour in evenings and weekends. Phone calls - 15 per hour.
People spoken to: Contact details obtained. 1 contact obtained per 10 spoken to.
People spoken to: Appointments made. 1 appointment made per 100 spoken to.
Appointments made: Listings obtained. 1 listing per 3 appointments made.
Another combination of numbers to keep track of when you start out doorknocking is the distance you walk and the time it takes you.
This allows you to keep track of exactly where you have been, report your activity and also manage your time when you want to revisit the area in the future. Below is a video on the basics of using Strava.
Do not knock signs.
Play dumb. Most people didn't put them there. Most people are happy if you just get to the point.
Observing the outside of a home for clues; renovations, paint tins, skips, empty homes, etc. Do I need to make a note to visit again (VA)?
Conversation directors. What work are you doing? Football teams and other interests. Go back!
Changing it up to not sound robotic.
Overcoming time wasters.
Keep control of conversation.
Getting invited into a home.
Read "Talking to crazy" by... Dont take personally.
Open questions covering where, when, and why.
When do you ask a closed question? When you know the answer. Open question qualify and direct.
Motive/s. How important they are.
Real motive or smokescreen. Detectable desire.
Tie down questions.
What would you do?
Requests for a valuation / appraisal.
Valuars give valuations. Agents give appraisals. Don't offer them without a good reason.
Building a relationship (very important).
Time investment. Getting small details. Setting up the next shot. Give approach. An interesting sentence to keep in mind when developing a relationship with someone is this from the book by author Blair Warren - “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”
Not selling at the door - but "capturing the imagination" comments or open questions.
Converting a first name into a full name and full contact details, including email.
Don't ask permission.
Looking out for clues that someone is selling. Eg, "I'm finishing painting in two weeks, so call me in a month". More open probing questions.
"Yet". Tins of paint. Tanbark.
Overcoming "too many agents hassle me", "I'm already in touch with an agent", "I don't want to be bugged all the time", etc objections.
It's not what they say, it's what you hear that is important. Rephrase it for yourself to "Too many agents contact me with nothing interesting to say".
What's most important to you - the agent or the highest price...
Rephrase it to "I don't want to be bugged all the time with boring take questions".
Overcoming the "I'll call you" comments.
Often too late! Ignore. Re-prospect in person.
Overcoming "Where is your office?" comments.
Collins st. What do they do for work? Sometimes safe to say home. "I parked it around the corner"
Overcoming "Never heard of you" comments.
"That's exactly why you should use us! We don't waste owner's money on self promotion".
Overcoming "I need to speak with my husband / wife" comments.
Think of a good reason to return. Slow down conversation. Reattempt close after more time has passed.
Overcoming the relative or friend that works in RE comments.
May I ask what sounds like a silly question? What's most important to you? Selling with your friend or getting the best price? If we could show you a way to put more money in your pocket would you consider selling with us?
Other common objections.
Condition or objection. General 5 step formula."I'll think about it".
Asking for a referral help. Of all your neighbours / family / friends / work colleagues, who's likely to move next? Getting their contact details.
Remember to ask! Columbo close. Can you help me! Of all the people you do know, who would be most likely to move next? How about this street/work/friends/relatives?
Obtaining "gossip" from Mr & Mrs Mangle about the street and neighbours.
Who the F is mrs mangle? Keep in touch with them.
Renters could be a Buyer Lead. A renter could own homes elsewhere / interstate.
Everone is a potential lead. Treat renters with respect.
Those not interested at all, getting a name to have the next time you knock for a JL or JS.
A, B & C contacts. Relationship building in farm areas.
Those not interested at all, giving your business card to them and asking them to refer you. Asking for help.
Understanding when an agent / area specialist will MAT vs confirming a MAT at a door. Weekday / weekend, morning / afternoon / evening?
Alternate of choice. Non specific close based on day to get ball rolling.
Getting all decision makers to be present for a MAT.
When are you both available? Are weekends or weekdays better for you both? Be careful of egos. May need two step. Agent can always change it.
Calls from personal notes left under doors, including obtaining the address, telephone number (if a "no caller id" call), and all other details.
Avoid specific questions. Defer to agent. Don't ever give real estate advice. Be general with answers and then ask questions re their plans.
Complaints from personal notes left under doors.
Apologise. Say you were on a specific mission for the buyer you are looking for a place for. Take details and record address.
KIT promises. Timeframe agreements.
Avoid time based promises if you are not personally actioning them.
The last three doors - getting the numbers done.
The harder you work the luckier you get.
Nothing sells more than you. So be you. Be authentic. Answer as you would answer. Don't be a stereotype. Be you.
Servant's heart. Help people get what they want and they will help you get what you want.
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