by Hoss Pratt
Coming from contribution means that you provide value, tips, and tools that support the seller’s desire to sell the home on his own. Empower the seller and you actually build your own credibility and likeability as well as the likelihood of getting the listing.
With any great strategy, you must have great systems and the truth is, most agents not only don’t have a great system for marketing to FSBO’s, they don’t have any system. This is good news for you because it generally takes several contacts with a FSBO in order to obtain the listing. During a home’s first week on the market, sellers may be bombarded with agents calling to ask for the listing, but after 10 days or so, the number of agent calls decreases dramatically. This is when the magic happens.
As you add prospects to your database each day, you should be attaching an action plan to each of them. Your action plan is going to include sending mailings, making phone calls, and even personal contact at times. All of these are important, but work best when employed as part of an overall strategy, so don’t be discouraged if you send a postcard and your phone doesn’t start ringing off the hook.
One very good reason for sending a mailing is that it gives you something tangible to discuss when you call. There is no need to struggle with a contrived script when you can open a real conversation by asking if they received the postcard you sent to them. Regardless of the answer, it is a starting point for the rest of the conversation. Often they will acknowledge receipt, especially if it provided a compelling call to action or good, usable information. They might say, “Yeah, I saw the ‘I’ll sell your home in 29 days or I’ll sell it for free’ program; what’s that about?”
This gives you the perfect opportunity to explain the value you bring and how it is different from the average agent. You might then go on to ask about the open house they had over the weekend; did any agents attend or bring buyers?
You’ll find that many times they will say it went well when in fact, the only visitors they had were their neighbors or friends who showed up just for the cookies. That’s okay. By stimulating the discussion, you allow them to self-discover that marketing a home isn’t necessarily something that they can do or something that they even want to do on their own.
You already know from the qualification process what their stated timeframe is, so you can adjust your line of questioning to fit that schedule. The important thing to remember is that you are building a relationship with the seller at this point.
The key is to be an advocate and an ally that they learn to trust so that when the time comes and they do decide to list the property, you are the agent they call. Coming from contribution means that you provide value, tips, and tools that support the seller’s desire to sell the home on his own. Empower the seller and you actually build your own credibility and likeability as well as the likelihood of getting the listing.
Ask for permission to stay in contact and to send additional communications. Sellers will appreciate your help and your persistence will increase their confidence in your abilities and professionalism. Explain, “I’m going to send you some information that will help you successfully sell the property and all I ask is that if you don’t, and you decide to explore other options, I want an opportunity to apply for the job.” That’s it; it is really that simple.
Asking for the business is a crucial element that many agents overlook. Don’t let that be you. You are providing value and building relationships, now make it clear that should they choose to eventually list their home with an agent you would like to interview for the position. You can’t lose because if they decide to list with an agent, you are positioned to be their agent of choice and you have an established relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Even if they do sell the home themselves, they will remember you when someone they know is planning to use an agent to buy or sell a home. You can end up with referrals from a seemingly unlikely advocate.
Many times, agents will argue that this is too simple to work, but that’s the beauty of it all. When you have a simple system in place and you master the basics, everything else falls into place. The key to mastering the system is to be consistent with it. Time block for lead generation time every single day and spend the time to do the things your action plans call for. It is this consistency that is going to get you the listings.
Sellers have told me over and over that I am the most persistent agent who contacted them and that is the reason they chose to list with me. Sellers want an agent who will be as aggressive in marketing their home as they are in getting the listing. Sell them on that fact at the listing appointment. “Mr. Seller, do you know why I was the most consistent agent contacting you while you were trying to sell on your own? It’s because I use proven systems that allow me to be consistent. This is just the beginning; most agents don’t have systems at all, Mr. For Sale By Owner. That’s why I am able to sell homes twice as fast as the average agent and why I am able to get X% above asking price.”
Always sell the benefit. Remember, “Features tell, benefits sell.” By having a system they are going to see that you are organized and consistent. No matter how busy you are, nothing is more important than being consistent lead follow up and conversion.
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