IT IS A WIDELY HELD belief there are two types of agents: those who focus on the transaction, and those who see the opportunity for human interaction. To convert more leads to listings it’s rapport that opens the door, says Tanja M Jones.
THE REAL ESTATE game, much like any other commission-based business, can be a tricky one for our stamina and our state of mind. It’s not easy navigating those tough months when you’re not hitting your targets or are off track in your yearly results. We’re prone to become reactive, panicky and to operate from scarcity when times are challenging. It is during these times that we often slip into survival mode and start focusing on getting an outcome to pay the bills, rather than looking at how we can be a prolific problem-solver and serve our clients.
Finding and keeping a new client can be one of the hardest and most expensive aspects of any business. What amazes me is the number of agents who have low conversion rates for the listing presentations they are currently doing.
This means many agents have done the hard yards to get into numerous living rooms but are not converting, and are therefore missing the opportunity to service the clients they are seeing right now.
Of course, vendors can be either ready to sell now, enquiring for the near future, seeking a current valuation before they renovate or simply interested in knowing how much their home is worth, as well as numerous other reasons. However, it is your ability to get truly interested in the clients’ ‘why’ that enables you to demonstrate how you are the one to make it happen.
Whilst I have been intrigued by how many agents are experiencing low conversion rates, I am not surprised. Having recently received extremely poor service both as a vendor and a buyer, I have come to realise that agents, with all the very best intentions, can simply fall into one of two categories.
The ‘transaction agents’ don’t take the time to get to know their potential client. They simply go through the motions, focus on getting a result, stick to their scripts without building rapport and are always trying to move the client forward. They take a rejection personally and don’t stay in touch with the lead if they don’t get an instant result.
The harsh reality for many agencies is that it is not only the agent who is judged negatively; the entire brand is impacted and this, unfortunately, leaves many agents painted with the ‘they’re all the same’ brush. That is something I am keen to disrupt.
On the other hand, the ‘human-interact agent’ experiences higher conversions because they do not associate failure with being a failure. They stay in their lane and don’t lose momentum by comparing themselves to others who are winning. They appreciate the art of success, replicate those who do well and remain humble and hungry in the process. They are all about the client.
Here are my five keys to help you convert more listings.
- SHIFT YOUR DEFINITION OF SELLING
When going to a listing presentation, instead of focusing on closing the deal shift your attention to opening relationships. Take your awareness off selling anything and get interested in what I call the Engagement Equation: Connection + Solving Problems = Adding Value.As international real estate legend and coach Tom Ferry puts it, “People can smell commission breath”. Have your client feel that you are completely over there with them, genuinely interested in their desires and keen to understand their challenges or concerns. Once you have fully achieved this you can shift into articulating how you can deliver this in the least amount of time and with the most amount of efficiency.
- HAVE A SERVICE STATE
Many communication specialists and NLP practitioners say that communication is made up of seven per cent words, 38 per cent tonality and 55 per cent physiology. This means you are communicating more than you think.If in your subconscious mind you are distracted by the thought of getting a result so you can get paid that month, you can bet the vendor can feel it. They won’t know what it is exactly; they will simply feel a disconnection with you and that you are self-focused rather than service orientated.
- BUILD RAPPORT AS SOON AS YOU WALK IN THE DOOR
The best sales agents do this well. Rapport is all about matching and mirroring the vendor. If they are walking fast and have high energy, match it; if they are meek and mild, replicate it. If you are speaking with a couple who have different energies, subtly navigate and imitate the difference without being overt.
- PUSH THE SELL TO THE SIDE
When you sit down with the vendor to begin the conversation, visibly push aside your listing presentation material and collateral and authentically lean into the conversation. This demonstrates that your number one priority is to connect, not simply to go through the motions and the checklist of actions.Once connection is established and you have asked all your questions, you can then reflect what they have said and ask for permission to share a bit about yourself. For example, ‘I can hear that you are keen to sell in the least amount of time and that you really want minimal disruption to your dynamic working family life. Are you happy for me to show you how I can achieve this for you?’
- TRUST YOU KNOW YOUR STUFF
Have faith in all the training that you have had to get you where you are right now. Trust that you will know what to say when the time is right and stay in the conversation with the vendors.Finally, try on a pearl of wisdom from Mother Teresa and ‘lose yourself in the service of others’.