5 Strategies to Get Prospects Off the Fence
Apathy in your prospects is hard to overcome.
Telling someone to sell or buy a home now is like telling someone to be patient. If you don’t know already, telling someone to be patient doesn’t work.
Rather, you need to lead your prospect to their own conclusion that it’s the best time to make a move in real estate based upon the information they gave you when you first started talking with them.
Using stories, analogies, metaphors and hard data can get your prospects off the fence and moving in the direction to get their home sold or to purchase a home.
Here are five strategies you can use to get prospects who stall off the fence:
1. Get Real.
Changes happen in the real estate and mortgage markets on a daily basis.
Real estate consumers are one economic disaster or one bump in interest rates away from not being able to reach their real estate goals.
Interest rates were under 4% for the 26 weeks in a row prior to January 2018.
They’ve exploded to over 4.5% through the middle of March and are expected to go to over 5% this year.
On historical perspective, 5% is still an amazing rate. However, if someone was approved to buy a $250,000 home at 4%, they’ll only be approved to buy a $225,000 home at the higher rate of 5%.
You see, a one point increase in interest rates decreases your prospect’s buying power by $10,000 per $100,000 of value or 10%.
Changes in interest rates affect both buyers and sellers and can have a huge impact on what gets bought and sold.
When giving a reality check to your prospects, make sure you do the math for them and show them what happens to their selling and/or buyer power when interest rates go up.
The numbers should be fairly influential in getting them to make a move.
2. Help them get a look at the future
Make sure you understand your prospect’s motivation. Timing and motivation are the two key elements you must understand in you’re going to get people to take action.
Once you understand a prospect’s motivation, get them to envision the future they seek with respect to selling or buying a home.
If they’re downsizing, get them to see how they’ll be able to enjoy their home without all the upkeep and extra yard work. If it’s an investment, help them see the extra money they’d make and how great it would be to have someone pay their mortgage down for them.
Have them focus on how will they feel? What will life look like when they finally make the move? Give them permission to make their future so exciting that they don’t want to wait any longer to sell or buy a home.
It’s important to get them to not only see what they are going to accomplish, but also to feel what it will be like when they finally make their real estate dreams come true.
Get them to picture themselves sitting on the porch of their home overlooking their nice front lawn. If they have kids, have them envision their kids running around the yard, having a blast playing with kids in the neighborhood.
Make their vision become a reality by adding color and detail. Make it sensory. Help them feel it in their heart and their gut. Once you take them there, direct their behavior so they follow your advice.
3. Let them get to know you.
Before your prospects will agree to sell or buy a home, they will need to like you, trust you and feel the counsel you give them is what’s best for them.
It could be that their hesitation is a result of not feeling comfortable with who you are as a person and salesperson.
To that end, you should make sure that they get to know you
In addition to sharing what motivates you as it relates to helping people buy and sell homes, share stories of how you’ve helped other people in their situation accomplish their real estate goals.
Robert Cialdini, author of Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion, tells us that people want to do business with those that they like or that are like them.
By drawing similarities between your prospects and others you’ve helped in the past that are like them, you can close the gap between uncertainty and certainty in moving forward to make a decision about buying or selling a home.
If you have testimonials, you must share them with prospects that are sitting on the fence, waiting to make a move.
In doing so, they get to know more about you and also about others you’ve helped that are like them.
The connection you get in doing so can be powerful in gaining some leverage towards getting your prospects to take action.
4. Use an Analogy to create Urgency
Create urgency surrounding buying a home by using an analogy like driving.
Buying a home is like going in a trip: If you need to get to a destination in an hour, you’ll have to drive 60 miles per hour to get their in an hour. If you wait to start making that trip by even twenty minutes, you now have to drive 90 miles per hour (what you’d agree is a a very dangerous speed).
The same thing applies to buying or selling a home – the longer you delay the process, the riskier it can become.
Interest rates can go up or down precipitously in a very short period of time, affecting what people can afford.
Bad things can happen in the economy, like market crashes, that can affect the prices of homes.
Nobody has a crystal ball that can tell the future. It’s always best to take action sooner rather than later when buying and selling homes as you have a better idea of what’s happening in the current environment and how it’s going to affect you and your current situation.
5. Help them understand why now is the best time.
How many times have you run across a person that had a dream of accomplishing something, but it never happened for them.
A woman named Chris Shea had dreamed of owning her own greeting card business since the mid-to-late 1980’s.
She believed someday that it would become a reality, but it never came to fruition. A few years later, she needed a job a friend of hers asked why she didn’t follow her dream and start her company.
Chris maintained that she simply couldn’t do it – she had a twelve-year-old child to care for and simply couldn’t make the time or afford to make it happen. Her friend then inquired – “If not now, then when? When will be the perfect time? When your child is 20? 30?”.
After mulling over what her friend said, she realized that there never is a “perfect” time to start.
Every one of us knows that if we put our mind to it, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.
At the same time, there’s always this little voice that holds us back, urging us to keep things small – to stay in the comfort zone.
Chris finally did make the leap and started her card business and achieved her success story.
The same thing applies to deciding to buy or sell a home. Help your prospects understand that they shouldn’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ – if at all possible, they need to start now.
In the end, if you’ve done everything you can and your prospects refuse to get off the fence, it may truly not be the right time (or they’re really just not motivated).
And it that’s the case, turn these folks back into nurtures and stay in touch with them on a less aggressive basis until they are ready to make a move.