All real estate agents love receiving phone calls from potential prospects. More phone calls – more business. Of course this is in theory but in reality not all real estate agents are skilled enough to handle phone inquiries and convert prospects into clients. As a result, many lose their prospects to other agents or end up being a real estate information bureau with no sales.
First, what do the people on the other end of the line usually want?
Your clients and prospects want quick and accurate answers. That means you have to know your real estate market area well. Have the data at your fingertips. What kind of data? This is the list of most frequently asked questions:
- Property Information
Have this handy in the format which could be easily emailed or forwarded to the prospect which will allow you to get their contact information for further follow up.
- Home Prices
As an agent you can easily obtain that but also you can offer a report on similar properties in your area. You should ask prospect a question as to why they like this property and start a conversation which will help you to understand your potential client’s needs better.
- Home Buying or Home Selling Steps
If that is what your prospect wants it should tell you that they are quite likely a fist-time buyer. Answer their question and do not forget to ask if this is their first home buying experience. Build their trust on promptly answering their questions and offering a list of steps they should take in finding the best property and again offer it via email or mail.
- Finding a Mortgage or Paying Off a Mortgage
If your broker offers mortgage services, it’s great you can tell the prospect about that. Ask your prospect if there is a certain type of financial arrangement they are looking for. Have a flyer sent to the prospect with relevant info.
- Home Inspections
If you have received a call regarding a home inspection, chances are you a speaking to a client. Explain what to expect from a home inspection process, costs involved and what a seller should be paying attention to.
- Purchase Offer Presentation
Since you have passed the real estate agent license, you know what is involved in presenting an offer. Your client may not be aware of all the details. Be clear and concise explaining the process.
- Counter Offer Preparation
Show your negotiator skills with a realistic assessment of the market and property in question. Your client has to be 100% sure that you will serve their interest best. Have a data to back up your counter offer basis.
- Offer Negotiation
See previous item. Negotiating offers requires an exact knowledge where your client stands. If you keep contacting your client excessively regarding negotiation progress you may appear as incompetent and a weak negotiator. Before you bring a counter offer to the client please make sure it is within acceptable range. Pay attention to the market and to your client needs.
- Comparable Sales
Data and more data. It is not enough just having access to the local realty comparable sales data. As a real estate professional, you should be able to present that data to your client or prospect in well-formatted document and discuss the information together. One of the biggest mistakes new agents make is simply handing the valuable information out without creating a bond with a prospect.
- Repair Requests
Have licensed home improvement professional numbers in your rolodex ( well it’s a little outdated, your iPhone perhaps) and assist your client or prospect with recommendations. Ask questions which will help you to serve them better with repairs.
- Seller Disclosures
The last thing you want your clients to have is an unpleasant discovery at later times. Not only this destroys your reputation as an agent, it will negatively affect your income because you are losing the opportunity for a referral. If you represent a seller, please make sure that all disclosures and documentation is intact. Check with your broker and double check yourself.
- Closing Process
Real estate transaction is a complex process with many variables and details involved. Have a list of each and every detail and inform your client. Successful real estate agents are detail oriented and know how to present information to their clients making it both useful and easy to understand. If you manage to make closing process smooth and painless for your client you can be assured to get referrals.
The only way you can outcompete other agents and attract more clients is to display your knowledge and your ability to provide excellent service from the start. Some agents practice their phone skills at home and it really pays off because your clients’ desire to work with you is a goldmine for your realtor career.