You Captured a Lead. Now What?

The thing about capturing leads is once you catch em, what do you do with them?  

Accumulating names and numbers of folks who look at houses or converse about housing topics has never been more efficient. For a fee, thousands of services exist to fill your pipeline with leads. But, what about the real estate agents? How ready are they to be an asset in the process? What do the agents know, and is their knowledge vital to the outcome? 

The education requirement to test for a license is not rigorous. Seventy to ninety percent of applicants pass the test. Partnering with a broker is more a choice for the licensee than the broker. I know everyone says they have high standards for selecting agents to join their firms. It’s possible to apply objective means to determine if actions match words, but I haven’t seen it done. 

The role of the licensee is specific. Limitations vary from one state to another. A license to practice is not a certification of competence. There are plenty of administrative duties and several real estate law responsibilities and authorities granted with that new license. Is there too much choice for a licensee to learn before practicing or learn on the job? 

Education is not free. Someone will pay the price of an agent’s learning. 

What would happen if a newly licensed person was required to show competence gained from a thorough apprenticeship before they are permitted to work with a client without a skilled practitioner on their side?

How eager is the new licensee? It depends. Keen to have a closing is certain. Anxious to have to do real estate transaction work is less likely. 

Searching for and showing homes doesn’t require much confidence. The real estate license law work triggers high anxiety in typical new agents. Competency calms the stress and increases a person’s ability to be a contributing factor in a transaction. Confidence does not require competence. Without demonstrated competency, having faith in oneself and a desire to make money is enough for some brokers to let their agents go to work. My compliments to the broker who keeps here new agents learning under a competent mentor until the new agent has demonstrated they can work within the rules. 

What holds you back? Walking out of the building with a license in hand and going to work selling real estate on day one is possible. I was one of those new agents, highly confident, and minimally competent on Jan 1, 1989, my first day in business. I know and have mentored agents who have confidence galore, unwilling to sit any longer to learn, and those with no confidence who wanted to learn more. Both approaches produce highly effective real estate agents. 

What Are Your Trained to Do? Real estate is a transaction business subject to laws, rules, ethics. Our authority under a license is not lead generation, lead capture, social media marketing, blogging, or hosting an open house, farming, drip campaigning, socializing, joining clubs, or hosting first-time buyer seminars. By looking at real estate courses available, I get the impression that these are critical abilities to making money. I don’t know that they are essential to providing useful real estate service to the consumer, but that’s just my opinion.

Become Skilled at Licensed Real Estate Work. What comes first, the chicken or horse? The cart or the egg? Can you get business without competency? Can you gain competency without interaction with consumers? I believe you can. Yes. But this is not the vital question. Let’s ask instead, “How effective for the consumer can we be when we start with more confidence than competence; more enthusiasm than aptitude?” 

What advantages do we bring for our clients when we develop competence and aptitude before capturing good people who have high expectations of the real estate industry? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Beat The High Bid At a Lower Price with Greater Safety

People who lose in home buying competition will assume they were outbid on price. They may be right. Often they’re not. If you’re going to finish anywhere other than first trying to buy a home in a seller’s market, you’re going do so because you didn’t use your strengths. Everyone has strengths. Before you can use them, you have to know them. 

Something Other Than Money

Even people who can count money as one of their strengths have other advantages to tap. So why does the accepted offer not always go to the highest price bidder? Because they failed to see the transaction from the seller’s side of the table. Money matters; after the money comes security. Specific and simple terms with a safe amount of money are better bets than an offer heavy on cash and light on safety.  

Hedging Is a Strategy

It didn’t take long for consumers and real estate agents or lawyers to see a high price would capture home sellers’ attention. A high price offer, appropriately peppered with buyer-safe contingencies, was a potent recipe for outbidding the competition just enough to renegotiate later in the process when seller options have vanished. An owner who identifies a hedged offer will save themselves the pain of discovering the truth behind “too good to be true.”

You’re Stronger Than You Think

High-priced offers come with contingencies unfavorable to the seller because the buyer is not committed to closing. Every contingency is a reservation. Each contingency protects the buyer from being in a position to honor their commitment. A firm offer has promises without exceptions. 

Decide You Are Committed

Overpaying for a property is a choice. If you prefer to pay reasonable prices (and there are no undervalued properties in a seller’s market), you have the first necessary strength: A grasp of reality. From here, we build your arsenal of assets. A person who is fully pre-approved for financing is a match for cash buyers. A person who can make repairs won’t fear the unknown how a person who needs to hire a contractor for simple maintenance. The person who sees risk as an opportunity has an asset. Knowing the truth about the consequences of conditions allows a person to operate without fear. Knowledge and the exclusion of fear are assets. 

Be The Offer To Be Beat

Know your strengths, know market values, and you can commit to being the next owner. Take all of your strengths and put them together in an offer that makes you the offer to beat. Leave no room in security for anyone to nudge you aside. The safest offer is more likely to get a second chance from the seller in the situations where another offer exceeds the safe offer’s price. And when you have a counteroffer, you have a choice. to own or walk away. Flipping the power to you is the goal. To have the choice to accept an offer or give the seller another chance to come to terms with someone else is where you want to be.   

Those who depend on money to tilt the playing field to their advantage are the easiest competitors to beat for the person who negotiates on strengths. And their agents will still think they got beat on price. 

Objections are to be understood, not overcome

Sales is a cliche driven enterprise with each having the half-life of carbon 14.  (Always be closing.)  The Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine December 2018 edition has a feature article titled The Art of Overcoming Objections. Sales industries have the same human nature challenge with objections as as we all do; we resist hearing them and endeavor to overcome them until someone else listens  and delivers. 

Our industry has Zillow as a fantastic example. In 1995 Realtor.com had the opportunity to own the public real estate information market. The public wanted more information. The modern tool for delivering the information to satisfy the demand (internet)  was here, the industry attitude was still in 1983: data was not to be shared with the public. We overcame the objection to our right to proprietary information  so effectively that Zillow became the solution and leader in real estate data trust. 

I believe objections accepted and respected will take us a lot further than objections overcome.  In fact, has anyone ever overcome your objection? I doubt it. More likely we end the defense of our objection, let the conversation move on, and find common ground with the next person who gives our objection some respect. 

Sure there are some objections which are not legit, but seriously do we have to win over all objections?  Is there some value in conceding the consumer just might have a good point? Of course.   Instead of becoming the quick wit with all the answers to every idea we don’t accept, it’s much easier and reasonable to find the relevance and sincerely accept the objection as a smart solution to a concern of the customer.  

Given the opportunity to overcome an objection, stop and ask yourself, “Why can’t this objection be legitimate?” and ask the next question of the consumer, “How can we resolve your objection in our solution?”  Find a way to legitimize concerns, wishes, expectations, and move on to a cooperative relationship.