In this article, we’re going to be discussing one of the essential skills you must possess if you’re going to be successful in this real estate (or any other) business. When you master this skill, you’ll be MUCH more efficient with your time, reduce frustration & anxiety, and keep your self-respect and motivation. Sound good?
Of Course, I’m Talking About How To Properly Pre-screen People.
We all know that the first thing we’ve got to have in any business are LEADS – people who have raised their hands to signal that they’re interested in either our product or service…or are at least interested in getting more information about it. In real estate, this could simply be a list of people who either want to sell their house or buy a house. There are many sources for these leads – you can either find, buy, or create them…but that’s a topic for another article. For now, we’ll just assume that you already have several leads, and you just need to find out if you can do business together.
And this is where a LOT of people have challenges. The problem is that most people mistakenly believe that they have to convince people to do business with them! However, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll let you in on a little secret…
The truth of the matter is that we’re not going to convince anyone of anything. Instead, it’s our job to sift and sort everyone we talk to so that we correctly identify only those people who are flexible and motivated enough to consider other ways of getting things done…And whack the rest at lightning speed! But in order to do that, we need to know…
The Three Types of People
Did you know that there are only three types of people? Well, of course there are many more than that, but for our intents & purposes, we need to only concern ourselves with these three: 1. The Suspect, 2. The Prospect, and 3. The Project.
You know the type. These are the sellers who ONLY want full price, all cash, and don’t even want to think about anything else. These people will waste your time, suck all the life & motivation out of you, and almost make you want to quit. Unfortunately, these are going to be the majority of people you talk to. Someone in this category would say something like “Oh, we wouldn’t do anything like that,” “We don’t need to sell,” or “Yeah, we’re just testing the market to see what people are willing to pay.”
How To Deal With Them: Identify early & get out fast. Follow up later if you like.
You’ll know them when they say things like “We’ve got to sell, like, yesterday,” “I don’t know what else to do,” and “Please just make me an offer!”
How To Deal With Them: Recognize WHAT they need and HOW to give it to them. Go out to see them as quickly as possible – with a contract in hand, ready to go, because the first one there with a workable solution gets the deal!
These people need your help…they just may not know it yet. In order to best serve them, you’ll need to have your skills sharpened and ready, because they’ll test you.
These people say things like, “I don’t know what to do,” “How does that work?” and “How can you help me?”
How To Deal With Them: Use the right psychology & sales tactics to help them understand that they need your solutions. You’ll probably need to follow up. Get them to make you the offer.
Why is it important to know the difference between these three?
Because the SUSPECT will make you broke. The PROSPECT will make you money. But the PROJECT? They’ll make you rich!
If all you ever talk to and deal with are suspects, you’re going to get frustrated, start to think that this business doesn’t work, and want to punch someone. True prospects are great, but like a needle in a haystack, they’re usually a lot harder to find. Projects are the ones who will truly make you rich, because you’re not only able to add value to these people’s lives, you’ll do more deals, as the competition is not skilled enough to handle them. These people will truly justify the investment in your education, many times over.
The “Secret Sauce” to Being a Master Prescreener
It’s actually very simple to effectively prescreen the leads you talk to. The method is so simple, you’ll be tempted to just blow it off or take it for granted, but that would be a mistake, believe me. Here it is: The best way to prescreen people is to ask them the right questions. Obviously, you need to get the right information about their house & their situation, determine what their needs and greeds are, and to gauge their levels of flexibility and motivation.
But like anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way would be to interrogate them like a handcuffed suspect accused of committing a crime. You don’t just go from question to question, forcefully extracting information from them, because it won’t be long before they resent and resist you.
The right way means that you should first frame the conversation properly so that they understand the context of your questions. You should also skillfully and respectfully converse with them to find out what you need in order to determine which of the 3 categories they belong. The right way also means that you’re open, honest, and confident about what you’re able to do for them.
The bottom line is this: ONLY after you’ve gotten the right information you need to know do you present a possible solution to their situation. Stop wasting your time trying to convince people about how smart you are or all the creative real estate techniques you just learned this week. Nobody cares. All they truly care about is what you can DO for them. We’ll talk about how to best present your solutions in another article.
So there you have it! You now know the importance of the art of prescreening people, what the 3 categories are, and how to determine who belongs where, and why. Armed with this information, you’ll save yourself a TON of time and frustration, because you’ll only be dealing with qualified people who want to do business with you, while the rest will most likely drive your competition crazy when they talk to them.
Until Next Time,
Copyright 2017 Tony Pearl | All Rights Reserved
“Blah blah blah…”
people. (Or is it WE are the ones saying ‘blah blah blah’?)
In either case, I’ve noticed something lately. Let’s see if you recognize it, too…
You’re talking to somebody about their house, and when you ask them to describe their situation, they just seem to go on & on about how wonderful the house is OR how terrible what their Uncle Lou just did, or how their health is failing, etc.
And that’s when we come up with a one-word thought: “Bor-ing!”
Who cares!? Just get to the numbers! Am I right??
If you really listen intently, you can hear it.
important about their medical bills that they cause you to have to stay on the phone an extra minute or two (Or twenty) and miss part of your next reality show?
Well, quite possibly everything! Believe it or not, they’re actually giving you the secrets to selling them! Or buying their house from them, if that’s what you’re trying to do.
While I’m not advocating that you just totally be quiet & let them dominate the conversation (you’ll never get off the phone that way!), I would suggest that you lead the conversation BUT make sure that you LISTEN to exactly what they’re saying when they respond to your answers.
Listen. Too often we, as the so-called ‘professional’ will open our mouths to fill in the ‘awkward’ gaps in conversation, when instead, a moment or two of silence will work to your advantage. TRUST ME!
To illustrate my point, let me tell you about a deal I did a few years ago that lead me to getting a house totally free & clear for FREE! Just because I SHUT UP when I otherwise would have talked & therefore ruined the whole thing…
There was a gentleman facing foreclosure that was referred to me by one of my bank contacts. He owed about $63,000 between the first & second mortgages, both held by the same bank.
Believe me, I was sooooo tempted to stop him a few times to ‘get back to the numbers.’ He kept going on & on about his house & his situation. I recall feeling like I was about to fall asleep on more than one occasion.
BUT if I had not had the chance to listen to how he had raised his family in the house, I never would have established the right rapport with him which later lead to the beautiful thing that happened… (Stay tuned). So I slapped myself awake & kept listening.
Next, I spoke to the bank & made a discounted offer on the mortgages. Because of the location & condition of the house, along with my presentation of my case & the bank’s motivation, they accepted my offer.
What was my offer? For only $5,000 total for both mortgages!
They say that even a blind squirrel can occasionally find a nut.
You’ll see why in a second.
When the bank accepted my offer, they also let the owner know that they were doing so for only $5,000. I didn’t know that, so when I talked to him to get the next step set up, he surprised me when he said, “Tony, the bank let me know that they’ve accepted the offer for the $5,000.”
things, but instead remained silent.
me to keep my big mouth shut.
Thank God I did! Because what he said next shocked me!
He told me, “I just want to let you know that I can pay that within a couple weeks.”!!!
Did you catch that? THE OWNER WAS GOING TO FUND MY SHORT SALE!!
I literally had to bite my tongue for a moment, then calmly said, “Ok. We need to get together to take care of some paperwork. When would be good for you – tomorrow or Thursday?” (I hoped he couldn’t hear me jumping up & down!)
It gets better! When we finally got together to take care of the deed, power of attorney, etc. (Yeah, this should have been one of the first things we did, but I told you I was new at the time!), I had told him to bring all his paperwork with him regarding the house.
Of course, this had to be paid somehow, sooooo…
I decided to test my ‘new powers’ of silence in a negotiation. When I came across this paper, I just held it up & looked at him with a questioning look on my face.
And it worked! Within only 2-3 seconds of ‘uncomfortable’ silence, he said, “uhhh… I can pay that, too.”
Yes! This means that I now owned this house totally free and clear…and it didn’t cost me a PENNY! Well, I take it back, I did buy his wife & him a couple chicken sandwiches for dinner. Hey, it was the least I could do, right?
I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that day. Even now, I have found that by keeping my big mouth shut & listening more, I have been able to negotiate some sweet deals in both business & life.
Human nature never ceases to amaze me when people think that silence is bad, so they have to fill it with unneeded goobly-dee-gook & words in a conversation!
But why not try it for yourself. The next time you’re in rapport with someone in a conversation, try just being a little more quiet during some key moments.
will try to fill in those ‘spaces’ in conversation with unneeded words.
Next, keep this in mind when you’re in a negotiation with someone.
And how do you do that? By LISTENING to them! (Among other things, which I’ll happily cover in a future post)
You can use it to your mutual advantage later.
moment & watch the magic happen!
When you’re talking to a seller (or buyer), just ask them,
And then… (pardon me for being blunt) SHUT UP & LISTEN!!!
If you pay attention to what they tell you & not just ‘glaze over’, they will quite literally give you the keys to their house, putting untold wealth in your pockets!
Silence IS golden.
And the right use of it can bring you untold riches!
At the very least, it’ll help give you some peace & quiet…from yourself! LOL
Finally, a wise man once said that “it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool
than to open it and remove all doubt.”