Everything you do in real estate has an impact on your business. The type of leads you generate influence the properties you buy, and ultimately the offers you make. How you talk to a potential seller determines whether or not a deal will be yours. You don’t have to have a silver tongue to get the information you need to make a decision. In treating your initial call like a regular conversation, you increase the chances of making an impression that leads to a deal. If you want to maximize the number of deals you close from your leads, there are some things you should consider:
1. Have a script, but don’t sound scripted: Most homeowners sell to whoever they are most comfortable with. Regardless of their situation, they never really have to sell if they don’t want to. Even homeowners in foreclosure have multiple options until the foreclosure auction date. The initial phone call should be about building a rapport and gathering information. The best way to ensure you are getting all the information you need is by following a script. There are dozens of different scripts and approaches you can take. The best one is to simply have a conversation and ask questions when you see an opportunity. To do this, you need to really listen to the answers instead of getting ready to ask the next question. Many times a homeowner will give important information about the deal that could change everything. If you are worried about asking the next question you will miss this and end up wasting time and even money. Always keep the conversation moving forward, and have a list of questions you need answered. However, don’t be so worried about the order in which you ask them. If you sound like you are reading off an application, the seller will know this and not be so quick to work with you.
2. Find seller motivation: During your initial conversation, the most important thing you can discover is the seller’s motivation. The more motivated they are, the better chance that they will sell at your price. Many investors dance around this question by asking what they would take for the property or when they could close. These are important, but they all revolve around their motivation to sell. Are they late on their mortgage and want to avoid foreclosure? Is this an estate sale that needs to happen in the next 45 days? Are they just looking to see what kind of offers come in? Whatever the motivation is, it will determine the rest of the transaction. If this is not your first question ,it should be one of the first ones you ask. Once you know the motivation, it will determine your offer amount, how quickly you can close and any additional closing steps moving forward.
3. See the property before talking numbers: It is almost impossible to talk numbers without seeing the property. Sellers often want to hear an offer amount before they do anything else. If you give a number too low, you may lose the deal before you get going. If your number is too high, they will hold you to it. Even if you give ball park numbers, they will remember what you say. The best way to combat this is to say that you need to see the interior before you discuss numbers. This does two things for you. One, it lets you see the interior of the property so you can make a better decision. Secondly, it gives you a chance to meet the homeowner and follow up your initial conversation. The more the homeowner sees and talks to you, the more they should start to feel comfortable with you. Giving a homeowner a low-ball number face to face is not easy, but if you can support that number with comparable sales and work estimates it can help things sink in. How a property looks online may not tell the whole story of a house, or of a neighborhood. Before you give any numbers, make sure you look at the property first.
4. Explain your numbers and the process: Real estate is one of those areas that everyone feels they know something about. With the increased popularity of investing shows on TV, there is more out there now than ever before. The seller may have heard about the process from a friend who recently sold their house. The two situations may be completely different and independent of each other. To increase your odds at securing the deal, you should explain everything about the offer and the process. Don’t be afraid to offer a number that you feel is right. As long as you can support it with real data, you should be able to explain and justify it. Most sellers are concerned about your bottom line, but you need to stress how much risk you are taking. Of course you are trying to make money, but nothing is guaranteed in real estate. By stressing this to your sellers, you will end up with more deals. It is also a good idea to have a handout about the process or explain it thoroughly. This should make the seller comfortable with you ,and more likely to move forward.
Closing more seller leads is about doing the little things. Most potential sellers are going to end up selling to someone. It is up to you to do these little things to ensure that they sell to you.
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