Closing is the make-or-break moment in real estate. Unfortunately, the job doesn’t just entail helping a seller sell and a buyer buy. Far from it. In fact, in 2007, Pat Vredevoogd-Combs, past president of the National Association of REALTORS®, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Housing. As part of her testimony, she submitted a list of 184 things that listing agents do in every real estate transaction.
“By all accounts […] the general public is not aware of all the services that agents provide to sellers and buyers during the course of the transaction, probably because most of the important services are performed behind the scenes.”
Everything you’ve built up until this point would be squandered if you are unable to close the deal on any opportunity that comes your way. As a real estate agent, you have the potential to be a negotiation master. Everything that you do in this profession leads up to helping individuals buy and sell the most important assets that they will exchange over the course of their lives. Here are some tactics, strategies and techniques that will help build you into an expert closer.
We’ve all had that moment whether it be via a phone call, a knock on the door, or being approached on the street where we’re confronted by someone looking to make a sale with a script. If we don’t have the wherewithal to kindly stop them and move on, we’ll end up seeing their whole scripted presentation from start to finish.
A buyer or seller can tell when they are being sold and not being helped. According to Oren Klaff, Author of Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, “A frame is the instrument you use to package your power, authority, strength, information, and status.” When dealing in negotiation and working towards the close, you always need to remain in control of the frame being represented.
You customer, more often than not, is going to look at controlling the frame of the deal. Maybe they will come up with excuses like, “Let’s make this meeting quick, I only have 15 minutes” to which you would respond with, in order to control the frame, “Great, I only have 14 minutes. Let’s get started.” It may seem silly, but controlling the flow of conversation and leading the customer to sign the deal to their new house is your responsibility as an agent and closer. In most cases, the buyer appears to be in control of the negotiation of the sale. With this technique, you give the seller options he/she can present to the buyer. The buyer may still be in control and have negotiation advantages, however there are too many options that are too enticing to overlook. You play into what is advantageous for both the buyer and the seller and drastically reduce any objections or uncertainties with the menu of options. What at first glance might seem like an avoidance of the actual close, when examined more closely, it is a supreme technique when dealing with the “haggler” during the sale. This technique is to be used when it appears there are still a few concerns that are in the way of closing the deal. The concerns, however, are to be addressed after signing on the dotted line. An example is as follows:
“If we sign the contract today, we can start work on these concerns first thing tomorrow morning. Is that something you would be willing to commit to?”
Make sure you are the last agent to be met with. If a seller has made six listing presentation appointments with competing real estate agents, number six on the list is in the best position.
When a seller is going through the available agents to list their property, they are information gathering. They are betting on the last agent they meet with to have some unique, valuable nugget of insider information that they prior agents maybe didn’t provide. Furthermore, the last agent is going to be fresh in the mind of the client. In conjunction with strategy 1 (listed above), try prompting your client with the following question, “Could I please be your last appointment? I’m a bit different from most agents and I want to be able to address any questions or concerns you have after you’ve talked to others.”
Everything you’ve worked for in building your business and brand, gathering clients and securing listing will be for naught if you are unable to capitalize on the close and get your client to sign their “John Hancock” on the dotted line. You’re currently juggling everything from fostering a referral program to building your optimal real estate team (link to real estate team blog). Expediting your closing rates and becoming a real estate rainmaker is within reach.