The New World of Real Estate Sales (and How to Conquer It)

real estate sales
real estate sales

The New World of Real Estate Sales (and How to Conquer It)

The sales, marketing, and advertising world is far different today than it was even 10 years ago. Between the near constant use of the internet, smart phones, video streaming services, social media ads, digital sales funnels—we are being inundated and constantly bombarded with advertising.

What does this mean for real estate sales people like you and me?

It means that consumers—especially younger consumers—are growing more and more sensitive to anything that comes off as being overtly “salesy”. It means that people are suspicious of the same old slogans, taglines, and sales scripts.

You Yourself Are Probably an Ad Genius

Think about this for a second. If you weren’t as savvy as you probably are at being able to differentiate between quality ads or sales tactics versus ones that are just looking for clicks and views with crappy, clickbait copy, how would you even get through your day? You would be clicking on every Facebook or YouTube ad that shows some guy walking through a garage full of fancy cars.

You would be endlessly reading blog posts with provocative titles that say the same stuff over and over without getting any value out of it. You would have so many free PDF downloads of sales scripts, how-to guides, and “industry secrets” that you would never have to buy a book or read a magazine again in your entire life.

In other words, even you are most likely a tough sell for marketers, advertisers, and salespeople today. Being around advertising and sales tactics nearly every single hour we’re awake means that most people are becoming less and less susceptible to the typical, outdated salesy tactics.

What this Means for the Real Estate World

What do these developments mean for real estate ISAs and agents who conduct a lot of their business and lead generation over the phone? It means the heavy handed sales tactics of the past are no longer viable. Because all of this fits together. Our hypersensitivity to good and bad ads bleeds over into hypersensitivity and aversion to overt sales methods.

In today’s world you are extremely lucky if a lead picks up the call if your number is not already in their phone. The prevalence of telemarketers and endless salesy calls has pushed people to answer their phones less and less when they see a number they don’t recognize. So if you are able to get someone on the phone, don’t ruin the opportunity by going after the “hard sell”.

The days of telling people what they need or who they need to work with or what they have to have are long gone. In the olden times the sales people typically had all the knowledge and all of the answers—far more than the consumer on the other end of the phone at least.

Nowadays, thinking you know more than the consumer can be a dangerous assumption to make. That’s because even though you probably do have more real estate knowledge than your prospects, they are probably better informed than 10 or 20 years ago. At the very least, they think they are informed or that they could easily become informed. Coming on strong, telling the lead what they need, why they need it, and how working with you is the only way they are going to get it, is not the right tactic to take anymore (if it even really ever was).

Conversations Are Key

At Smart Inside Sales, we discuss the importance of having real conversations on your sales calls A LOT. And not to beat a dead horse, but the true remedy to outdated sales tactics, and the key to working with consumers in any industry today is building a relationship.

In ads this means offering content and freebies that actually bring real value to the people consuming them. With maintaining existing clients this means going the extra mile by sending out physical mailers, reaching out to them to genuinely see how they are doing, and just doing anything you can think of to stand out from the endless slew of digital insincerity. In real estate sales this means entering your calls to help the prospect, not just to make the sale.

Remember that the calls you are making are not about you or your team. They are about the person on the other end of the phone. That means the most important thing you can do is ask questions—find out what they need instead of telling them. Through your questions you’ll be able to understand their situation, motivation, and goals from their own perspective. That puts you in a much better position to offer help, guidance, and advice, which is what is going to get you the sale.

Conclusion

The world of sales and advertising is markedly different today. The problem is, instead of changing tactics to conform to what consumers want and are looking for, many marketers and salespeople are simply doubling down. Putting out more clickbait, shoving more useless content down people’s throats, and becoming even more aggressive and heavy handed in their calls and follow ups.

I think the answer lies somewhere else. I think the future of successful sales is in having real conversations, building actual relationships, and thinking of your prospects and clients as people you are able to help achieve their goals rather than just as sales.

What do you think?

The Major Mistake Real Estate Agents and ISAs Make

a real estate mistake
a real estate mistake

The Major Mistake Real Estate Agents and ISAs Make

At Smart Inside Sales, we like to emphasize that all real estate lead sources can be valuable if worked the proper way. Put simply, it is to your benefit to have your team work every potential source of business, even those that are often considered more difficult or less valuable.

This includes inbound leads, inbound referral leads, expireds and withdrawns, for sale by owners, and even past clients and sphere leads.

Can You Work Every Real Estate Lead Source?

Don’t get me wrong, we realize this isn’t always practical. Depending on the size of your team and stream of leads from certain sources versus others, you may have to focus on the most productive sources at the expense of less productive ones.

If you have a real estate team with multiple inside sales agents, then the critical thing to do is prioritize lead sources for your different ISAs, depending on their skill and experience level. This is where having a larger team starts to exponentially work to your advantage. You can have your newer inside sales agents work the less productive or less valuable lead sources, while your more experienced ISAs work the more valuable sources.

What this does is twofold. This allows you to work all of your lead sources (because even those “less valuable” sources can still generate a lot of business for you) and also allows your newer ISAs to gain experience and hone their skills so they can graduate to also working the more productive sources.

Lead Sources Are Not Created Equal

There is a major mistake that real estate teams and agents often make when it comes to lead generation: ignoring certain lead sources all together. Now, it’s true that lead generating through calling FSBOs, expired, and withdrawns, as well circle prospecting, is definitely a more difficult route than following up with inbound leads.

The reason for this is obvious: inbound leads are people who are essentially coming to you. They have followed the path you laid for them by going on your website, signing up on a lead form, responding to an email, responding to direct mail, looking on Zillow, or by taking some other action that brought them to you.

These leads have exerted at least some effort in finding you and have expressed enough interest in order to drive them to your website and give you their contact information. At a minimum, they are somewhat active and most likely have some problem they are trying to solve. That is what makes them so valuable to you and your team.

But the low hanging fruit isn’t the only fruit on the tree.

#1 Major Mistake – Ignoring Lead Sources

Though not as easy or exciting as inbound leads, the other lead sources we’ve mentioned can give your team tons of business and an edge over your competition. This is especially true because many agents and ISAs don’t know how to go about these types of calls and so will do their best to avoid these lead sources.

Why do a lot of agents and ISAs avoid these types of calls? Because they are afraid of objections. And when you’re circle prospecting (read cold calling) or speaking with leads like FSBOs and expireds, you’re most likely going to run into a lot of strong objections.

That’s because these people either aren’t expecting you to call them at all and so want to immediately get off the phone (e.g. when circle prospecting), or they already have a set plan in mind for how they are going to sell their home.

How to overcome this?

Understand the lead’s perspective, plan, and desired outcome by asking them about it. You can’t learn about the lead’s goals and how they envision themselves reaching that goal if you go right into a pitch about how your team is the best in the area and sells the most houses of any team around. Before you jump right into that, you have to understand the lead’s situation. Once you understand the situation, then you can pitch how your team can help the lead reach their specific goal.

At Smart Inside Sales, we call this the PPO process (for Perspective, Process, Outcome). Although these principles are crucial for working any lead source, they are especially important for non-inbound leads, as they are probably not looking to speak with you or already have a firm belief as to how they are going to get their home sold.

Give You and Your Team the Edge

Mastering multiple lead sources (especially the ones considered more difficult or less valuable) is really the key to gaining an edge over your competition. If you or your ISAs can learn to work the stream of FSBOs, withdrawns, and expireds that are constantly flowing through, in addition to being able to convert some leads through circle prospecting here and there, you’ll bring your business or career to a whole new level.

Don’t make the mistake of only going after the low hanging fruit. Learn the strategy to consistently overcome objections and be able to tap into a whole new resource for your business. It is waiting there, you just have to climb a little higher!  

4 Most Common Real Estate Objections and How to Overcome Them

real estate objections
real estate objections

4 Most Common Real Estate Objections and How to Overcome Them

At Smart Inside Sales, we spend a lot of time discussing overcoming real estate objections. This is because objections are both the thing that is keeping you from making the sale while at same time being the thing that gives you a route to close on your calls. And being able to close on your calls, i.e. set the appointment, is the most important part of your job as a real estate agent or ISA.

The problem that a lot of ISAs and real estate agents have is that they are afraid of objections. That fear rises from an uncertainty of what to do when the person you are speaking with puts up some resistance. To make matters worse, straight up script memorization can’t totally do the trick.

This is because, oftentimes, even similar objections will vary from call to call and situation to situation. That means that instead of just memorizing scripts, you have to learn and develop conversation techniques that will help you in situations regardless of which specific objection is thrown at you.

With that being said, it is important to be aware of the most common real estate objections that agents and ISAs face. That way you can practice asking the right questions and going after the correct pieces of information to overcome them and close on your calls.

Four Most Common Real Estate Objections

  1. “I’m busy right now and can’t talk” – As an agent or ISA, we’ve all faced this objection before. The lead is just trying to get right off the phone as quickly as they answered it. Whether they are blowing you off or actually can’t talk at that time, the most important thing you can do is determine whether they are worth you calling back. That means you want to get the lead to commit to a time you can call them back, but you also want to make sure they are indeed selling or buying a house. Questions like, “Just to make sure I am not wasting your time when I call back, you are still interested in buying/selling your home, correct?” Or a question like, “You are still looking for an agent, correct?”

Just something quick and easy to make sure it is worth your time to follow up with them.

  1. “Bring me a buyer” – This is another very common real estate seller objection. The lead doesn’t want to hire you, they don’t want to meet with you, and they don’t want to hear your spiel about how connecting sellers with buyers is what you do for a living and can do it for them. They just want to talk if you can bring a buyer with you on day one. This is a tough objection. Tough because you have to educate them a bit on how the process works, as well as understand their current plan, without making them wrong or making them feel dumb.

The key here again is to ask the right questions. Get to the heart of their plan by asking them things like “what is your back up plan if no agent can bring you a buyer on day one before even viewing the property?” Or, “Are you looking to have an agent bring you a buyer before they view your home and have a chance to market it?” You can also level with them. Say something like “It sounds like you have been talking to a lot of agents and telling them all the same thing—has it worked yet?” When they say “no”, now you have a conversation starter and can say “oh, well why do you think that is?”

  1. “I’m just going to sell it on my own” – Selling homes on their own is a real estate objection that is becoming more and more common nowadays. With the rise of the internet and websites like Zillow, a lot of people think selling their home on their own will be a breeze and they don’t need to “waste” money paying for an agent to do it for them.

A good way to go about overcoming this objection is to really get to the heart of the lead’s motivation. Do that by separating selling it themselves from actually selling their home, and then figuring out which one is more important to them. Since most FSBOs are selling on their own to make more money on the sale, you can also ask them “What is more important to you, selling your home on your own, or making more money on the sale?” When they say “more money”, swoop in and explain to them how you or your team can make them more money than they can hope to make on their own.

  1. “I want to wait for the market to improve” – Every seller wants to get the best price for their home, so you’re going to hear this objection quite a bit when people see (or think they see) that the market is in a bit of a downturn. The thing is, they don’t really care how the market is currently doing. They don’t care what other houses are going for. They only care that you can get their house sold for the price they really want.

To overcome this objection you have to ask them questions about their process or plan. “You say you want to wait until the market gets better, what do you mean by better/what is your definition of ‘better’?” In other words, learn what “better” means to this lead. You can also ask, “How do you think waiting to list your home will benefit you?” Get to the crux of what they really want and offer the lead a route to get there that doesn’t involve waiting for the market to “improve.”

Conclusion: Real Estate Objections Are Your Route to Close

At the end of the day, the key to overcoming any real estate objection is asking the right questions in order to get at the leads motivation, goal, and plan. Once you understand their process and what they are after, then you can bring yourself into the equation. You’re then able to show the lead how you and your team can help them reach their goal better than the way they are trying to reach it currently.

All that’s left to do after that is set the date and time of the appointment.