4 Steps To Overcoming Objections
Every real estate agent knows that feeling…everything seems to be going so well with a client and then you hear it, “no.” That solid stop sign that indicates that your client is not on the same page as you are. It’s ok…an objection is simply an opportunity to enhance your credibility with your buyer or seller. Learning how to handle objections is the difference between being a door-opener and a real estate professional. My 4 Step Formula to tackling any objection is a great way to turn the situation into a positive experience for you and your client.
First, it’s important to remember that as real estate agents we are not selling houses. We are selling our services for the benefit of our clients. In the case of our buyers, we are helping them find the right home, not just the one in front of them. Overcoming an objection to a specific home might not be the right result.
By following my 4 Step Formula, you can uncover the truth and move your buyers along in the process, even if that means they walk away from the property and look for a new one.
I know what you’re thinking, “hold it, that’s fine for buyers, but when I represent a seller I AM selling a specific house.” Let’s think about it though…aren’t you really just selling your ability to help them achieve their financial goals? Isn’t your true purpose to create the best possible sales opportunity for your sellers; the best sales price and terms? That “no” might represent an opportunity to find an even better option for your clients. The most important thing is that they know they can trust you to watch out for their best interests, even if it means starting over with a new buyer.
So why is that “no” so scary to real estate agents? The main reason is that most agents have never had a sales position prior to getting their license. In fact, it’s common to hear agents speak about being consultants or partners, anything to avoid being called a salesperson. They’ve never had any sales training to learn how to handle objections properly. Icon Coaching addresses this issue in our training videos for real estate agents. By learning the proper reaction to objections, you can learn to navigate them with your clients instead of allowing them to stop you dead in your tracks.
So if your buyer or seller raises an objection, don’t panic, use these steps as your formula for overcoming the objections and move the process along.
1. Acknowledge the Objection
Before you do anything else, you need to acknowledge the objection and assure your client that you will take their concern seriously. This is not the time to offer a solution; this is the time to listen. Only once you fully understand the issue can you offer a solution which will satisfy the client.
It might take practice, but resist the urge to take the objection personally and prepare yourself to understand the concern fully. Ask good questions and really pay attention to the answers. It’s critical that you really hear not only what the client is saying, but what might be behind the objection.
2. Isolate the Objection
Once you have a grasp on the objection and any underlying issues, isolate the objection. “Is this the only thing holding you back from moving forward?” Or, “Other than ______ is there any other reason you wouldn’t ________ today?” If we fail to isolate the objection, what comes right after the previous objection? That’s right, another objection. Make sure you have uncovered all the issues which are keeping your client from completing the transaction. You might discover there are quite a few concerns lingering in your client’s mind and this is your opportunity to explore these with them.
Many times the client is afraid of making a mistake and they will continue to throw up roadblocks as objections when fear is the real concern. The only way to determine this is through careful questioning and then isolating. “Is the close date and appraisal value the only two concerns you have about this transaction?” Follow my formula to continue uncovering possible objections until you have your client’s agreement that they do not have any other concerns then, and only then, can you move to Step 3 and address the issues.
3. Handle the Objection
Now that you are confident that there are no other objections, it’s time to address the concerns. Start with the most important objection and discuss possible solutions with your client. Many real estate agents will panic at this point, but in reality most of the objections are those you’ve handled in the past with other clients. Take a deep breath and approach the concern honestly and objectively.
There will be times when you’ll need to do more research or involve others in the solution, but whenever possible try to handle the objection during the meeting. The sooner you can resolve a concern, the better chance that your client will feel comfortable moving forward. Stay focused and offer concrete solutions and examples.
4. Ask Your Client to Move Forward
Perhaps the most important of our 4 Step Formula for Overcoming Objections is to confirm you’ve satisfied your client’s concern. Ask your buyer or seller to move forward with the transaction. Ask them up front if they are satisfied with your explanation and solution and ready to continue.
Most agents are afraid of the answer and don’t ask for the order, but you are a real estate professional and a “no” is just an opportunity for more discussion. Remember that you want to have that client for life, not just this one transaction, so use this objection as an opportunity to demonstrate not only your expertise but experience. If you find more objections, simply go back to Step 1 of our formula and start over until you’ve handled all the objections or canceled the transaction.
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