How To Prequalify The Seller Like A Professional Real Estate Agent
Prequalify The Seller Like A Professional
Welcome back to Mike Ferry TV. My name is Tony Smith. I am thrilled as always. Anytime I get a chance to step in for Mister Mike Ferry on an edition of Mike Ferry TV, and I’m happy to be here today.
We are here on the week of May 1st. Can you believe it? Man, I love the first of a month. I love the first of the month because in many places there are a lot more Expireds today, aren’t there? I hope you’re getting them. The first of the month gives you another chance to set maybe a little monthly plan for yourself. Design this month a little better than last month. It gives you a chance to reset and redo a few things. Recommit. I hope you’re recommitting. We have got a lot of business to be done. Go out there and find it.
Recommit. I hope you’re recommitting.
So we get to talk today about prequalifying the seller. Mike asked me to spend a little time with you this week on prequalifying the seller. And I wrote down right now, it is so exciting of a topic that most people try to avoid. This is one of the most exciting topics that you can have in the Real Estate sales business because this is the one place from my own personal experience that I know can give you such a strong competitive advantage with all the other agents that are in your marketplace. It can make your life so much easier, so much more productive, so much more profitable. Prequalifying to me, means more money in less time. Do you see it that way? Okay.
The 180-degree rule
You know, Mike Ferry built the Mike Ferry Sales System and there’s a principle. If you really look at everything that Mike Ferry does, so much of it is built on what is called the 180-degree rule, right? Study what everyone else is doing and then go 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Right? And if you look at things like do most realtors have a daily schedule? No. We ask you to have a daily schedule. Do most agents practice and rehearse scripts? No. We ask you to practice and role-play all the time. Do most people prospect? No. We ask you to prospect nonstop. Do most people have a canned presentation? Virtually everything in the Mike Ferry Sales System is about the opposite of everyone else. Why? Because the average agent does less than four deals a year and Mike Ferry agents do 50-plus deals a year, so the opposite works.
Prequalifying is one of your most important skills
Well, prequalifying is one of those places. Prequalifying the seller is one of those places where the majority of your competition does not have a clue. Okay, so if you can learn to prequalify and learn all the benefits of it, you have this advantage over everyone else. I put this note, do you understand how prequalifying the seller will set you apart from your competition? Do you know how prequalifying will set you apart?
The actual presentation has started. When you set an appointment and you immediately go into a prequal, which is what we prefer you do. You set an appointment and you immediately begin prequalifying the seller. The presentation is started. You get a chance to ask a lot of questions. You get a chance to get a lot of information. You get a chance for the seller to talk a lot about what they’re trying to accomplish and what they want.
“Prequalifying will give you a competitive advantage”
I made a note. Prequalifying will give you a competitive advantage if you’re competing against agents. Probably eight out of ten times you prequalify, they don’t. The seller hangs up the phone and says, “Wow, this is a little bit stronger. They asked me a bunch of questions before they’re coming over. Interesting.”
Use prequalifying as your scouting report
How about this? You get the scouting report so you can know things about the competition, about your presentation that your competition doesn’t. Prequalifying gives you the scouting report. You know how motivated they are, you know where they’re going, you know how much they owe, you know if they’re interviewing, you know what challenges they have. Right? It gives you the scouting report that your competition doesn’t have, which allows for a stronger preparation for the appointment.
Prequalifying gives you confidence
I put, it boosts your confidence. Boy, if you learn to prequalify and know everything you need about that seller before you walk in that front door, your confidence is through the roof, right? It gives you this incredible calmness and confidence that you know what to do. It gives you a chance to prepare. Sellers want a knowledgeable and confident agent. How confident and how knowledgeable can you be if you don’t know everything about what the seller is trying to do? It’s interesting, right?
Work with those who have to sell vs want to sell
In today’s market, more than ever, we are looking for people that have to sell versus people who want to sell. One thing that comes with a little normal market, which we’re experiencing today, is the motivation of the sellers has got to be stronger when we work with them. So we have to be working with people that have to sell, versus people who just want to sell. You know, when a market is going like this, red hot, prices going through the roof, people can want to sell and still sell. When a market stabilizes, and becomes normal, prices aren’t going up and up and up. The people that want to sell don’t sell. The people that have to sell, sell. So you need to be working with those.
What does have to sell mean?
I would ask you to make a list, make a list of all the different criteria that add up to someone having to sell. If someone gets a job transfer, do they have to sell? Usually. If someone needs to scale down, the house is too big. They can’t go up and down the stairs anymore. Right? Do they have to sell? If the house is way too small? They have four kids and a two-bedroom house. If there’s a divorce, of course. If there’s a death in the family, of course. Right? If there’s a financial situation, of course. If there’s a new marriage in the family or a new baby in the household. What are all the reasons that someone has to sell? If I were you, I’d make a list of all the reasons you can come up with and I would read it every single day. That’s what you’re looking for. Okay.
Always be prepared
Always be prepared to prequalify by keeping these prequalifying questions wherever you need them. You know, if ten times a year you end up setting an appointment with someone and you’re in your car or you’re at home or you’re at lunch and you don’t get a chance to prequalify, you’re basically taking a chance with those 10 or 12 appointments. So you have to be prepared everywhere. We ask you to have the scripts in the car, have our questions at the office, of course, have them at your home office. Put them on your cell phone. Worst case you can, “Hang on a second.” You open up your cell phone and you ask the questions. You certainly don’t want to not prequalify because you weren’t prepared. Right? You got to be prepared. Okay.
“how much time have I spent role-playing, practicing and perfecting the prequalification script?”
I put this point down, ask yourself this question, how much time have I spent role-playing, practicing and perfecting the prequalification script? Okay, this is one. Even with our great Mike Ferry agents that are being coached in Mike Ferry, this is one that we notice a lot. “No, Tony, I’m practicing the Expired script. No, I’m practicing the Listing Presentation. No, I’m practicing some objection handlers.” How about the prequel? “Ah, I didn’t practice that one.” You’ve got to include the pre-qualification practice in your routine. You can perfect it just like any other script you have. Do you think it’s important to have a smooth, flowing, confident, practiced, rehearsed prequal? We think it is.
We are prequalifying not disqualifying
So I made this point. Remember, this is not disqualifying. Okay. You’re going to ask a lot of questions and you may not like some of their answers during the prequalifying process. That has nothing to do with the gathering of all the information. When you prequalify, you may ask them, do you plan on interviewing more than one agent for the job of selling? “Oh yeah, we’re going to interview 14.” You may not like the answer. That has nothing to do with whether they’re qualified or not. You’ve got to gather all the information. If you start getting basically disqualifying in your head as you ask the questions, they’re going to stop giving you all the answers because they can tell that you’re disqualifying them. So I really want to make a point that you need to stay positive and optimistic through the entire prequal and then make an informed decision at the end if they’re motivated or qualified or not. All right.
Draw out the seller’s objections early
The next point I wrote down, is a strong prequalification draws out the seller’s objections in advance. We all know this, but I don’t know if you’ve ever been blindsided on a listing appointment, but it isn’t a lot of fun, is it? You know, you’re at the appointment they say, “Hey, honey, did you tell Tony about our third and fourth and fifth mortgage? Hey, Tony, did you tell Tony about our lawsuit?” Right. “Hey, we have two listing appointments after you, so we can’t sign the contract right now.” I don’t like getting blindsided. I’m not sure if you do either, but prequalifying removes the chances of you getting blindsided by the seller.
Prequalifying allows you to set minimum standards for clients
I put this point down. Prequalifying the seller is a great place to allow you to set minimum standards for the clients you work with. Hey, in Mike Ferry we want you to have minimum standards. We want you to start understanding the minimum standards that you operate on. Do you have a minimum standard for the prospecting you do? How do you follow up on leads? The clients that you work with, right? Prequalifying allows you to do that. Very uncommon that if you get a seller, that’s just unrealistic, outrageous, rude, and nasty that they’re going to be a lot better through the whole process. So you have to understand this gives you a chance to set the standards.
It’s okay to lose prospects because you prequalify
I put down, it’s okay to lose a prospect or an appointment because you prequalify. It is okay to lose an appointment or a prospect during the prequalification. It’s okay because if you spend a lot of time with unmotivated, unqualified clients, I don’t know of much of anything else that will diminish your excitement, your enthusiasm that will get you more discouraged, make you not want a prospect. There’s not much that really puts us underwater than working with a lot of clients that are really no good. Do you have any clients right now that are completely unmotivated, that are causing a lot of problems with your system? Do you have a lot of clients that are basically upsetting the applecart? Right. We don’t want to work with those. Prequalifying is your chance to not waste time, not waste money, and reduce your frustration. Right? More profit, more money.
Use the whole 5 step system
This point, I put down if you’re going to run the whole system, meaning if you’re going to use our 5-Step Listing Process, if you’re going to prequalify 100% of the time, if you’re going to send a package, if you’re going to call back and confirm if you’re going to use our scripts verbatim, our Listing Presentation script says, “Let’s go over the questions I ask you over the phone.” Well, if you haven’t ask any questions on the phone, there’s a big hole in the presentation, isn’t there? Use the entire five-step process, which includes prequalification.
Practice your skills!
Hey, what I know is the agents that have the most amount of listings in the least amount of time, the ones that have the least amount of aggravation, and the most efficient operating business tend to be the agents that prequalify the best. So I’d like to ask you to do something. If you’re not great at prequalifying the seller, start. If you are great at it, perfect it. We need prequalification more than ever, especially this year. Thanks for your time.