The Destroyer of Listings: FEAR

Fear in Real EstateThe greatest destroyer of real estate listings is fear. Fear is the greatest enemy you’ll ever encounter as a real estate professional. Hopefully, you’ll learn to recognize and conquer your own inner fears.

Helping others with their fears

The toughest job is when you have to help others admit to and overcome their fears so you can earn the opportunity to list and sell their homes for them. Fear is what builds that wall of resistance we so often run into. You must master the skills to either climb over or break through that wall.

What are the most common fears you’ll have to help them with?

Your prospective client is initially afraid of you. You are a salesperson. I think you’ll agree with me that salespeople are not generally accepted with open arms in people’s homes. Even if you are going to help someone you already know — a friend or acquaintance or even a relative — when you enter their home in the role of real estate professional, certain fears will arise. It’s bound to happen in 99 percent of your listing presentations. (I’ll give you a one percent non-fear situation with your parents or grandparents, simply because in most cases they’ll believe in you and trust you no matter what role you play with them.) What you need to do to conquer the “salesperson fear” is to master the skill of putting people at ease. Learn to use a relaxed manner and tone of voice. Use rapport-setting comments and questions that show them you are interested in the people who own the home, not just in moving property.

The next fear you’ll encounter is their fear of making a mistake. Hey, we all have that one, don’t we? We’ve all made decisions we’ve later regretted. Since a home is the largest investment the average person ever makes and may possibly be the largest lump sum they’ll ever receive on its sale, you must take the time to talk them through every aspect of the move very carefully.

You are the expert. You know this business. You may have knowledge about aspects of moving and transferring property that they hadn’t thought of, and if they had, their decision to move may have been different. I’m not saying you should talk them out of moving (unless you are 100 percent confident that it’s truly in their best interest to stay put), but no one wants to handle a transaction in which the seller may be dissatisfied with the result. Believe me, there will be cases where the grief you will get from that seller won’t be worth the fee you’ll earn on the property. It doesn’t happen often, but you must go into every listing presentation with a very curious interest in the who, what, when, where, and why of the move. When you’ve satisfied yourself that this move is in their best interest and that you can market the home at an investment that is reasonable and acceptable to them, then it’s your duty as a real estate expert to convince them that this decision is truly good for them.

Sellers are also tremendously afraid of owing money — to you, to your company, to a mortgage company. Your fee for service will almost always be a point of contention with prospective sellers. Most people wouldn’t attempt to negotiate with a mortgage company (to whom they owe money on a property they’re trying to sell), title company, or other professional business about fees. However, you are not seen as an “institution.” You are there in warm flesh and blood. You, they will try to negotiate with.

This challenge may appear in many variations, depending upon the negotiating skills of your sellers. They may stall making a decision on listing with you and you’ll have to draw them out.  They may be point blank about it and you’ll have to sell them on the value of the service you provide. Or, they may go at it in a roundabout way such as saying, “Another company we talked with will charge a lot less.”

When you hear that remark, here’s what I recommend you say: “You know, I’ve learned something over the years. People look for three things when they spend money. They look for the finest quality, the best service, and of course, the lowest investment. I’ve also found that no company can offer all three. They can’t offer the finest quality and the best service for the lowest investment. I’m curious, for your long-term happiness, which of the three would you be most willing to give up? Fine quality? Excellent service? Or the lowest fee?”

Most will respond that quality and service are of utmost concern, which overcomes the concern about fee. Your next move would be to reiterate everything you will do for them. Again, sell the value of the service you and your company provide.

Improve your listing skills>>

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

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  1. Fear is the biggest emotion that affects everything we do and try in life. With many people in foreclosure many home owners even fear to act to save their home.

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