Need to call a hot FSBO lead but could use a little guidance on what to say for your first phone call? Here are some tips for scripts, whether the lead is ready to be closed or just warming up.
Let's talk about scripts. At the beginning of the relationship with a new FSBO, the goal is to introduce yourself and obtain enough information so you can decide if it’s something you want to develop because there’s likely a listing at the end -- or is it best to redirect time and energy elsewhere. Many times, these important initial calls and “information dumps” happen on the phone.
Hi, I'm looking for the owner of the home for sale.
This is Joe with [your company].
Be aware they might ask what you want -- after all, they’ve probably been getting hit by other agents. Be confident, and keep the conversation going.
You can say something like this:
As an area specialist, my goal is to know about all the homes that are for sale in the market. I work with many buyers. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your property?
If they are agreeable, say:
Excellent. The ad here says it's three bedrooms and two baths. How are the rooms for size?
Once prompted, they will hopefully elaborate more on the particulars of the home, and you'll keep letting one detail glide into the next. You can ask things like:
How is the kitchen? Tell me about the bathroom. Has it been remodeled? How big is the yard? Tell me about the neighborhood. Has it been a nice place for you and your family?
This is where you're starting to build conversation, and by now they're getting less defensive and more relaxed. Once they seem more relaxed, you can directly ask why they are selling such a fantastic place.
Sounds like you have a great home. Why are you selling?
Where are you moving?
How did you decide to move to that area?
Have you already bought a new home?
Hopefully, they'll tell you whether they have already bought a home or if they need to sell in order to buy.
I’m sure you’re aware that with so many sellers and homes in the marketplace right now, marketing is more important than ever. Have you done much marketing?
Try to get as much information as possible about what kind of marketing they’ve done. You’ll need to start planting the doubt in their mind so they want your advice more and more.
How did you determine the sales price of your home?
Again, plant the doubt about whether they’ve set the right price.
If I bring you a buyer, are you willing to co-op with me?
If they ask what that means, explain that it's 3 percent commission for bringing a qualified buyer. If they are willing to meet you halfway, that's usually an indication that this home seller is going to work with an agent sooner rather than later.
If the phone call is working out, schedule a time to come see the home.
Next, you want to try to get a time to where you can look at the home.
Ask something like this:
When would it work better for you for me to just come by and take a look at the home tomorrow? Maybe 2:00 PM or 6:00 PM?
By now, since they've answered your questions already and they've invested some time on the phone, 99 percent of them are going to let you come by in person.
At this point, hopefully you're halfway there. They'll pay 3 percent to work with you if you bring a buyer. They'll let you stop by. Those are indications of a good FSBO lead.
What if the sellers are even more agreeable than you expect?
The goal here is to close the sellers on listing with you, but at their pace. If you are on the phone and realize that they are already ready to be closed, you can alter the script accordingly.
Say something like:
If there was an advantage to using me as your agent and marketing your home and getting you a higher sales price, would you consider it?
If they reply with either a “yes” or a “maybe,” reply with:
I know you chose to sell FSBO for a reason, and I respect that. It also sounds like you have a lot going on and a lot you're trying to accomplish. I think I could help you. How about we get together for 20 minutes or so and we can talk more about your goals and whether or not I can help you achieve them. I have some time Monday at 4:00 PM or Wednesday at 6:00 PM -- which would work better for you?
The importance of authenticity
Remember, scripts are good to get you going and to make sure that you're leading them down the right path, but they aren’t necessarily meant to be used word for word. If you end up sounding canned, you're going to turn sellers off and they are not going to list with you.
Now that you have a script, I encourage you to print it out, make it your own and practice it with someone in your office. But again, don't read word for word. When you're on the phone, it'll sound canned. It won't sound authentic, and it won't sound like you. And they can pick that up on the other end of the phone, believe it or not, and they're going to get turned off if it's not a real human on the phone. We all get hit up with Robo-calls or telemarketers, and we can tell they're reading a script and it just turns us off. So I encourage you, practice in your office and then just get on the phone and be real with them.
When should you get in touch with a lead?
You want to catch them when they’re feeling uncertain about their ability to sell the house without an agent. Mondays are a great time, because they likely tried showing the home over the weekend to no avail.
What if you’re swamped on Monday? Aim for Wednesday, when you still have half of the week to list the home and get it on the MLS by the weekend.