You may think you know how to talk to potential buyers, but today’s market presents different challenges. Avoid these three things when making your first contact with today’s buyer, advises real estate broker and coach Jeff Glover.

If you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, then I know you’ve heard all the common things to check before working with a buyer. Things like making sure they have pre-approval, meeting you at your office for a buyer’s consultation, or making sure you don’t waste your time finding out if they have an agent.

It seems like from day one in the business, we’ve been told these three rules over and over again. I’m here to tell you that times have changed in how buyers respond to these three requests, and as a result, in our 400+ buyer transactions per year, we skip these three on the first call:

1. Ask if they are pre-approved

We don’t do this on the first call because there’s no need to be hard on someone you’re trying to convert. You can always get this information on the second call with them. Instead, ask them who their lender is and/or what bank they work with. This will tell you everything you need to know without disabling them.

Once you meet them, let them know they need a photo or PDF of their pre-approval if they fall in love with something today because you can’t submit an offer without this.

2. Ask if they work with an agent

There is no value in asking for this in your initial conversation with a buyer. Instead, leave a question like this for your follow-up call to remind them of the appointment or after the visit is confirmed or during your consultation with the buyer. But under no circumstances, ask yourself that at the same time you are trying to make a good first impression because you are essentially addressing an objection to them. They know that if they say yes, you will back down and not close for a date or follow up with them.

Answer their questions, make a great first impression, ask them questions back, and close for a date. Worry about who (if anyone) they will work with later.

3. Ask to meet for a consultation with the buyer

Conventional wisdom is for conventional markets, and as you know, this market is anything but conventional.

Don’t skip the buyer’s consultation, but don’t focus on it on your first call. Buyers today have seen homes, written offers, been rejected, and are tired. The last thing they want to be forced to do is meet at your office to “talk about what’s going on in the market”.

Instead, you focus on closing the first presentation on your initial call, and on your confirmation/reminder (or follow-up) call, you bring up things like buyer consultation.

I know the above goes against what you and I have learned, but if you try you will see how effective it is to go in a different direction than the rest of the crowd.

Jeff Glover is the founder of Unreal Companies Live, the parent company of several real estate-related businesses, including the #1 home sales team in Michigan, real estate brokerage firms with over 600 agents, and a mobile home buying app. He’s also the #1 real estate coach in the country, selling more than 100 homes a year for the past decade.

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