Your Foolproof Framework for Buyer & Seller Consultations

Over the last 20 years of selling, leading, and coaching real estate companies and agents, I’ve seen quite a few versions of buyer and seller consultations (latter formerly known as listing presentations). One thing that’s served me well over the years is to ditch the notion of scripting and the one-size-fits-all mentality. 

Instead, I focused on developing and implementing a framework that allows for both creativity and flexibility to the prospective customer’s needs and wants. The framework I developed for buyer and seller consultations looks like this:

  1. Preparation
  2. Energy
  3. Connection
  4. Value
  5. Commitment
  6. Expectations
  7. Persistence

It may not be a catchy acronym, but you’ll notice it is a palindrome (initials are the same forward and backward), so that could help you remember it.

Let’s examine each step. I know that when you apply this strategy, you’ll find your conversion rates soar.

Step 1: Preparation 

This is what happens before the meeting. Preparation is the antidote to fear. Get your materials together, practice the questions you will ask, and anticipate the challenges. And keep in mind — the better you know the local market and your contracts, the more confidence you will bring into the meeting.

Step 2: Energy

Read the room. Energy doesn’t mean that you always bring charisma and excitement. These can be appropriate in some circumstances, and yet, at other times you are dealing with death and divorce.  Always bring gratitude, confidence, and empathy. 

Pro tip: Life happens, and many times we have lots of things on our minds. Before you enter into any meeting, pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that your mission is to serve another human being in their objective to buy or sell a home.

Step 3: Connection

This is the most important step of all. Preparation and bringing the right energy will set you up to properly focus on building connection and likability with the prospects. They need to feel that you care about them before they will care about what you offer. Asking great questions, listening, and truly caring about the answers is a great start to forming a connection.

Step 4: Value 

This will determine what you are able to charge for your services. Explain how you can help them and how working with you will solve their challenges. A focus on what makes you different (USP or competitive advantages) is OK. But focusing on what you do that will make their chances of success higher is even better.

Step 5: Commitment

Don’t forget to ask for the agreement! If the prospect wants to think things over, at a minimum get an agreement to follow up. Make a bilateral commitment for some sort of action moving forward.

Step 6: Expectations 

Set the stage for what happens next, every single time. This should happen once the commitment is signed and you have a listing or buyer representation agreement. This is a critical and oft-overlooked step. Note: Even if it is a friend or family member and you are getting the business no matter what, do not skip this! 

Step 7: Persistence

It is professional (as long as you handle it professionally) and logical to follow up with intention after the meeting until the prospect agrees to move forward with you or tells you no. Don’t you think a potential customer would value persistence in their Realtor®? 

Tactical Guidelines

Now, some tactical guidance for buyer and seller consultations along each step:

Preparation(Before the meeting)Pre-Meeting Interview Schedule a call in advance of visiting the home, ask clarifying questions about their home, their reason for selling, prior experience with Realtors®, and expectations for their relationship with you.Buyer Resource Package Always have three premade packages ready to go, including local market info, mortgage info, your vendor list, copies of buyer rep agreement, contracts and addenda with DRAFT watermarked, school and golf course info, your bio, and company info. Check with your local chamber for resources.
Energy(Before and during the meeting)Listen to uplifting music, get your mind right and leave your personal issues behind. Then, pause before knocking on the door at the appointment. View the home from the street. Think about the people inside the house, consider their emotions, goals, and challenges. Walk in with high levels of empathy, confidence, and gratitude for the opportunity.If they are new to the area, put yourself in their shoes and consider what a major event this is. Buyers also need your confidence, empathy, and gratitude. Also, try and make the process both fun and as simple as possible. Overwhelm causes confusion — clarity causes action.
Connection(During the meeting)It’s as simple as this: Ask great questions — and follow up questions. Care about the answers. Communicate your understanding. Then, tell stories that align with their concerns and desires.
Value(During the meeting)Describe how what you do makes them more likely to maximize price, reduce stress, hit target timelines, and whatever else is important to the seller.Review the buyer resource package in detail. This will promote transparency and build incredible value for you as the expert.
Commitment(During the meeting)Get the listing agreement signed or agree for a follow-up meeting/discussion.  One idea for follow up is to show them some of the competing homes in the area.Get the buyer representation agreement/agency disclosure signed or agree for a follow-up meeting/discussion. Connect with the lender if appropriate for conditional approval.
Expectations(During the meeting)Cover at least these points:
– How to react to quick offers Communication plan.
– Showings process Preparing the home for showings
– How to handle low offers
– What to do if approached by another Realtor®
– How multiple offers work if it happens
– Open house process and schedule
– How they can share your content on social media
– Post-contract challenges and solutions
– How to send referral business
Cover at least these points:
– Process for setting up showings and timeline
– Process for making an offer and contract to closing process
– How does binder/earnest/deposit money work
– How many homes are shown on average before a decision
– What is the market like and how quickly are homes under contract
– Interest rate environment
– Don’t buy anything on credit or have major drawdowns in bank accounts, change jobs, etc.
– Once under contract, buyer’s remorse is normal – be prepared for it
Persistence(After the meeting)Follow up based on the commitment you made. Do this by text, call, handwritten note, email, or a combination of these. Try and always have something valuable to communicate when you send your follow up.

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