Quality questions come a close second to a good first impression when it comes to gaining the trust of your clients. As you question your clients, you not only gain information that enables you to help your clients, but you also help the clients clarify their aims. Your questions give your clients the confidence and courage to proceed with the listing. You assume the role of Leader: by asking good questions, you lead your clients from indecision to decision. And you grow closer as a result.
You don’t need to uncover all of the information immediately. Much of your knowledge of your sellers will grow with time, as your relationship with these clients blossoms. There are some questions that need answering sooner, however, and the sooner the better.
Here are seven questions that you might like to ask your sellers. In Parts 2 & 3 I’ll give you some more.
• Where are you off to?
This is a good question from Winning Ways – Real Estate Sales. It is easy to answer. Remember to narrow down where your sellers are going – “Queensland” is a much bigger place than, say, Roma in Queensland. You should know what town or suburb your sellers are moving to, and why they chose to move there.
• Do you have family or friends living in the area where you are moving?
What could happen to you if you don’t uncover this? The sellers could list and later withdraw, because they have realised that they will be lonely in the new area.
• Are you leaving any family or friends behind?
• What do they think of you leaving?
• Is this a hard thing for you to do?
These three questions are linked. It is always good for both your clients and you to think about the pressure that may come from family and friends being left behind. Even if you and your sellers try and forget those people, I assure you that they won’t forget themselves! The minute your For Sale sign goes up, they will pressure your sellers to stay. While you may not be able to prevent this, you can at least prepare your sellers for this, or perhaps make them reconsider whether they should move at all. Either way, you have done the sellers a great service by raising this issue.
• Is everybody in favour of this move?
Don’t be too quick to believe the answer you are given to this question. Sometimes the dominant half of a couple jumps in and answers, “Yes!”, leaving the quieter person thinking, “No!”. You must ask the quiet one whether he or she agrees. Remember, couples are two people. They have two brains and two mouths. Get an answer from both. What are their children saying about this move? Older children who no longer live with their parents, and younger children living at home both influence their parents’ decisions. Would you like to leave your school and all your friends behind? How would you feel if your parents were moving to another state? Put yourself in their shoes. Ask!
• Is anybody advising you about the best way to sell?
Find out if there are any distant ‘experts’ with whom you may have trouble. If there are any, make the decision whether to postpone your presentation until they are present. Nothing is worse than being ‘torpedoed’ by somebody who doesn’t understand the relationship you have with your sellers.
These seven questions will help you better understand your sellers’ needs. And with understanding come happy clients, which lead to sales.
Be sure to catch Part 2 of this three-part feature. In the next installment, I’ll give you another fifteen questions to ask and in Part 3, some tips on how to better serve elderly clients.