In Parts 1 and 2 I gave you dozens of questions to ask your sellers. In this third and final installment of Get Close we look at some special questions for elderly clients.
Special Questions to Help Elderly Clients
We owe it to elderly clients to be a ‘sounding-board’ above all other duties.
Elderly people often have enough people in their lives telling them what to do, and they don’t need you added to that list.
Let’ stake the example of an elderly widow, living alone at home, with two children who have married and moved away.
Sometimes, sons and daughters feel that they know what is best for their widowed Mum. Often they feel that they have neglected Mum, and are determined to make up for years of neglect by getting Mum to move into a Retirement Village. After all, Mum can’t make up her own mind, can she?
What they overlook is that Mum has been making up her own mind for years. She probably is perfectly happy where she is, but she calls in agents just to get her ‘kids’ off her back.
Mum has to be very careful here that she doesn’t get ‘railroaded’ into moving where she isn’t going to be happy.
If you’re a winner, you aren’t going to let this happen.
You owe it to your client to ask her whether she really wants to move.
Tell her about Retirement Villages, how many clients you have that are happy that they moved into one, and about the clients who bitterly regret they ever made the move.
If necessary, put her in touch with past clients who have both successfully and unsuccessfully assimilated into Retirement Village life. Help her to make a wise decision, be it to stay or go.
- Would it be better for you if you stayed here and had somebody come and cut your lawns?
This might be a better option than moving. Find out what is best for her.
You could be lining yourself up for abuse by the son and daughter, but it doesn’t matter. They are not your client.
- What questions should you ask an elderly couple?
Always ask elderly couples about their contingency plans when they move to the new area. Does it have adequate hospital and transport facilities? Do they have friends in the area? What would happen if one person passed away – would the remaining person be happy alone in that area?
Yes, you must ask the last question delicately, but this question is one of the most important ones you can ask an elderly couple, and when you have the courage to ask it, your clients’ respect for you improves threefold.
Things You Must Always Do With ALL Sellers
- Find something to love.
The purpose of getting close to your clients is not so that you can make a sale, it is to find out what your clients want and help them get it. The sale will be a reward for service.
You might not have a lot in common with some of your clients, but if you search for something to love about them, then you will always do your best to get the most money you possibly can for them. Working hard for them will be a pleasure
It’s not hard to find something to love in most people – even somebody who is overbearing can, on questioning, reveal a lovable trait. The client ceases to be overbearing once you change your attitude towards him
As you search for something to love in your clients, you will find that your questioning takes on a more compassionate tone, which can only do your presentation the world of good.
- Take your time with the price.
There is no need to rush into discussion of the price. Over a three-hour listing presentation, you want to know everything you possibly can about your clients so that you know everything you need to help them.
Price is a minor issue in a winning listing presentation anyway. Of the three hours that I spent listing a property, the subject of price lasted only three to five minutes, and occurred right toward the end of the presentation
I said before, that quality questions come a close second to a good first impression when it comes to gaining the trust of your clients. If you get close to your clients, price will go down the list of priorities in the clients’ minds.
By the time you reach the subject of price, you have already explained that the most important thing the client can do is to select a good negotiator, and by the questions you asked before the listing presentation, you touched on the clients’ finances. There is no need for a long justification of price.
- Discuss price when you are ready
And not before. There is so much to do before you get to this issue, doing a powerful presentation and making your clients want you, for instance.
- Let them know how hard you will work for them.
Not in a corny way, but with sincerity. Your clients should know that they are trusting you with their most precious asset. You deem this an honour. Making this move as painless as possible and getting them the most money that is available, is the least you can do. If you find something to love about your clients, your sincerity will show through.
Clients respect thoroughness. The greater number of personal questions you ask your clients the greater your chance of helping your clients ‘discover’ the information they need in order to be comfortable about selling.
As we said in Part 2, just because a client is ready to SIGN a listing authority, it doesn’t mean that they are ready to SELL. Ask questions. Get close. Your clients will be happy you did, and so will you.