How do you turn a prospect into a client without being too pushy? I can't seem to convert leads into client!

Asked by Agent Golf Guy, Sacramento, CA Tue Apr 21, 2009

Hello Agents! I'm a Sacramento Realtor in a hot REO market. In the last two months I've been persistently sitting in open homes as a buyer's agent. I've garnered about 50 leads, but no one is buying! I've spent one afternoon a piece showing properties to three different serious buyers who all disappeared afterwards. I'm following up with phone calls and emails and all I get is the sound of one hand clapping. All buyers can't be this flakey can they? I've asked my broker and he says I'm doing the right stuff and to just be patient. Any advice from some pros out there on how to turn a prospect into a client?

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Hugo Torres, Agent, Arcadia, CA
Thu Apr 23, 2009
"Pushy" may be the wrong word to use.

What I tell my agents is to have a process of qualification, educate the client that there is a "process" and what your steps are, and finally, be prepared to follow through if someone is not following your outline.

So in your case. Do you require a Buyer-Broker Agreement signed before you accept someone as a customer? Do you ensure that they are pre-qualified with a trusted lender before you show them any homes? Do you have a referral agent in your office who you can pass one someone who is not working with you towards their next home purchase?

Think about how a doctor operates. You never see one until you take their required steps.

Meet the receptionist, pay your deductible, speak to a nurse, get weighed (the part I don't like) and then see the doctor for 5 minutes.

Like that, you need to have your own qualification steps before you take someone on.

Finally, be prepared to discontinue working with someone who is browsing, but pass that on to another who may be better luck selling them something and you'll earn a referral fee.

I hope it helps.

Love Sacramento.
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2 votes
Carol Kellogg, Agent, Fair Oaks, CA
Wed Apr 22, 2009
Good morning, Golf Guy!

Our biggest challenge in Sacramento right now is the lack of inventory compared to the number of buyers. REO's are selling faster than we can list them and most with multiple offers. Buyers are very frustrated and quite frankly, have lost some of the trust that they have in the Realtor's ability to get them into a property. Who better to blame than the Realtor! Hopefully very soon, with the lift in the REO moratorium, we'll have a flood of inventory. According to, the inventory is coming! Our focus now is to manage the buyer's emotions and help them to be prepared.

What I've found works is to be the 'trusted advisor' ~ to educate them on our current market. With the use of tools, graphs, local data, you can quickly show them that when they find a home that meets their needs, they need to write an offer. With the banks pricing the homes below market, they need to be prepared to come in at or over asking price. It's not uncommon for the cash buyer to win, so it make take MANY offers to be successful. Buyers just have to be patient and a good advisor can help them understand that process.

I don't like to be pushy either, but a certain amount of confidence is necessary to win them over. If you have 50 leads, chances are there's a number of good potential clients in that group. Do your best to get their email address and phone #'s at the open house so that you can begin providing them with REO's as soon as they hit the market. Be the real estate resource that WILL return their calls and emails promptly. I have a questionnaire that I use at open houses that works pretty well. The top half asks for feedback about the listing (which most buyers are happy to give) and then the bottom half asks about their home search and offers my services. I'm happy to email that to you if you'd like it.

Carol Kellogg, Manager
Lyon Real Estate
2 votes
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Dp2, , Virginia
Tue Apr 21, 2009
The buyers are out there. I know this, because I'm one of them.

Did you ask all of those leads why they didn't opt to buy?

There are 2 reasons for why a property doesn't sell: 1) it's ugly, or 2) it's price/terms are ugly.
2 votes
, ,
Tue Apr 28, 2009
I am not a Realtor – I’m a Certified Mortgage Planner & I use a tool that’s been called one of the single best incubation systems for buyers and the single best business planning tool in the marketplace today for Realtors.

To paraphrase, "over 50 percent of “Lookie-Lou’s” will buy in the next 12 months,” but some of you have commented that its better to pass these future buyers along to other agents & focus most of their energy on those clients who they believe are most likely to buy now. More than 50 percent of “Lookie-Lou’s” will buy in 12 months from someone! So why give them up?

It works like this: we give potential homebuyers their own personal, password-protected website to access the online listing of homes for sale. The homebuyer is given a detailed listing of homes matching their personal search criteria. In addition to the usual bedroom, bath, square footage, and lot size information, the site also provides homebuyers with notifications about new listings & instant price reduction alerts on their saved properties, plus they can do their own searches.

For the most part, "its hands free driving," folks, freeing us up to focus our limited time on the clients we know are ready to buy, now.

If you don't have a system in place to handle these leads, are you going to miss future opportunities and income? This "Lead Incubator" captures the “just lookers” and places them on our radar, allowing both of us to tag-team the potential buyer when we're alerted that the time is right & its time to strike. We know this because we get detailed reports every morning on the activities of our contacts, pointing out the ones showing strong buying signs, if they haven’t already contacted us. It also allows serious buyers the freedom to access everything in the market from the convenience of one site and to save the data they collect.

Best of all, this real estate selling system features our business card including the picture and full contact details exclusively of the Realtor and their team working with the buyer. Because buyers who use the system log in about 53 times a month, the Realtor has over 600 opportunities to put their name, face & phone number in front of the buyer over the course of a year. Do you think they feel like they know you?

May I suggest you find a competent loan originator in your area who provides this Home Buyers Marketing service & ask them if they have room to work with you. I provide this tool to the Realtors I work with, and it works!

All the best,

Roswell Moore, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
(480) 422-5095 Direct
1 vote
Melody Bell, , Muskegon County, MI
Tue Apr 28, 2009
A S K !!!! after your initial phone conversation, where you are asking things not just related to realestate but about the noise in the background " do you have monkey, (ususally gets a laugh) then you quickley tell them about your crazy aunt who from time to time get's a unique creature, very worth mentioning. Laugh about it and listen and laugh at there story then get back to business. such as well we'll tell story's all day or we should get the needs taken care of first, So lets get starteed, have you been pre approved? whats you comfort price level? who are you using? If you having trouble I can help you find some one who will be very upfront and honest. He will be right up front and give you the information you need to get started His name is...
Remember many company's will say sure no problem, but from my experiance ther are only a few who will give it to you straight. That's what we all need to stay within our comfort zone. the next step is to exchange names and number. tell them i'll put togat3er a list of your need's togather at your price range and hopefully we'll be able to add some of your want's to the home, keeping it as close to your need's as possible, there's always a little wiggle room. i'll put the info in a folder for you and leave it at the front desk if I'm not here, but if i have an idea when you'll be here i'll wait for you i'd love to meet with you..
On that first face to face bring out your buyer agency paper and imideatly say this is a law not a contract and say something about it and they sign it.
Of course at the begginning you've already asked if there working with another agent. no of course not will be the answer! Now talk ab out the house and what they will change when they get it, laugh a little more, maybe tell them i have a few more in the are i'd like to show you and by the way " if you think we can work togather i'd really like to work for youmandn ifn your gettinng that samen feeling why don't we sighn this exclusive agent
1 vote
Howtema, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
Buyers are waiting for realistic prices, inline with income. When that happens they will buy. Nothing you can do.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Tue Apr 28, 2009
I have a clipboard and a form. I ask questions and fill it out, like the person who sees you when you first come into a doctor's office. If you are spending an afternoon showing someone properties, there is plenty of time to chat and find out if they are committed to working with an agent, and explaining that you can show them ANY home, even if it's not your listing or your company's listing. Some people aren't aware. Some people WILL just disappear, but follow up and find out if they bought a house.
0 votes
Phil, , Guilford, CT
Tue Apr 28, 2009
Show them exactly what they are looking for. Get there email address and email them properties that fit their NEEDS, WANTS and DONT WANTS information. Send the MLS flyer w/o the listing agent contact info and tell them if they are interested to see the property give you a call and youll get them inside. I don't worry about getting a buyer agreement too much, since if I bring a buyer to a property and they want to submit an offer, theyll ask me to provide the contract and help them fill it out (with my brokerage checked off as the buyers agent of course).
0 votes
Cheryl Skinn…, Agent, Lakeland, FL
Wed Apr 22, 2009
An important question to ask is,
IF we find the home you are looking for today, are you prepared to BUY?

Last week I had a buyer with $75,000 cash to put down wanting a $150,000 home.

When I asked this question before showing him homes, he answered with YES, I want to buy and I have $75,000 cash to put down. I again asked, so when we find the "deal" you are looking for you are prepared to make an offer?

He replied with, I can't ... TODAY .... I just lost my job, thought I'd find a good deal in a home while I'm off work. :)

Important to find out when they want to buy and are they prepared to buy TODAY.

Hope this helps in qualifying your leads.

Cheryl Skinner-Marble, Exit Realty of Lakeland, Realtor
Top Exit Sales Team in Florida 2008
0 votes
Denise, , 92570
Tue Apr 21, 2009
Are you making promises you cannot keep? Are you truly listening to their of real estate needs, because buyers always forget something that they really wanted like a fireplace and not just that In-ground and that’s okay remember that when they are with you they are nervous and excited and sometimes forget the most important things they would like to have in a house.
0 votes
James Blaylo…, , 95762
Tue Apr 21, 2009
It sounds like you have not found your clients reason for buying. What is there reason to step into this market with all of its issues. Do they understand the market? Are you being clear and concise in your answers about the homes/neighborhood they are looking in. Are they all pre-approved with lenders that you have built a relationship with. Do they have realistic expectations in this market or are they thinking they can steal one from the bank. You state that you had 3 different serious buyers that disappeared. Do you use a buyer broker agreement? I have found that by using a broker agreement my clients become more serious about this process and have more respect for the time that I put into finding them there home.
I hope that this helps.

Good luck,
James Blaylock, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
(916) 367-3584
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