If you’ve ever had the opportunity to work with a financial advisor, you know that most of the time an advisor will schedule two appointments before a client agrees to hire the advisor. The preliminary appointment is designed to:
- gain a client’s trust, and to;
- gather information about a clients portfolio or financial condition.
Once the information is obtained and trust and confidence established, the advisor will schedule a follow-up appointment with their prospective client. It is at the second meeting that a client usually commits to doing business with the advisor.
As a Trusted Real Estate Advisor, this approach also makes a great deal of sense. After the first appointment, when all the necessary information about a seller and their situation is obtained, an agent can take a step back and analyze the market conditions specific to their prospective sellers situation and needs. By taking the time to process and analyze, the recommendations become much more specific to a seller and a follow-up meeting is far more productive. Think about the alternative. Most agents have a canned speech and boiler-plate information that they share in an attempt lock the seller in to doing business with them immediately. This approach can be quite offensive because it mirrors the slam-dunk approach that is used in selling time share units. This makes no sense when you consider the real estate owned by the prospective sellers is one of the single largest assets in their financial portfolio.
That’s why it makes a great deal of sense to show your professionalism by being respectful of the importance of this decision for your prospective seller. This is done by scheduling a second meeting to discuss in further detail the sellers situation, how you can help, and the value you bring to the decision-making process for your seller. Best of all, this approach allows you to be the last agent they see. This means you are most likely to be the agent of choice. If handled correctly, a prospective seller is unlikely to commit to anyone else before they speak with you. Consider using the following when explaining why you would like to give their situation serious consideration before making recommendations:
“If I was the type of agent that would spend an hour with you and immediately throw out suggestions without giving careful thought to evaluating your needs and the specific market conditions relating to your property, would I really be the type of person you would want protecting your interest?”
It’s also almost always beneficial to wait until the second meeting before discussing the price. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for what other agents have suggested and the sellers sentiments after hearing those suggestions. One caveat to using a two appointment approach, never “go past the close.” In other words, if the seller already likes and trusts you and is ready to make a decision during the first appointment, be prepared to get the listing signed right away. This approach still requires a second appointment where you can spend time with the seller developing a great strategy for selling the property.