Salesmanship – “I Must Have…” Applies Today Only
One of the most offensive cliché’s in real estate is “Buyers are liars, and Sellers are storytellers.” It stems how many times you have heard Buyers and Sellers say: “I have to have” when referring to some key amenity or point? For example:
- I only want to look at oceanfront
- Find me a home in the community of PGA
- I can’t sell for any less than $500,000
- I have to sell before the end of season
These statements are all very believable because they are said with such conviction. And, why shouldn’t you believe them when they are convinced what they are saying is absolutely true?
The problem with absolutes in any statement is that it only applies based on the conditions that exist at that moment in time. When new information is introduced, or a personal situation changes, the person making the statement can completely reverse their decision. Consider the following change in conditions for the examples we’ve introduced above:
- I only want to look at waterfront- When the buyer realizes that the price for oceanfront is not in their budget, it’s suddenly okay for the property to be located close to the ocean instead of on it, or on the river.
- Find me a home in the community of PGA- When the buyer realizes his best friend is moving to the community adjacent to PGA, it’s now okay to consider homes in that neighborhood too.
- I can’t sell for any less than $500,000- Until the Seller finds the perfect home they want to buy at a great price. Then they’ll let it go for $450,000
- I have to sell before the end of season- When the Seller finds out that his transfer has been delayed by a year, and then the selling window is increased by 12 months.
In each of the examples above, something changed that required a change in your clients’ strategy. As a Trusted Real Estate Advisor, you’re responsible for:
- Making sure your client doesn’t end up painting themselves into a corner, by committing to a position that is untenable. You can do this by tempering absolute statement.
- Presenting perspectives that your buyer or seller may not have thought about. Knowledge is power, so you should seek out all facts that could impact the decision
The best approach to use when a client has convinced themselves that they will never change their mind is to remind them that their requirement applies based on where they are at, today. And, that the situation could change. An example of the application of this approach is the following:
“Mr. Seller, I can appreciate how important it is for you to secure an offer that enables you to net at least $500,000. But, that requirement is based on your situation today. Keep in mind that something could happen that changes your position. For example, the real estate market could drop dramatically, or you could find a much better use for the equity in your property and decide to sell for less. Circumstances change, so you want to keep an open mind and be objective.” As your Trusted Advisor, I will be sure to advise you about information that could impact your decision.”