Agent Resources

Getting to “Yes” when the buyer or tenant says “But..”

Handling objections from buyers or tenants is one of the key skills of a good agent. Let’s look at some of the ways you can overcome objections and get that all-important agreement to proceed.

Objection - they’re just not ready to make a decision

Rents aren’t going down, houses aren’t getting cheaper and the population isn’t shrinking. So whether the prospective customer is renting or buying, they need to be made aware that when it comes to housing, the sooner they can make a move, the better it will be for them financially. Delaying is likely to cost them money.

If they feel the best thing is to wait for a bit, they are really procrastinating, and it’s quite legitimate to instil a sense of urgency. In fact, it will be doing them a favour. However, it’s also useful to find out how many places they have looked at, and whether they have seen any they liked, because it helps you to understand whether they are serious about moving.

Objections around the cost of moving

These are often disguised requests for the agent to lower the fee. The client frequently has no idea whether the fee is reasonable or not. Fees can range from virtually nothing, but with the expectation that the seller does the work, to several per cent but the agent is handling a smaller number of high value transactions. So you need to let the client know what they’re getting in terms of value. The point here is to pick the aspects of your service that the client will value most.

If they are elderly and living alone, they may value the fact that the agent will always accompany viewers. If they are young, single and really messy, it may be the fact that the agent will never bring people round without a previous appointment.

Objections from someone else

There is often someone in the background, who has given the client “expert” advice. For example, “My dad says that interests rates are going up (or down).” “ My sister says new houses always have problems.” “My cousin says rents are going down where he lives.” It is tempting to ask what these people do for a day job, but sarcasm is definitely out.

The best way forward is to express interest in the view that is being given, and then overcome the objection by bringing your own professional knowledge to the fore.

“That’s interesting, what your dad says about rates rising. He may well be right. But the market doesn’t expect rates to go up soon, so there are some very good fixed rate deals around now, if you can move quickly.”

The best technique - anticipate the objections

With many properties, an agent is well aware of the objections a tenant or buyer is likely to raise. By far the most effective technique is to think about them in advance and then to raise and answer them before the client does. In fact, real experts at this technique are able to turn possible objections into selling points: “It’s a compact kitchen, but it’s been really carefully designed, so it’s easy to work in and quick to clean.”

Anticipating objections means trying to see the property through the tenant’s eyes, and this is a great skill to develop. It will mean that you come across as empathetic rather than pushy, and when trying to get to “yes”, that’s half the battle.

Source: Nethouseprices, 20/10/17

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