YPN Virtual August Breakfast: Objection Handling

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. Even though our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli were put on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!

This Month’s Speakers Were:

Watch The Zoom Webinar Recording:

Read Some Key Takeaways:

Every broker must hone, practice and develop objection handling skills. Niko breaks down being a real estate broker into three main activities: working with clients, finding clients and practice. “It’s one thing to find a client, and it’s another thing to have the privilege to sit down in front of them,” Heather said. “But having something meaningful to say to people is the most important thing in this business.” Niko encourages all brokers to build time into their schedules for confidence-building activities. These can take all forms and formats, but in the end, confident advocates are also successful REALTORS®.

What do your confidence-building activities look like?

Heather is a self-proclaimed “seeker of knowledge.” The first thing she does every day is open her phone or email and start reading. If you incorporate research and learning into your schedule, you’re going to be the broker who knows more than anyone else about all things that impact our market. Like Heather, your time management should be focused on information gathering in all capacities. Santiago reads Crains almost daily and also cycles in Inman. Aside from general research, his most valuable confidence-building activity surrounds mindset. The first thing he does every morning is to take time for himself via meditation and centering activities. “I try to have it as structured as possible. I begin my day reading or finding out about people before I meet them,” Santiago said. “Being in a good state of mind is important to me.” “Once you start to get really busy, you realize you can put things together on the fly. But that’s where you can also start to fall down,” Heather added. “You can allow your confidence to get a little too high.” To hold herself and her systems accountable, she has checklists for meetings with new buyers and new sellers. Both experts reiterated the same thing: checklists and research are two helpful tools when it comes to objection handling, yet when it comes down to it, your goal is to create a strong connection with your client outside of the transaction.

Workshopping Example Objections

Why should I work with/use you?

“There’s no reason you shouldn’t use me,” said Heather. “I focus on how we got together. Whether it was a referral or something, then we focus on how we connected.” She also communicates that their common objective is to sell or buy a home. “I understand exactly what it is our objective is and how to achieve that.” Santiago agreed this objection can be a challenge, but he also focuses on communicating his work-ethic and dedication. “There’s always someone who does more transactions than you. I tell them: we’re seeing things in the same way, and we’re working together as a team. I’m looking out for your best benefit.”

Why should I choose someone with less experience?

Create a personal relationship with the person rather than being transactional about it, Santiago advised. Strong relationships bring referrals several years down the road. “If you meet the client at their level, then you’ve got them for life,” Niko agreed. Heather shared an example of a brand-new broker in her office who was surprised she beat out more experienced brokers for a competitive listing. What pitch helped her win the client? “She told them this was going to be her full-time job. Her job is to position, market, and sell that property for top-dollar. They didn’t care how many properties she had transacted. They were interested in being someone’s top priority. She came in with a beautiful marketing plan and knew all about the property, combined with acknowledging her lack of experience. What she does pledge is her focus.” This emotional intelligence and tapping into the buyer’s or seller’s motivations will help inexperienced brokers compete with expansive portfolios from top producers.

How do you differentiate yourself?

“I figured out I was really good at researching,” Santiago said. “It could take me six hours. But I would know the house’s history and would know more about it than they did! I still carry that with me.” His commitment to improving his research makes him incredibly prepared to know his product back and forth. Also, leverage your relationships with buyers! Articulate that you know buyers’ expectations and how that will give you a leg-up in the listing process. “The ongoing theme here is that preparation pays off,” Niko added.

Why are you worth what you’re charging?

“You’re getting my time and my experience,” Santiago said. “Having [seller or buyer] checklists makes the value proposition so clear until ‘price’ isn’t even a factor.” Heather agreed. “Many times, sellers have no idea what they’re doing. They most likely looked up an article that says ‘ask your broker these questions.’ If you are well prepared and if you have already answered their questions, then they won’t ask. You have removed their concerns, allayed their fears and presented yourself as a professional who knows what they’re doing.” Your goal? To present that you know how to sell this property.

Can you cut me a deal?

Heather reminds her clients that her top skillset is negotiation. If she relents or doesn’t hold her ground and confidence in her own worth, then how can she be counted on to do the same in the transaction? When faced with this objection, Niko addresses a potential root cause behind it. “It sounds to me what you’re concerned about is netting the most on your sale,” he says. “If I can demonstrate that I can help you achieve that goal, then this shouldn’t be a concern.”

Should I wait until the spring?

“There’s no better time to list than now,” Heather would respond. “The numbers of uncontrollable factors [surrounding listing or purchasing] can go on forever. If you have the desire or need to buy or sell a house now, now is the time. There’s always someone who wants to be on the other side of that transaction.” Comforting your nervous clients by tapping into the strength of their desire to buy or sell their home is a vote of confidence. When Santiago faces this objection, he gives a similar message of confidence. “If the numbers look like they’re right to you, then let’s do it,” he says. “How are you going to know when is the right time? If you know this, then let’s wait. But if we’re talking now, it’s because you’re interested now.” Buyers tend to be more nervous than sellers, particularly when external influences like the news can paint inaccurate pictures surrounding real estate markets. Our experts reminded attendees that property values still have lots of room for growth. Telling buyers to wait is how you lose them!

Why don’t I just list really high and see how much I can get?

Santiago’s response refers back to his preparedness and his research. “I brought another set of comps,” Santiago says. “If you price yourself higher, you’re comparing yourself to properties that have things you can’t offer. You may get someone who will lowball you and end up selling for less.”

My neighbor listed for X, and my place is so much nicer. So, shouldn’t I be able to get more than that?

“Sometimes it’s like selling a Ferrari out of a Ford dealership,” Santiago says. “We can try for a little bit if you like, but you may lose some valuable market time.” Heather recommends spinning the objection back around to buyers again. “I tell my sellers how buyers are extremely well educated now. They can see every house on the market. Not only will they not look at a place after seeing it online, they won’t buy it.” Also, after listing over a property’s more strategic price, a home that drops in price after time may suffer from stigma. Buyers will look at it and wonder why no one bought it! When in doubt, reasoning through these strategies — and using your research to demonstrate it — helps navigate these tricky pricing objections.