John N. Frank is former managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine.
Steps to Say Sane With Hesitant Clients
Don’t let an indecisive buyer or seller drive you crazy.
July 13, 2016
For some, it takes years to decide whether they’re ready to make a move, but what are you supposed to do until then? Take a deep breath and consider these four ways to work with clients who are on the fence.
Prioritize clients into bucket lists.
Budget your time according to who needs your attention the most. Naomi Lempert Lopez of Coldwell Banker Previews International in San Francisco classifies clients into three buckets depending on where they are in the process: those who are ready to act in 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days or longer. She divvies up her time based on who’s ready to move the fastest.
Help buyers narrow their options.
Connect them with a lender to get prequalified for a mortgage so they can establish their price range and start to see what properties fit their budget. If they couldn’t decide what they wanted in a home earlier, narrowing their choices could make them more focused and motivated to move.
Send them into the field.
Both buyers and sellers can benefit from visiting open houses. Seeing what’s on the market can help buyers hone their search criteria and make sellers more realistic about setting the price of their home. Discuss with your clients what they liked and didn’t like about the open houses they saw to create a list of priorities for their own transactions and, hopefully, get them moving.
Take a slow but steady approach.
Don’t be pushy with reluctant clients or you’ll drive them away. If it’s clear they need more time to think about their next move, put them on a drip marketing campaign to keep in touch and let them know you’re around to help when they’re ready.
Sources: Lorraine Amaral, e-PRO, William Pitt Sotheby’s International, Danbury, Conn.; Ann Marie Clements, AHWD, e-PRO, Keller Williams Capitol Properties, Rockville, Md.; Allison Gold, Rodeo Realty, Los Angeles; Naomi Lempert Lopez, Coldwell Banker Previews International, San Francisco