Six Questions to Rapidly and Effectively Qualify Home Buyers

I can talk until I’m blue in the face about how, what most agents consider a “lead,” is really just an opportunity to waste time, energy, and money without ever actually getting to talk with that prospect.

But when you DO actually get a hot buyer lead on the phone, it can mean a lot of things.

It can mean mad money for a summer vacation; it could mean an Ethan Allen leather Paloma chair; or it could mean a mortgage payment on your home.

Whatever finding a qualified buyer means to you, you may still need to have dozens of conversations and sift through a lot of leads to find a few good quality prospects.

In fact, a recent informal survey of our clients found that out of over 25,000 calls (actual live, telephone conversations), 21% bought or listed a home within 30-90 days, 48% closed a transaction within 4-12 months, and 31% didn’t qualify.

Those numbers are better than any other “lead” source in the market, but you still need the ability to quickly and accurately identify which group each prospect falls into.

It is absolutely critical if you want to earn a paycheck and not just spin your wheels.

Unfortunately, today’s prospects have become highly skilled at deflecting sales advances. When you ask a typical qualifying question, they feel like they’re being sold and bail out on the conversation.

So rather than teeing up rejection, I’m going to suggest an approach that may seem counter intuitive. I want you to frame your questions using what’s called a “reverse.” It’s a subtle psychology that gets you to the truth far better than typical sales questions.

Master this technique with these six examples and you’ll find it far more effective for moving your conversations in the right direction.

  1. Are you working with another agent? (typical rejection-filled question)
    What did your agent say when they asked you to call me? (reverse)
  2. Do you need to sell your current home before you can buy? (typical rejection-filled question)
    So I’m assuming you’ve already got your home listed with another agent? (reverse)
  3. How long have you been looking for a home? (typical rejection-filled question)
    I’m guessing you’ve been shopping for a home for quite a while now? (reverse)
  4. Have you met with a lender yet? (typical rejection-filled question)
    So I’m assuming you’re already pre-qualified for a home mortgage? (reverse)
  5. Have you been pre-qualified or pre-approved? (typical rejection-filled question)
    When you say you’ve been pre-approved, how do you mean exactly? (clarifier)
  6. If I call a lender and he has an opening, would you consider sitting down with him to determine what he can do for you? (typical rejection-filled question)
    How about I give me lender a ring and have him contact you? It would be free of charge and you can find out where you’re at and how much you can afford. (Once you reverse the questions and ask for clarity this softer question usually gets it done.)

The goal is to get them to meet with your lender. If they meet with your lender then your relationship with them will begin to solidify.

However, if you use the typical qualifying questions you’ll never have to worry about that because the conversation will end before your lender ever enters the picture.

Practice these reverses, the clarifier, and the soft lender invitation 10-15 times out loud. Then use them. You’ll be amazed at how effective they are at getting you to the next step.

For more actionable tips and strategies (don’t worry, they’re free) to help grow your real estate business, enter your name and primary email address into the form below.

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Gary Elwood
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Proquest Technologies, Inc.