How to turn long term seller leads into listings

What do you do when you’ve got a long-term lifting lead?

Say, you’ve got somebody who wants to sell their house in six, or maybe nine, months. It’s a real lead. They’re going to sell, but they’re a ways out. 

How do you turn this lead into a listing? What do you do when you get that person on the phone?

In this post, I’m going to tell you how we handle our two-step listing appointments to make sure that we turn that lead into a listing.

Remember long term seller leads can be valuable

Remember, these listings are super valuable. Don’t be overprotective with your time and push somebody out. If someone wants you to come to their house and talk about selling their house, go! Build some rapport. Build a connection with this person. Answer questions. Become their go to realtor. It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up.

But what do I do at that first appointment?

First of all, we call these a two-step listing appointment. 

The first step is to build rapport.

You want to answer their questions. Add some value. Give them information that they might not otherwise have. Update them on the market. You can give them a price range, but don’t get too specific because the price could change wildly between then and six months further down the line. Be sure to communicate very clearly, if you give a price, that it’s only a rough ballpark. Let them know that, six months from now, prices are gonna change dramatically. You really want to dial this in — six months from now. This is because what you’re doing when you give them that range is you’re pre-selling the next appointment.

The next goal you want to have is to set up the next appointment.

Once you figure out when they actually need to sell, set that appointment maybe a couple of weeks before the actual list date. It’s at that time, in that second appointment, that you’re going to go over pricing with them again. 

The trick here is that you’re pre-selling the fact that this was just a rough quote and that you’ll really get the quote dialed in at that next meeting. This helps you land the next meeting.

Now, at this stage, one thing to be careful of is to not disappoint. You can give them some ideas on how to get their house ready for sale, but don’t overdo this. I’ve been on many listing appointments where I show up and they called me because the first person said they needed to do all this stuff to get their house ready for sale. Maybe it was good advice, but it was overwhelming. So, don’t do that.

So, the way I sometimes successfully communicate this is by drawing a line on a sheet of paper with a zero on the left and a ten on the right. I’ll tell them that zero is where you list your house and do nothing and a ten is if you do a full remodel with a big contractor that might cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. I do that, then ask them where they fall on the spectrum. Most people usually say three or four. And then I usually suggest they grade that down a little bit because people tend to overestimate what they really want to do and, again, you don’t want to overwhelm them. So, if someone says five, I’ll usually advise them to do a three. They can do simple things. Clean up the house. Declutter. Maybe pack some things up into storage, that kind of thing. Simple. Simple. Simple. And, then, if they want to go bigger, you can have a real conversation about what kind of finances they have to do that.

But no matter what…

You must absolutely get that second appointment

Just get it on the calendar. Even though we all understand this is four months down the road, set that appointment. You set your dentist appointment six months out — why not also do it with the house? So, set that appointment and make sure to reconnect with them closer to the date of your second meeting. It’s in that second meeting where you’ll walk them through how the process of working with you, well, works. And it’s where you’ll help them figure out a more accurate assessment of the value of their home. You don’t want to do this during the first appointment because they’re not going to remember you and you need that excuse to come back.

So, remember…

The first meeting is all about getting the second meeting. Give them a rough quote to build the expectation. Schedule the second meeting. Follow up, then follow through. 

I’m always happy to share the knowledge!

John Gluch.