Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan


Guiding Your Clients - the Favorit-est Tips!

If you follow my blog, you know that from time to time we do a "Favorit-est Tips" post where I share the feedback I got from a recent Sell with Soul teleseminar. This installment is from the show we did earlier this week called "Guiding Your Clients to the Right Decisions" where we discussed various strategies for helping clients, well, make good decisions in a real estate transaction! 

Are you asking if it's really our job to assist in the decision-making process? Aren't we just supposed to give them three options and let them decide? And advise them to contact their attorney if they have questions? Or conversely, aren't WE the experts so shouldn't WE just tell them what to do? 

In my opinion, no. Part of the job description of a professional real estate agent is to help our clients understand their options and respectfully guide them to the right decision for THEM. NOT the "right" decision for us and our paycheck, but to truly be looking out for their best interests, even if that means a delay in our own payday (hey, I didn't make the rules, but that's how it works in our business). 

Anyway, at the end of the show, we polled the audience for their favorite tip or tips of the day and here's what they told us:

Favorit-est Tip #1 (by far): When talking with clients, always use "we," "our," "us" and "let's." This put you on the same side as your client, both in your mind and in theirs. Try it, it's incredibly powerful.

Favorit-test Tip #2: Give your client a back door. Always give your client an "out" when discussing their options. The bigger the "out" the better. Reassure them that they can say no, walk away or do nothing. The less pressure a client feels from you, the more open they will be to suggestions and the less likely they are to actually use the back door!

Favorit-est Tip #3: Don't try to "bust" a buyer's objections. If a buyer is complaining about features of a home, it's actually a sign they are interested in it. Don't argue with them about their objections; in fact, agree with them! "Yes, the closets are a little small, aren't they?" Your buyers aren't stupid - they know no home is perfect and need to work through their objections without being argued with. 

Other tips from the show:

  • Use reverse psychology so clients don't feel pressured or coerced by you
  • Offer alternatives to a price reduction (e.g. staging, cleaning or making improvements to the home)
  • Offer to "try that price for two weekends" when a seller wants to price higher than your recommendation
  • Be mad with your client when the other side annoys them - help them blow off steam

If you'd like to hear the whole thing, the recording is available in the SWS Bookstore for purchase or you can join Club SWS and get access to all SWS teleseminar shows since 2010!

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The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
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Comment balloon 37 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • January 25 2014 05:50AM


Jennifer some powerful tips here on how to work with the buyer and create a relationship.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Jennifer great tips! I agree balancing and gaining confidence of buyers can help in working through a transaction. But you do have to set realistic expectation at certain point ....rather than disappoint them.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) over 5 years ago

I'm not sure I agree completely with tip number three.  I had an agent in my office who used to agree with every negative presumption a buyer expressed to her.  They'd say "I'll bet it's really cold here in fall" or "houses are probably really expensive here, right?" and she was afraid to disagree, so she would go along with all the negatives..and those prospects would walk out of the office.

When she learned to stop ratifying customer insecurities, her sales went up in a big way.  I wouldn't refer to setting a customer straight about their incorrect assumptions as "busting their objections".  On the contrary, it's a big part of our job to educate them and give them accurate information.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 5 years ago

Eric - you are welcome to disagree with it! And of course, during the show, we elaborated much more on the subject than the short summary above, but the point was that agents are trained to bust objections at every turn and it really isn't necessary much of the time. If the client is simply wrong about something (e.g. they mention they hate the Formica countertop and it's Corian) it's fine to gently correct them, but being argumentative with reasonable objections is more likely to create an adversarial relationship between you and your client. 

And, if you don't want to "agree" with the objection, just smile and say nothing (again, instead of trying to bust or overcome it).

Ritu - I agree 100% about setting reasonable expectations for buyers - I always get a laugh from the real estate reality shows where the buyer wants something way out of line with what they can afford and the agent doesn't tell them that; just complains to the camera that the buyer is unreasonable.

David - I thought so, too! 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

Great tips. I DO need to use "us, we, our, etc." more! I try to do it as much as I can, but catch a miss every now'n'then...

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) over 5 years ago

There's nothing like a little psychology or neuro linguistics to help us.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 5 years ago

Great suggestions. I try not to join in when my clients are mad though. I let them blow steam, acknowledge their frustration and then try to diffuse the situation. When people get to emotional they can make poor decisions. 

Posted by Michelle Rottach, Scott County Iowa Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite Homes) over 5 years ago

Excellent advise.  My style is that of trusted expert advisor - my buyers and sellers trust my market knowledge, and trust me to be candid about conditions that could affect their decisions. While I do us the words "we" a lot - I'm also clear with them that their job is to use all this information to figure out what's best for them.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 5 years ago

Great tips. very commonsensical but reinforcement keeps driving the point home.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) over 5 years ago

Hey Jennifer, 

Thanks for the great article.  While I may not be a Realtor, some of what you talk about completely applies to the job of a Loan Officer and I couldn't agree more about using words like "we".



Posted by David Toaff (First Home Mortgage) over 5 years ago
Jennifer my friend, you are thorough! Not only that, I'm adding you! Love and light, Laura
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 5 years ago

Great tips Jennifer, thanks for sharing with us, I will try to implement most of them soon.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) over 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing these highlights.  I think there are a lot of good insights here.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 5 years ago

Nice tips.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) over 5 years ago

Recommending solutions to clients based upon what's most suitable for them is our fiduciary duty, however, many times clients don't heed the advice from their agent and most of the time regret it later, don't they?

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 5 years ago

I love your "favorit-est" tips and these are spot on. I've used them for years and they are very effective. Great job and thanks for sharing.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing and making me think!  Sometimes I just need to hear great "tips" again!

Posted by Nellie Lytvinenko, 919-210-9992, Raleigh - Cary NC Real Estate (Homes by Nellie-Working with Buyers & Sellers ) over 5 years ago

Thanks for the Tips. Bonding=siding with the client is a great approach.

We are there to help the client not badger them. Thanks.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) over 5 years ago

Very effective and useful. I use these often and feel they work wonders.

Posted by Jeff Fisher, RE/MAX Fine Properties (RE/MAX Fine Properties) over 5 years ago

Thanks for providing these valuable tips!  I love the term "favorit-est."

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 5 years ago

yes to making it fun and informative with these tips...good job in sharing

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 5 years ago

Lot's of great information.  I really like the part about not trying to "bust" the objections. That makes a lot of sense. 

Posted by Cathy Wolters, Your Brevard County Property Management Expert (Wolters Realty & Property Management Company) over 5 years ago

I like the suggestion of using "we, our, let's, etc. I had not heard that before.  "We" should try that.

Posted by John Anello, Stamford Area Electrician, Call Safe and Sound Electric at 203-536-0021 (Safe and Sound Electric LLC) over 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading your great tips, and Tip 1 -that's how I always talk with my clients, we, us, and let's, it does assure the client that you are on their side.

Thanks for sharing these great tips.

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Very wise, something to think about

Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Elite Pacific Properties Maui) over 5 years ago

Thank you for all the comments! 

One of the key points we brought out in the teleseminar was that if your intentions are truly "pure" - that is - if you ARE looking out for your clients' best interests (not just wanting to appear to be), implementing these strategies will come naturally. One of the biggest factors will be if you can take your paycheck out of the equation, which can be hard to do in practice, but necessary if your client is going to trust you and your advice. 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

Great info, I love tip number 1 and swear by it!

Posted by Christopher Pagli, "I Stay Open Until You Close" (William Raveis Legends Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Very nice, Jennifer!

Posted by Fábio Emerenciano, Remax over 5 years ago

Good useful tips here. Going to put them into action.

Posted by John Fauth, Turning your dreams into an address! (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) over 5 years ago

All good suggestions. It is also helpful to gently guide your client to the solution you are looking for and then congratulate them for their great idea!

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) over 5 years ago

I don't know that I am 100% in agreement with this one-

Be mad with your client when the other side annoys them - help them blow off steam 

While I agree you should listen to your clients and understand when they are upset by something the "other side" has done, I think it is our job to stay more clear headed vs. emotional.  Acknowledge why they are upset, but don't add fuel to the fire.  You are being paid to be a sounding board, but also the voice of reason :) I've seen way too many agents take things personally and become angry and unprofessional during negotiations.  

Posted by Christie Lane Craven, Your Anne Arundel County Agent (Blackwell Real Estate ) over 5 years ago

Jennifer:  I never use the pronouns ours, we and us, because I feel that they need to be reponsible for your actions.  I do give them advice and make suggestions.  However, I will try it on my next transaction to see if it works.  Thanks for the advice.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 5 years ago

Good tips and great post.  People sell themselves if they like a house the over come their own objections.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Great tips Jennifer!  It's always important to make your clients feel like you are on their side by using those key words: "we, our, us, and let's."  I also agree with your tip to always give your clients an "out" so they don't feel pressured to buy.

Posted by Jack O'Neal (Conway Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Hi Jennifer~ Always enjoying reading the favorite tips from your teleseminars! Thanks for sharing with us, once again!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Jennifer. I recently discovered your site and as a newbie to the business, I really appreciate your insight and help. Your tips are immensly helpful and I know your The SWS Mega-Toolkit which I'll get soon will be a great help as well. :)

Posted by Collette Deschamps (Windermere Missoula Real Estate ) almost 5 years ago

I can't wait to read your book. I was just referred to your page! Great tips!

Posted by Rachel Hernandez (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices, PINEHURST REALTY GROUP) almost 5 years ago

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