Ten things you should (almost) never say when talking to a seller!

First of all when you have things in place there is no reason to speak with a seller for any reason, but if you are starting out - or just starting with my stuff - then I suggest that you do to get the dialog, timing and positioning skill set.

This is vital.

It is unbelievable, even shocking, what I hear real estate folks - even the smart ones - use in dialog.  Too many of them are so willing to sacrifice authority, lose profits and let solid deals slip away and much of this could be fixed with some simple dialog tweaks.

This will help you do that.

It will help you avoid becoming just another statistic.

Let's get started.

1.) "Hi my name is... and I'm with... do you have a moment?"

Study after study has shown that the beginning of a conversation is littered with the listener's interest.  Socially the most likely people to introduce themselves with 'Hi my name is' are salespeople, when a company is mentioned immediately afterwards this further cements the salesman image and interest dwindles.  About the only time this works is with massive authority; 'Hi my name is Azam and I'm with NBC and we're looking for contestants for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, do you have a moment?'

What To say:

'Hi, it's Azam, I'm calling about the home for sale?'  or 'Hi I'm Azam, I was calling about the sign?' or simply 'I'm calling about the home for sale?'  This subtle change suggests not only familiarity but it mirrors the behavior of your target's ideal prospect; an actual buyer.

2.) "Is that the best you can do?"

There is so much wrong with this, first of all now they are judging, not you.  You are genuinely asking a question without any supposition, leading or positioning.  You are also on the 'other' side of them, not BEside them.

What TO say:

'Okay, so if the price is below X, should I send these buyers to another house?'  or 'Okay, so if they want any more I should tell them that's the best we can do?'  Notice the word 'WE' as I bring myself to their side of the conversation - us against them.

Another better version 'Okay, so if the board (or the researchers) come back with anything less than X, should I even let you know?'

3.) "I'm a full-time real estate investor"

This is just asking for it.  You are likely to hear 'Well I called some of the other guys and they said...' comparing you to, and putting you in the same boat as, the 'other guys' dampens your chances of meaningful authority.  If you don't want to be compared to them, then... don't compare yourself to them.  Stop using the same word they use to describe themselves.  For example if you are teaching people how to invest in real estate, should you call yourself a 'Guru'?  That stereotype doesn't work in your favor, I suggest using stereotypes that do.

What TO say:

If somebody mentions that they spoke with 'another investor', you respond with: 'Well I work with investors, do you mean one of our consumer counselors has already spoke with you?  Oh, okay, you spoke with an investor, great - did you get their RF score?  No, really, okay but they explained how the PHSI works, right?'

Another example 'Oh you mean you spoke with an investor, great, did you catch his name or RF score?'

This is killer, and if you've gone through my stuff you know what we're doing here - Creating the Standard.  The above snippet of dialog is followed with an explanation of the Risk Factor (RF) of working with uncertified (by you) investors and the Pending Home Sales Index as a basic unit of comps.  So anybody who does NOT understand this shouldn't be taken seriously and can put the seller in jail.  Here's more:

'Ok, we partnered with Attorney General Smith (or whoever) to develop the top 10 questions that all sellers should ask an agent/investor/buyer in order to stay out of jail - if you want I may be able to email them to you...'

4.)  "With a cash offer, what would be the lowest price you'd be willing to accept today?"

When you hear this you should feel like John Goodman in one of my favorite movies The Big Lebowski as he screams at the kidnappers: "fu**ing amatuers!"

What TO say:

See #2, this is the same issue.

5.) "I buy houses, and I want to buy yours?"

This immediately puts you on on the opposite end of the seller's interests, any information disclosed will be highly guarded and perhaps even inaccurate.  It is not generally a good idea to start the conversation with this friction.

What TO say:

'I have 13 left over buyers (that don't want my house), so I'm looking for the best house to send them to, who do you recommend I contact?'  Either you get a recommendation or, more likely, they want the buyers sent to them - 'Oh, so you think your home would be the best, is that right?  I'm curious why do you say that?'  The interview has begun, now anytime there is friction or resistance in answering questions; 'Look Jack, as I explained I'm just looking for the best house to send these people to, maybe it's yours or maybe not, but if getting X from you is a problem, then maybe I should should send them to another house... what do you uh... what do you think?'

6.) "I can come look at the house today at 4."

There is almost no good reason to look at a house unless you're getting started, want to do rehabs yourself (usually a bad idea) or you want to live in it.  Your opinion doesn't matter since you'll be moving it to somebody else anyway - so get them looking at the place - not you.  For the most part I've found that people look at houses out of ego and the illusion that they're 'working'.  It feels good, psychologically, to have a full schedule of homes to look at that you may purchase.  It sounds good at dinner parties.

What TO say:

More importantly it is what to do - stay home.  'Okay, Jack so you want me to send your home out to our list of 31 buyers for you, is that right?  Alright, well based on the price, area and terms if your home is picked my agent/attorney/consumer counselor may arrange that for you - but I want to make sure you know that I'm not guaranteeing your home is going to be picked, okay?'  Roughly 70% of the time the immediate response is what a seller can do to make sure their home is picked.  This is a great time to get your paperwork back on time, get their best offer, etc.

7.) "Let's talk again tomorrow at 3."

Much like looking at houses, once you have this training down and Policized you shouldn't have to speak with anybody about anything - aside from you Team with training conference calls, but when you're starting out I recommend getting the pace down, the timing - the overall skill.  So if you are going to speak again, you want to avoid the problem nearly everybody has faced of playing phone tag - it is worse when you are the only one playing because you keep calling and leaving unreturned messages.  This item and #8 will help dramatically.

What TO say:

Give two times that don't work first.  An old line is 'What works better for you 2 or 3 PM tomorrow?' and that works well, but it is better when you add 'Okay, well tomorrow Noon doesn't work for me, and neither does anything after 7 PM, but I want to do this before they're all gone so um... how about... 3:30 or 5 PM - what looks better for you?'  Or 'Does that work better for you?'  I want to point something out - NEVER LIE about this, if you have a free schedule then just use two times that work.  Giving two times that don't should only be done if you actually have two times that don't, please don't even try and embellish things - be transparent - because this technique alone has increased compliance by over 100%.

8.) "Do you have an email address?"

Without proper framing this is like asking 'Can I send you spam?' and it usually results in investors thinking that 'nobody in my area has email addresses I guess'.  This is much like the high school joke about a man approaching a women and asking if she wants to go out for pizza and sex, after getting slapped he walks away mumbling 'I guess she doesn't like pizza...'

What TO say:

Framing is so important with my stuff, and if you're not using email - regardless of your business - you are way behind and losing at least as much money as you're making.  Even just changing the question to 'What's your email address?' is better.  But it is even better to frame with a desired, #3 is a great example, but here's a few more:

'Oh, so you haven't seen the homicide rates for the two areas, okay - what's your email address?'

'Great, so you want the 421 buyers to hear about this today, is that right?  Okay, I'll see what I can do after we have your LOI on file - what's your email address?'

'So you have not seen the Attorney General's consumer warning, what's your email address?'

'If we pick your home normally there's going to be crowd fighting each other, but to make sure nobody hurts in the stampede we have a disclosure that you need to see - you don't have to wait for it in the mail, your email address is...'

'I can try and get that to you today, I think we have your email address, do you have more than one?  So your email address is...'

Notice the two lines; 'What's your email address?' - and - 'Your email address is...' I usually the prefer the latter and this tapering off is powerful in dialog because it forces the party to complete your sentences with compliance.

9.) "Would you be willing to do a lease option?"

Just about anytime you are using the words 'would you be willing' you are not using my stuff.  The other problem here is mentioning is the word 'lease option' and this will generally maintain the interest of the 'Market of Awares' or people who are already looking into a lease option or terms sale - and people who are educated properly about it.  If they fit that criteria than they would have probably already mentioned that, but they don't so they didn't.  This is a really good way to lose interest and deals.

What TO say:

Mentioning the end result is often better than the term used to achieve it.  For example 'There are three groups of buyers, group one pays cash now, group two pays cash in a year or two and in the meantime they can make your mortgage payments if that's a problem and group three are investors that buy at discounts - which groups do you think are best for our situation?'  Generally group one is picked, now if group two is not selected this line has doubled and tripled compliance and conversion rates:

'Okay, so with group two no matter what they want to put down or how much they want to pay a month - no matter how much money you'd make, you want them sent to another house, is that right?'

'You know, if you're home is picked I may be able to see what the best offers are from each of those two and we can take a look at them, that way you don't miss out...?'  (tapering off)

This can be combined with them making their offer to you.

10.) "Anything!"

Probably the biggest mistake I see people in 'real estate' making is thinking that they're 'in real estate' - they're not, you're not.  We're in business.  For most of us the only other alternative to making this work is getting a job.  So the skill set of building a business is totally different than the skill set of making money in 'real estate'. 

What TO say:

Ideally, nothing.

You want to have Policies, training and your highly trained Team in place to help you build a business and turn into an Empire.  Your team should be trained with dialog and held accountable, I often hear people say that they want to be in real estate full-time.  Really?  Really?  Or do they want to a full-time income - not the same thing.

You're either trained and you know what you're doing, or you're just guess.

I have a test that'll help you determine what kind of company I train people to build.

Do you have what it takes to go from zero to $50+ million?

The test is here:


Some final words...

About dialog -

You want to be the judge, not the judged.

You want to be the selector, not the selected.

You don't make offers, offers are made to you.

You don't fight for approval, your approval is fought for.

You don't need motivated sellers, you want sellers motivated to work with you.

Almost nobody knows how to do this - your top priority should be to find someone who does.

Make it happen,

- Azam

Oh yeah - I'm hiring - but thankless, lazy, un-ambitious people hate this - see below for interview:


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