Are you prepared to handle objections? Do you ever find yourself working with a homebuyer who suddenly seems disinterested? Are you at a loss for words when a buyer gives you a flat out “No”? None of these situations should stymie you. When you ask the right questions of your sales lead, you have all the information you need to guide the conversation toward a positive next step in the sales process.
Your buyer is on a journey. The destination is closing on a new home. They’ve come to you because they see your homes as a possible route to that end. But imagine that you’re driving and take an exit to explore an area, maybe in search of a place to eat. You’re in the mood for seafood. You do a quick search of your car’s navigation system and find a seafood place. You follow the directions and end up at a place that’s a bit, shall we say, questionable. The building is outdated and a bit rundown. The parking lot is empty. And you’d feel a lot better about eating there if the windows weren’t covered with grime.
When using your car’s navigation, you asked one question: Where is a seafood restaurant? You didn’t use your phone to seek out restaurants with a minimum of 4-star ratings or those that were better than a fast-food joint. You didn’t ask the right questions in order to better target your search.
This is what happens when you don’t ask the right questions of a prospective homebuyer. You’re taking a shortcut rather than following the proven path. When they tell you where they want to live, you need to ask “why?” Their reasons could give you more places for them to explore. If they’re looking for good schools, for example, you could offer, “Yes, that town is known for a good school system, but did you know this other town has a similar rating?”
Maybe your customer tells you they want a pool. If you don’t explore their reasons, you might miss the chance to show them a home in a neighborhood with a community pool. “Many homebuyers prefer this because they don’t have to deal with the maintenance required for their own pool.”
And then there’s the price resistance. This response should never come as a surprise to you. If your buyer is telling you the home’s price is too high, it means you either didn’t sufficiently learn about their budget OR you haven’t yet sold them on the value of the benefits of the home, location, and the builder. Price resistance isn’t an end to a sale. In fact, it should be the beginning of more exploratory conversation.
I guarantee you will waste your buyer’s time if you don’t invest in asking the right questions before you begin showing them your available homes and models. I also guarantee you that a buyer will not choose to work with a new home sales professional who wastes their time!
So, what ARE the right questions?
The biggest one starts with “Why?”
- Why are you looking for a new home?
- “We need more room.” Follow-up question: “What rooms do you need and how large are you thinking?”
- “Our neighborhood isn’t as desirable as it used to be.” Follow-up question: “What has changed there, and what do you hope to find in your new neighborhood?”
- Why have you chosen this particular area?
- “We like the schools.” Follow-up question: “Oh, what grade is your child in?”
- “We don’t want a long commute.” > Follow-up question: “So, how about this other location, which is the same distance and actually has fewer bottlenecks?”
- Why do you want those particular features in your home?
- “We like to entertain so a bigger kitchen is important.” Follow-up question: “What type of entertaining do you do?”
- “I don’t like climbing the stairs with laundry so I’d prefer it on the second floor next to the master bedroom.” Follow-up question: “Have you considered a first-floor owner’s suite?”
- Why do you prefer this style home over another (e.g., a ranch versus a two-story)?
- “I like the porch.” Follow-up question: “What if you could add the same porch to another design?”
- “I want my youngest child’s bedroom adjacent to ours.” Follow-up question: “Of course! What are the ages of your child(ren)?”
- Why are you considering us?
- “I heard good things from someone who has one of your homes.” Follow-up question: “That’s great! What did they tell you about the experience? And if you don’t mind sharing their name, we’d love to thank them for the positive comments.”
- “We’ve shopped around and haven’t found a builder who is willing to do more than sell a home without any changes to the floor plan.” Follow-up question: “What changes have you been looking to make in the plans you’ve seen?”
“Why” will give you insight into their motivation for each choice. When you know their reasoning, you’re better equipped to come back with good ideas and recommendations. Active listening and appropriate responses are what makes you more than a salesperson. You become the valuable resource that a buyer wants and needs.