From we don’t want to commit to an agent to we want you to be our agent in 2 hours or less – It is possible, if you just listen

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

Sounds crazy, doesn't it, to go from a phone call that ends with the buyer telling you that they aren't committing to any one agent and are just gathering information, to two hours later getting a call that they would like to use you exclusively to help them find a home.

Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret. If you ask the right questions and can find that one little hot button, they could be your exclusive buyers or sellers in less than 2 hours also.

I discovered this method about 2 years ago and I try to use it with every person who calls. I know they are looking to buy or sell, but there is always more to a person than real estate, they key is to find out what that is!

I had a caller call and was asking me about information on one of my listings. He told me straight out that he wasn't looking for an agent and was just gathering information. Now he's made it a challenge and I wanted to change that mind. I can tell you I did and I'll do it again.

I started to ask questions that really have nothing to do with real estate, like what he did, what his hobbies were and mixed that with real estate questions. During that conversation, I found out he was a vet and was hoping to find a home that could be bought with a VA loan.


Here was his hot button, he was a veteran and he wanted to save money. I told him that I thought I had the perfect home for him and if I could get his e-mail address, later that day  I would send him some information on it.

That is when I went to work! I found out all I could about savings offered to veterans in my area and I wrote a blog post about it called, "Are you a veteran living in, or wanting to live in, Washington County?" Then I called him back and said, "I was thinking about you and I got some information that I just sent you via e-mail as a kind of a thank you for our service to our country."

He was so grateful that I had listened to him that he and his wife wanted to meet with me immediately and he made me his exclusive buyers' agent that day, within 2 hours of the initial contact. He had talked to 7 other Realtors that day and not one of them had caught the fact that he was a veteran and that he was looking for savings.

I ended up saving him over $5,000 that day because of my post and he said he wasn't going to forget that. It pays to ask questions and to listen, because if you do, you will truly find what they are looking for and it may not be real estate related.



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Joanne Mills
Exit Realty Premier - Massapequa Park, NY

Todd - great message. I appreciate what you have learned in your experience and are willing to share. I am signing up for your blog by email. I don't want to miss one.


Jan 20, 2009 04:38 AM #3
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


It's called being conversant and it's a skill everyone needs to develop!!! Thanks,   Fran

Jan 20, 2009 04:56 AM #4
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Yorba Linda, CA
Coached By Crouch

He was so grateful that I had listened to him that he and his wife wanted to meet with me immediately and he made me his exclusive buyers' agent that day, within 2 hours of the initial contact.

Thanks Todd,

What a great reminder about the power of asking questions and then listening!

Jan 20, 2009 05:16 AM #5
Leslie Stewart
Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals - Stayton, OR
Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker

Why to go Todd.  I think we could all stand to listen to our clients needs a little more.  Great Tip! 

Jan 20, 2009 09:22 AM #7
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Great Todd.  You gave him something of real value that no one else had thought of, or came up with.

Jan 20, 2009 12:26 PM #8
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager

Good explanation of how being a human with excellent hearing and industriousness can win you clients, Todd.  No magic here - just going an extra mile for someone.

Jan 20, 2009 12:54 PM #9
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge

I went through this process today! What a quick evolution!  I also want to congratulate you on being the #1 AR Agent!  Outstanding!

Jan 20, 2009 01:23 PM #10
Lisa Southern

I don't think you can teach this to people. Either they have the ability or don't. I listen to other agents in my office and they are so blunt on the phone with call-ins. I have gotten quite a few clients in this same process. I think it has more to do with Your personality.

Jan 20, 2009 02:32 PM #11
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Great post.  The key to all higher intelligence is to ask the right questions.  You did a great job on the phone.  I'm using it for inspiration for future phone calls.

Jan 20, 2009 02:54 PM #12
Samantha Nichols
ERA Belsito and Associates - Plymouth, MA
Massachusetts Real Estate Specialist

I quite agree that listening is key, throughout every aspect of our transactions to ensure the trust of our clients.

Jan 20, 2009 04:03 PM #13
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

Having just commented on another blog, where the "positivity" was running thin, I love reading a post like this!  Your approach will be remembered and passed on to friends and family and will serve you well!  You give Realtors a GOOD name! 

Jan 20, 2009 05:58 PM #14
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Todd, thanks for the post.  Great ideas for capturing buyers.  It opens up a world of opportunities.

Jan 20, 2009 11:17 PM #15
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Todd - listening and building rapport is the gateway to a great relationship. I also liked the blog for the Veteran. Great Job!

Jan 21, 2009 12:09 AM #16
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

Todd, that is a GREAT story.  You are so right - if we could just listen instead of trying to sell ourselves to people.

Jan 21, 2009 01:01 AM #17
Anice Keenan Marietta
Real Property Solutions, Inc. - Marietta, GA


You obviously are a very caring person.  Our business is PEOPELE-ORIENTED and I am a firm believer in "knowing our client's needs".  It means getting close and personal and alot of agents don't beleive in doing this.  Thank you for confirming my thoughts on the client-agent relationship and for sharing your methods for success. A real inspiration!!!


Jan 21, 2009 01:43 AM #18
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Great post! We all need to discover that special wording that makes clients realize how we will work with and for them!

Jan 21, 2009 07:35 AM #19
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Todd, exccellent example of why it's more effective to ask good questions and listen for the answers, then to just talk about how great you are...

Jan 21, 2009 10:59 AM #20
Sonya Loose
Modern Realty - Beaverton, MI
The Lake Girl,Selling Waterfront in Gladwin County

Awesome job...and great listening!!!  I can tell you not only care about your job and your reputation but your client as well.  That is the key to your success I'm sure!

Jan 21, 2009 03:07 PM #21
Kelsey Barklow
Evans & Evans Real Estate - Johnson City, TN
423/948-9154, Marne Drinnon 423/202-2277

Great idea, Todd, I'm goinig to try it the next time I get one of those calls, which happens quite often. Thanks.

Jan 22, 2009 11:40 AM #22
Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

Listening to who are your clients really are is such a key element....

Jan 25, 2009 12:28 AM #23
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