I remember when I first started selling real estate way back when. In the beginning I found it terribly embarrassing to ask qualifying questions. After all, I mistakenly thought, what business is it of mine how much they want to spend monthly, when they’d like to be in their new home, how quickly they need to sell their house, etc. etc. etc? What I didn’t realize then is that I needed that information and more in order to do a good job for my client.
The term, ‘looky loos’ evolved because there really are folks out there who treat looking at homes as recreation. Sure some of those couples will turn into clients eventually but not all of them by a long shot.
By asking qualifying questions you can pretty quickly determine if the people in front of you is serious about buying or selling or if they are just tire kicking as it were. You want to work with the folks who are serious about buying or selling now while being friendly with the tire kickers without letting them use too much of your time.
Proper qualifying helps you sell property. When you know of clients financial situation you also know how much home they can afford to buy. When a potential listing client tells you they need to move right away because they are being transferred you know they are likely to be quite serious about selling their home.
Although asking financial questions can seem rude what you’re really doing is helping both yourself and the client understand what’s needed.
I’d go so far as say that if potential client won’t answer financial questions or tell you why they are moving you should thank them and move on to a client that will work with you.
When you properly qualify either a buyer or seller you show your professional stripes.You help client understand that real estate is serious business. With your adroit questioning you help them with their thinking about their home.
With practice your qualifying questions will come easily. Your clients will be comfortable answering your questions or will quickly realize that you are not the broker they want to deal with because they aren’t serious about buying or selling. Either way you’ll all be better off.
You want to know what to expect from the client you’re working with. Qualifying questions will let you know how your client is thinking at the moment about their real estate. For example if you discover it questioning that they are prequalified you know they’re serious. If through questions you discover their working with another broker or agent you know you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t understand the process and you want to get clarity on their intentions.
Qualifying questions also help the client know what to expect from you. The questions you ask tell them a great deal about your professionalism or lack of it. When you ask good qualifying questions the client recognizes the effort even if they can’t exactly say why or how. In qualifying questions in truth helps both parties.
Of course you want to ask qualifying questions in a way that doesn’t scare the potential client off. Get too nosy about their finances without telling them why and they may stop returning your phone calls. Ideally you’ll asked the questions in a way that helps them understand that your acting as a partner of theirs in the business of real estate.
What’s been your experience with qualifying questions? Do you have questions about qualifying clients? Ask them in comments and most likely I’ll answer them.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.