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The Hard Truth About Real Estate Buyers

May 26 2015

lwolf hard truth buyersThere's an old saying about real estate buyers that needs to stop immediately. The saying is "buyers are liarsbuyers are liars." But here's the truth: buyers aren't liars, you just need to put more effort into actually listening to buyers to better understand their needs and wants.

Many real estate professionals say this, especially rookies. They spend a lot of their time showing buyers homes and are very often frustrated by these people. They think these people are wishy washy, don't know what they want, won't sign a Buyer Rep agreement, and have no loyalty. So it's no wonder they call buyers liars.

Buyers Aren't Liars

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Real estate buyers are not liars. The essential reason these reps perceive buyers to be liars is they're focusing too much on themselves and not enough on the buyer. To some extent, they're projecting their own feelings and desires onto the buyers. Projecting means they're seeing themselves in the homes they pick for their buyers. So these reps wind up showing their buyers properties with many aspects that appeal to them, but not necessarily to the client.

The one thing I notice about most veteran agents is that they understood from the start where to put their focus: on the buyer. They ask lots of questions at the first meeting and really listen to the buyers to find out what they want. They then take lots of time to find them only the most suitable homes. The homes they show to buyers are usually very much in line with what the buyers are looking for.

Find Out What They Want, and Give It to Them

That's really the heart of being a good buyer rep. It's actually quite a simple formula: find out what they want, and give it to them. The problem is most reps don't take enough time to find out enough of what buyers want, and so the relationship turns into a game of charades. The rep is constantly guessing at what the buyers want because they haven't asked them enough of the right questions first about what they want, so they don't know the most suitable properties to show them.

The buyers get turned off quickly by these reps because of their inability to find out what they want, along with the reps' pressure to commit to them and to buy a home. Why would anyone commit to a Buyer Rep agreement unless the agent had already shown them two or three highly suitable homes first and had demonstrated they were really in touch with what the buyer wants?

How to Create Honest Buyers

What I recommend to today's real estate professionals is a systematic approach to interviewing their buyers. They should bring along their laptop to the first meeting with the buyer. On that laptop they should have a form with all the questions they want to ask the buyers, along with areas for taking notes. If you know how to touch type fast (I can type 70 words per minute!) then you will be able to take down far more information than if you're jotting down notes with a pen in your notebook. It's essential that your laptop has an Internet connection.

When you create this form, you should really brainstorm and try to think of every possible thing that a buyer might want from a home and the surrounding area. Make sure you find out the circumstances from which the buyer is coming from, where they are now, and where they're planning to go in the future. How long do they envision living in this home? What might change in their living circumstances while they're there? What would make them want to move down the line?

Ask Buyers About Themselves

Don't neglect to find out about their lifestyle, as this will give you a lot of clues about the type of home they want. Ask them things about their lifestyle such as:

  • Where they went to college or university, what they studied?
  • What they do for a living? Where is their work located?
  • Do they do permanent or contract work?
  • Do they ever work from home?
  • Do they have a vehicle? How many? Plans to buy another?
  • Any current pets? Plans for pets?
  • Hobbies? What do you for fun on evenings/weekends?
  • Do they cook or do they prefer quick meals from the microwave?
  • Relatives (parents/siblings/grown children – where do they live?)
  • Friends – where do they live?
  • Are there any absolute essentials for the home/area they want to live in? Anything that would be a deal breaker?

Encourage the buyer to talk as much as possible about who they are and what they're looking for. They'll tell you most anything you want to know about them! People love to talk about themselves, and this is a real trust and relationship builder. Their answers to your questions can give you important information about the things important to them that can make them prefer one home over another.

Ask Them About Their Future Plans

It's especially important to find out how long the buyer envisions living in this home. Let's say it's a young couple buying a one bedroom apartment. Are they planning on having a child? If so, when? If they have a child, how long do they plan to stay in the home after that? Do they want to buy a larger home before the child is born?

Let's say the couple is planning on having a child within five years. Use your Internet connection to use a mortgage calculator to demonstrate to them how much equity they'll have built up in five years minus the cost of their mortgage. It will be reassuring for them knowing about how far ahead they'll be financially when baby arrives, especially if they're renting right now.

Finding out what the people want from the future lets you know what information you should be sending them via email over the months and years between this purchase and the next.

Why This Works

When you do all these things, you'll have done far more than any other buyer rep to understand them. They'll be immediately impressed and want to work with you. They'll be far more inclined to sign a Buyer Rep agreement with you once you've shown them a couple of properties that are very suitable for them.

When you do this, you'll be making life easier for yourself, too. You'll be able to show fewer properties to buyers and get more closings quicker. You can also count on lots of referrals down the line when you find lots of happy buyers exactly the home and lifestyle they're looking for!

To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blogLone Wolf blog.