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Best of 2015: Screening Prospects Before a Showing

There's just 10 publishing days left in 2015, and we're continuing an annual traditionannual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article is part of a 12-part series on Realtor safety that originally ran back in September. It's #10 in our countdown:


question mark faces 1"Always bring someone on an appointment." Nice idea, but unrealistic. When something is ALWAYS important then it becomes NEVER important. However, understanding how to evaluate the prospect, property, and circumstances is the first step in assessing the overall risk of an appointment so you can make better decisions about your safety and the safety of your colleagues.

Evaluating a Prospect

Evaluating a prospect in your initial conversation is easily done with a sales technique you are probably already using – Active Listening. Simply put, Active Listening is a conversational style that allows you to gain the trust of the prospect and gets them to provide additional information. In addition to allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of a legitimate prospect's needs and wants, it also allows you to uncover inconsistencies and red flags if a prospect is not legitimate.

Let's take a look at an excerpt from an initial phone conversation:

Prospect: I saw this house online and I'd like to see it.

Agent: OK, what about the house appealed to you?

Prospect: I just liked it.

The prospect's answer should serve as a red flag. If someone liked a house enough to take the time to see it, there should be at least one specific thing that was attractive to him/her.