How convenient would it be for any real estate professional if every prospect that came your way was referred to you by someone who says, “Hey, hire <your name here>. That agent is super awesome!” Reality, however, is quite different; and for the most part, agents should allocate a good amount of time and energy in prospecting for real estate leads. With that, it is crucial to make every call count; and understanding a prospect’s motivation will greatly help real estate leads prospectors make the most out of their calls and get that appointment set with the right kind of leads.
Motivation is the key driver for anyone to do… well… just about anything. So, understanding a prospect’s motivation is one of the best practices that agents should do since it serves as a barometer to gauge whether or not a home buyer is ready to take the next steps in the home buying process. Often, when an agent gets push-back from a lead, it is because there is something about the prospect’s motivation that the agent did not fully understand.
Here are 5 questions that leads prospectors should ask their real estate leads to help understand their level of motivation:
What is the motivation for your home search?
This is the very first thing that agents should understand. Often, there is an important reason driving the home search—a job transfer, someone who wants to be nearer to family, an elderly couple downsizing, et cetera. Buyers with a real need to buy have a sense of urgency to get things going. Keeping your lead focused on their motivation during your conversation will help make your prospecting calls as meaningful as it is as personal. The last thing you want is to waste your time setting an appointment with a lead who just wants you to bring them around town to view a couple of homes without any real intention of purchasing.
How have you been doing your home search?
The amount of time and effort that a prospect goes through in their home search will give you a good idea on how motivated they are. Those who would take the effort to go to open houses on top of performing multiple home searches—whether through the internet portals or other whatever means are available—are most likely more motivated to buy.
How soon do you need to be in your new home?
Timing is another important aspect that agents should know and appreciate. Leads who need to be in their new home within the next 30 days are definitely more motivated to go to the next step in the buying process than those who are 6 months out and beyond. Of course, just because a lead is a few months out does not mean that they are not ready to buy. A follow up question you can ask is if they found a home that perfectly fits their criteria, will they be ready to write an offer. If the answer to that is yes, then you are talking to a very motivated lead.
Are you currently renting or do you own your home?
The home ownership situation of a buyer is another huge factor that real estate leads prospectors should consider. Renting, for instance, can be double-edge. On one end, renters would have a monthly budget set to pay for their rent, ergo, if an agent can find a home and setup a mortgage plan that equals the buyer’s monthly rent, then we have a lead that has the capacity to pay for a home. On the other hand, a renter can be on a long-term lease and may be unable to buy until the lease expires (unless there’s a clause in the contract that can allow the renter to get off the lease sooner).
For homeowners, there are a number of things that a leads prospector should take into consideration as well. Do they need to sell before they buy? How much do they still owe on their home? These questions will determine how ready your prospect is to make that home purchase.
Have you spoken with a lending professional?
When you go out shopping, it is almost instinctive for you to check if you have your wallet with you—when you find what you want to buy, you got to have enough to pay for it. The same goes for real estate, a truly motivated buyer make sure to get pre-approved by a lender to know how much he/she can afford. If a lead is not yet pre-approved, if they are willing to talk to a lending a professional and get that pre-approval, that is another good sign of a motivated buyer.
What is a realistic budget for you every month to pay for your home?
Here is a question that not every agent asks—what budget is realistic for you? Even if a buyer lead got pre-approved, the pre-approval is usually based on the numbers that the lender is privy to. However, this does not take into consideration the lifestyle that the prospect may want to maintain. Although the numbers might say a lead can “ideally” afford x-amount for their home, it may entail them to make sacrifices to their current lifestyle—sacrifices that they may not be willing to make in the long run.
Every agent should dedicate enough time and effort in understanding the motivation of your real estate leads. The level of motivation of a prospect will determine what kind of service we can provide to our leads: whether to give them the most updated listings to aid them in their home search or set that appointment now to help them fulfill their real estate needs.
For more prospecting tips, visit www.RealEstateLeadsProspector.com. Need help managing your leads? Call 407-401-9225 to find out how we can make prospecting easy for you.