Don't Hide Your Safety
Many times, when a real estate professional gets a sign call or an online lead, that lead wants to see a property “right away”. “Oh yea!!! A new potential client!!” We don’t want to run the risk of that person going to someone else, so we usually agree, and we toss our safety concerns right out the window.
As I’ve been teaching my safety classes, the one thing that comes up as a topic time and time again is how to handle these calls. Objections aren’t something that is taught in real estate school, but it is a skill that is very necessary when it comes to your safety.
Some of the common things we hear when we get those calls:
“I don’t have time to come to the office or get coffee. I just want to see the house.”
“I’m sitting out in front right now. It’ll only take 10 minutes out of your day.”
“I don’t need to talk to a lender.”
How do you respond? Do you have a list of objections to use?
We will try to come up with all sorts of replies to these when the most important answer is so simple. “For my safety, I do not meet anyone at a property. We must meet at our office or a local restaurant prior to seeing any home.” Boom. How easy is that? It’s the only objection you need in this situation. If they are still not welcoming the idea of meeting you elsewhere, move on.
Why we insist on hiding our safety concerns is beyond me. I did an informal poll a couple of years ago with the leads that came in from on line portals, my website and so on. During our first conversations, when I was asked to meet them at a property, my response was always the line above. At least 80% of those folks stated: “I never thought about your safety” and agreed to meet in public first. The other 20% didn’t care so I thanked them and hung up the phone.
Work on your sign call and internet lead objections. Keep them professional and positive. You can tie them into the safety objection above. “I would love to show you that home, but it is occupied and we will need to make an appointment. Why don’t we meet at my office?” which usually brings “I don’t have time to meet at your office” or “I just want to see the house”. That creates the perfect opportunity for your safety objection. Education is a big part of our job. Don’t leave the safety conversation out.
Remember, that first meeting is everything – it’s about getting to know this person, what their intentions are, are they serious buyers or tire kickers, if they’ve been to a lender and so on. It’s also about that gut instinct – is your gut telling you something that you shouldn’t ignore? I’ve had my gut throw a red flag at a first meeting a couple of times. Thankfully, we were in a public space and I was able to gracefully excuse myself.
Bottom line is this: no sale is worth risking your safety.
Emmary Simpson, Chair – Education Committee