Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : I would rather ask a good question than have a great answer...

I would rather ask a good question than have a great answer...

We in the business of real estate sales often feel the need to prove ourselves.

We like to prove how smart we are.  How much experience we have.  How we are the "local expert".

And we usually do that by talking.  Blah, blah, blah...

I used to be that way, too.  I thought I was the smartest agent around, and wanted to prove it.  But somewhere along the line, I learned that it was OK to say, "I don't know, but I can find the answer for you."

What a relief!  I no longer needed all the answers.  That being said...

I would rather ask a good question than have a great answer.

When I meet with a client for the first time, I no longer feel the need to prove myself.  They have, after all, contacted me, and they did so for a reason.  The last thing I want to do is talk myself out of a deal.  So I want my clients do most of the talking...

When we ask questions of our clients, we are showing them that we care about them.  We are interested in their thoughts, dreams, opinions, and ideas.

Good questions will get the clients talking.  When the client is talking, I am listening, not thinking of what I need to say next.  Listening is an easy skill once you master it...

There are a few questions I often ask when meeting with clients:

  1. So what's going on?
    My first question when sitting with a client (buyer or seller).  It breaks the ice, and gets the conversation started.  Open ended, the client will usually give you a brief summary of their history and the direction they are hoping to go.

  2. When are you hoping to move?
    This question tells me the level of motivation of my client.  I love when they answer, "As soon as possible." or "Right away".  Let's go!

  3. What would you be happy selling your home for today?
    I think this is the ultimate question.  It gives me an idea of how realistic a client is, and offers me a great opportunity to lead the conversation toward my comparative market analysis (CMA).

  4. When will you be ready to put your home on the market?
    Again, a good determinant of motivation.  I want to make it clear I am ready to go when they are.

I am sure these questions won't work for everyone, but I do believe in the premise that less is more...

The less I talk, the better.

Ken

 

 

Comment balloon 5 commentsKen Tracy • January 25 2012 02:30PM

Comments

Excellent questions, and a great reminder that a listening skill is key to our success in this people-centric biz.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) about 6 years ago

Hi Sea to Sky.  Thanks!  I remember when I started, my listing "presentation" was HORRIBLE!

Much better today...

Thanks again,

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 6 years ago

This reminds me of individuals in our industry that tell people what they want to hear instead of telling them the truth, the reality, and what they need to hear. Honesty cannot be beat.

Posted by Victor Zuniga (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties) about 6 years ago

Hi Victor.  I don't get your comment.  I am a listener.  I can steer a conversation w/ questions...

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 6 years ago

Hi again Victor.  I don't tell people what they want to hear.  I ask them what they want...

There is a big difference.

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 6 years ago

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