Star agent makes painful client conversation easy

An agent who averages 300 sales per year has revealed how to make vendors upgrade their homes – without damaging the relationship.

The secret is to get clients to tell the agent all the things that are wrong with their home rather than the other way around, according to Leigh Brown, an American agent who is one of the top RE/MAX performers in the world.

Ms Brown told the Ideas Exchange conference that she asks clients to rate their own home – but with a catch.

Vendors will usually give their home a score of 10 out of 10 unless the question is qualified, she said.

So Ms Brown explains that a rating of one means “busted-out windows and pee in the carpet”, while a rating of 10 means “new construction, the best new countertops, new flooring, the best appliances on the market, it’s been painted and it smells good”.

Most vendors will then reduce their rating to a seven, according to Ms Brown, who follows up by asking what work improvements are needed to get the home up to a rating of 10.

“Now that seller’s going to say, ‘We need paint, we need flooring, we never updated the kitchen, the yard looks awful’,” she said.

“They start to tell you all the things that you already knew they needed – but now you’re not the bad guy anymore.”

Once agents have convinced vendors to list all of their property’s flaws, they can then make themselves look like heroes by presenting solutions, Ms Brown said.

“You can say, ‘I’ve got people. You said you had some terrible problems with your siding – I’ve got a siding guy. You need some help with your carpet – I’ve got a carpet guy.’ Now you’re providing solutions instead of beating them up.”

[Related: James Tostevin reveals how to hold firm on commissions]

 

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