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  • Writer's pictureJames Busuttil

Qualifying Buyers and Sellers

Firstly I would like to say that I believe that everyone who contacts you has done so for some reason that is related to property and therefore should be added to your CRM. If they are not qualified today, they may well be at some point. The principal in this blog post is to figure out how much of your time and resources you should invest now.

I base my qualifying on three principles, Why? When? and What if? Coincidentally the acronym WWW which we know well from URLs fits perfectly. My method works just as well with both buyers and seller.

For the less experienced, I would like to point out that these three questions are not asked directly to a buyer or a seller. As a sales person you should be having conversations with your customers and during these conversations parts of the answers to the three qualifying questions would automatically become known to you. The key therefore is to be asking yourself if you know the full answer to Why they want to buy or sell? When they expect to buy or sell? And What If they don’t find/get what they want?

Based on your knowledge of the customer you will need to wisely decide how much of your precious time you should be investing at this time. It is also important to understand that client qualification evolves. A “C” customer today may well be an “A” customer quite soon. So you really need to keep in touch and keep having those conversations and asking yourself if you know the current answers to WWW.

Why? knowing why a customer wishes to buy or sell is a huge eye opener. Everyone has reasons and knowing them is often more than enough to give you a clear indication of the importance and urgency that has been pegged to this move. For example, we have sold our home and need to find a new home is far more important and urgent than “Our children age two and three are growing and they will need their own bedroom. Why is a great place to start understanding your customers needs. You would also wish to place weight on whether a customer needs to move or just wants to move.

When? In the examples above I have outlined what at face value could be an A and a C customer however this is not always the case. You will need to establish by when they expect this to happen to help you qualify better. Using the same two examples, they have just signed a POS on their home but it is eighteen months long and is subject to obtaining development permits. Does this customer still qualify as an A customer at this time? You will need to know more. In the second example although it sounds like a C, you may find that they also want outdoor space for entertainment. Or, they now have much better incomes and wish to invest more of their resources in their home. So the kids bedrooms may not be the only reason that is instigating the move. Either way you will need to steer the conversation towards their time frame expectations. I have heard things like “Oh, we are not in big rush, so long as we sign a POS in the next month or so before we have to leave on a three year overseas job posting.“ Or, “Yes we really would like to get this done quite quickly, definitely in the next year or two.“ Everyone sees fast or slow from a different perspective.

What if? Generally, the what if answer is important if you are still considering the customer as an A or maybe a B. If you are about to invest serious time with a customer you need to know if there is a plan B. You may find that the customers who sold their home on a six month agreement has alternate accommodation or is happy to rent until they find precisely what they are looking for. In most cases this should not deter you however, it is something that you should know up front.

The above pretty much gives you an outline on how to qualify customers to allow you to choose how to invest your time and resources. I’m always happy to help so if you have questions or would like to start a conversation about this or any real estate topic feel free to reach out on Facebook, WhatsApp or LinkedIn

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