Understanding the Mindset of FSBOs and Expireds

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To be successful when prospecting, you need to understand the mindset of those you're calling.


First, let's take a look at why a person would be a For-Sale-by-Owner.

■ The person may have had a bad experience dealing with agents.

If this isn't the reason, it's probably that

■ The person doesn't know any better. He or she is an FSBO simply because he or she doesn't understand the value that an agent brings to the table. Usually, FSBO are motivated by one or more of three factors:

- They want to save money. They mistakenly believe that saving on our commission means more money left for them. You and I both know, however, that selling on their own increases the odds that they are going to pocket less in the end. (More about this later.)

- They think they'll have more flexibility. "I won't be tied to any one broker," they believe. "I will be in more control."

- Their ego gets in the way. "I can do as good a job or better than any realtor," they claim.


Expireds are going to be feeling any combination of three things:

■ They are not opposed to working with agents. They already listed with someone, so we know that at one point they didn't have a problem working with agents. They may still feel that way,

■ They may be upset with agents—or with the real estate industry as a whole. As in "I was on the fence, then I gave it to this agent. They tied us up for six months and the house still didn't sell. You guys all stink."

■ They feel rejected. Did you ever call an expired who said, "No, the house didn't sell, and we aren't selling at all right now"? That might be because the expireds are taking it as a personal rejection. They are personally upset. You have to envision the situation here. They are all excited about moving. An agent comes in and says, "No problem, here's what I can do for you." "Oh great," they think. "Our savior." Six months later, 100 buyers through the doors, ads, open houses, exposure, exposure, exposure, and basically what the seller is feeling is that everyone said, "We don't like your house. It stinks."

My question at this point: is the seller in the presence of what he or she is committed to—the reason for starting the whole process—or in the presence of her or his thoughts and feelings—and upset about what happened? Thoughts and feelings, right? What you need to do is bring back to the surface the reason for starting the whole process. (Note: Don't ever address on the telephone what the other agent did or didn't do. You just don't need to get into that.)

What I am telling you to do with expireds is get them out of the box they're trapped in and bring them back to what they committed to by renewing their motivation. I'll tell you how in a minute.

But first, I want to make sure I nail a point down with you. We went through the mindset of FSBOs and expireds. What is the number-one key that you need to focus on in both scenarios? It is to find out what they are committed to. To demonstrate this point, I always call FSBOs and expireds during class in The Power Program getting them on the phone right in front of the class. And, two out of three times, I get an appointment.

Afterward, agents always come up to me and say, "Darryl, I am amazed at how great you did!" or "I am shocked that you were able to close on that appointment." But the reason I am so successful is because my calls are never intended to manipulate the seller. It is never about me succeeding or even about me getting the appointment. Instead, it is about finding out what these people are committed to and seeing if I can help them. Now, I'm positive that the best way to help these people is for them to meet with me.

Sellers put themselves in a box. FSBOs have convinced themselves that they can save money by selling on their own, that they will have more flexibility, or that they can do a better job than an agent. Expireds are upset with agents or they feel rejected. In either case, we are just dealing with a bunch of opinions and interpretations. These are not facts, not absolute truths. So, when I speak with sellers like these, my only task is to uncover what they are committed to and to help them see this commitment clearly once again.

You see, when you learn what they are committed to and you have a conversation with them about this, you'll find that they really want to give you the appointment—because they want somebody who cares about what they want. The truth is, if you can help them achieve their goals, then, of course, it is in their best interest to speak with you.

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