Why prospect FSBOs? Because they give the best referrals
by Chett Coombs, on May 26, 2017
In an ideal world, 100% of your real estate business would magically appear from referrals. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
While that may not be realistic for every agent, it does help to remember referrals come when expectations are exceeded. The book Raving Fans explains that people typically don’t tell their friends and associates about satisfactory or average service— but they rave about extraordinary service.
If there is any sort of client that is primed to be a raving fan of your service, it is a FSBO-turned client. In fact, investing in relationships with your FSBO contacts will go farther than any other form of marketing. If and when your FSBO contacts do list with an agent, they’ll remember you as helpful and available because of what you’ve already put into the relationship.
Consider John’s (a typical FSBO) before and after FSBO selling experience.
Before Using an Agent
John just got an exciting new job, but it required them to move across state. While their family was super excited about the idea of moving closer to the ocean, the cost of living was going to be a bit higher. Determined to make this adventure possible, they wanted to save a few bucks by selling their home without an agent.
John had dabbled in marketing before. “How hard could it be?” he thought. A little touchup paint here and there, some photo’s with his new iPhone, and some cookies at his open house seemed like the recipe for success.
Within a week, he had 3-4 showings, but only low-ball offer, even though his house was already listed below what he thought was market value. He finally had his open house, but only 2 people came to it, one of which was a neighbor just trying to see their home.
After 3 weeks of rushing home to help his wife show the house again and again, John finally got a decent offer for their home. “Finally, light at the end of the tunnel,” John thought. That excitement faded quickly when the buyer backed out because they couldn’t get approved. “Why would someone put an offer on a house without knowing if they could afford it? Who are these people?” John asked his wife in frustration.
Extremely frustrated and worried that they may not sell their home in time for this new move, John reached our to Mary, a real estate agent that had been emailing him some advice and periodically calling to see how the process was going.
After Using an Agent
Even though John had already taken photo’s with his new iPhone, Mary had a photographer come and stage his house for photos. Initially annoyed at the idea that his photo’s were not good enough, John was quickly surprised at how much better his house looked online with professional photos.
Mary listed John’s house on the MLS, which was obviously important because it immediately started sending potential buyers to his home despite Mary’s decision to put the listing price much higher than what John thought was realistic. He had 4 showings the first evening. The best part was that it all happened while his family went to dinner and a movie. Mary ran the whole process, which was really nice for a change.
After 3 days and 9 showings, Mary received a purchase offer for their home. While initially excited, John felt a little skeptical because he had a previous offer fall through. To his surprise, Mary had required the buyer’s agent to also send a pre-approval letter from the buyer’s lender. When Mary presented the offer to John, she explained the entire contract and make some recommendations for a counter offer. Within a few days of negotiations with the buyer’s agent, Mary had not only secured a purchase contract for the home, but setup all the steps that needed to happen prior to the sale, which she scheduled just before their muchly anticipated move.
Not only had Mary successfully sold their home, but she sold it at a price that more than paid her commission. John had become a raving fan of Mary and her service. Whenever a family or friend tells John they may be selling their home, John’s first response is “don’t attempt doing it alone. Call the agent I used. Trust me, I’ve been there.”
John and Mary in this story are obviously fictional, but the before and after experience of many FSBOs-turned-clients is not.
Not only can FSBO leads be a great source of listings, but they can be your best source of referrals too. Do everything you can to foster a strong relationship with all of your FSBO leads. That way, when they are ready to sell or when they have friends looking to list with an agent, they will call you every time.
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