Here’s a scenario you might relate to…
An agent says to me “now if I could just get my sellers off the fence I’ll have a really good year.”
I asked her to tell me more.
“Well, I have four sellers that are thinking about selling but they don’t seem to have any motivation. They don’t have any urgency. It’s frustrating because I want to help them out but they aren’t responding.”
Can you relate?
I’m guessing you can. This happens a lot.
Here’s what I said, “let me ask you this, do these sellers have a clear picture in their head of where they are going? Meaning, have they picked the home they want to live in? Or, have they at least articulated the kind of home they want and do they believe that home exists?”
Here’s the psychology of fence sitting. People will not move until they have a clear picture of where they are moving to. People will not step into a big black hole of uncertainty. That’s way too scary for them. They need to feel certain that a solution exists for them on the other side of selling.
Let’s use an airplane as a metaphor. You would not get on a plane unless you knew where the plane was going. You also would not endure the hassle of the flight unless you were clear on why you were making the flight in the first place.
So, not only do sellers need a clear picture of where they are going, in order for them to endure the hassle of selling they also need to be clear on why moving will result in a better situation for them. They need to know why the new home will make them feel good or solve a current problem.
For fence sitters motivation isn’t the issue, clarity is the issue. The solution isn’t to try to motivate them. The solution is to give them clarity.
When a client says to you “we’re thinking about selling but we’re just not sure when we will sell” in many cases the issue isn’t when it’s where. Once they know where they are going and the benefits of that new place, the timing will be immediate.
Here are a few ways to help your clients:
- Magic Wand – ask them to wave their magic wand. Say “so, if you could wave your magic wand, what kind of home would you have. Where would it be, what would it look like, and what would it feel like?” The ‘magic’ of this question is that it puts your clients into a state of make believe. In the state of make believe there are no risks and most people will really open up.
- Show Them – show them homes that fit their needs and satisfy their wants. This sounds simple but it is often overlooked. Instead of just looking at listings online, get them inside of homes that are for sale. The physical act of walking into a home will give them so much more clarity than looking at a computer screen.
- Just for Fun – a ‘fun’ way to inspire clients to get out and look is to say “just for fun, let’s go out and look at some homes that might be a fit.” Similar to the magic wand question, using these words takes the risk out of looking and turns the process into a lighthearted game instead of the daunting task of selling a home.
- Use a Calendar – once your clients believe a solution exists and they are clear on the benefits of moving, it’s time to use a calendar to help them along in the process. Print 3 to 4 months of a blank calendar, put it in front of your clients and ask “so, in a perfect world, when would you like to move into the new home?” Pick a date and work backwards from there while you clarify all of the essential steps to help them get to their new home.
Remember, clarity is power. If a client seems unmotivated it is because they are unclear.
In your role as trusted advisor, it is your job to instill clarity so that they can move to the home of their dreams.