Updated: Aug 25
Real estate pros seem to have an obsession with appointments.
We covet them, count them and compare our sales with our appointments obsessively. In many other professions, appointments and meetings aren’t always something people look forward to. So what makes them so great? Are they really that special? Should you catch this bug and start to obsess over the number of meetings you go on?
Short answer: Yes.
First I want to tackle Why appointments are so important and even more importantly, What do I mean when I say an appointment. In my next post, I’m going to share one weird reason you likely aren’t getting as many as you need.
Before we start, let’s get specific about what we mean when we say “appointment”.
We don’t mean appointments to meet your buyers at a property. We don’t mean an appointment with a friend to go door knocking. We don’t mean an appointment with your girlfriends to grab coffee or meet at the gym. We mean appointments with prospective clients to win their business. Today I’m going to dig deep on Why they are so important, How you can use them to improve your business and I’ll even share a hyper specific Definition you should use to differentiate between what’s truly an appointment, and what shouldn’t count.
So Why are appointments so important?
Why is this the ONE thing? What is it that makes them more important than the number of daily conversations with prospects, database adds, follow up calls, social media posts, flyers delivered, site registrations or anything else you can/should be aware of on a daily basis in your business?
Appointments are a key conversion moment
All of the above metrics are important, but they can have wildly different chances of leading to anything. You can add 1000 names to your database and it might not make as much of a difference as you had hoped. You can receive 1000 website registrations and it might not lead to any deals. You could deliver 1000 flyers and not receive a single call. (I would know, I’ve done it many times!)
The point is that most of the above metrics are VERY high in your deals conversion process. Picture your deal flow being a funnel, the above examples would all be at the top of the funnel. There is a lot that needs to take place between now and when they turn into a closed deal… so When is it that they actually become important?
Calls, flyers, web registrations, referrals, flyers etc, these all are things which fill your funnel with opportunities. These are Important, but they are Far from a deal because the individuals who make up these metrics could be anywhere in their process. In the 1000 website registrations there could be 800 which aren’t even considering a real estate transaction, another 180 which wouldn’t qualify and the remaining 20 Might do a transaction in the next 18 months.
Going back to the sales funnel, you will go through a process of filtering out the tire kickers and building relationships as potential clients prepare to actually make a move. At some moment in time, some of these prospects go from being a name in your database, to a client of yours.
Typically the moment where they go from being a name to a client is during an appointment.
Appointments are a key conversion moment because they're where you convince your prospects to become your clients.
Disclaimer: There will be challenges between when someone first becomes your client and when the deal closes and you get paid. So don’t run to the bank after a successful appointment and fill up your credit card in anticipation of the commission cheque. But you can assume that when someone agrees to become your client, you have a Much higher chance of them closing. This is why they are so important, appointments are the key moment where you take the globs of people in your database and drill them down to a much smaller list of true opportunities.
Okay, so, all appointments with new prospects are important, right?
Well not quite. One agent might attend ten appointment and sign nine of them. Another agent might attend ten appointments and only sign 1. Obviously your skill level is something that comes into play here, but there is also another issue which is more critical to the topic at hand: Appointment Quality.
How soon is the prospect you are meeting with actually planning to move?
Are they considering hiring you for the job?
What are the prospects goals and ideal outcomes from the appointment?
Most importantly: Do they Know the purpose of the meeting is to decide if they will become your clients?
Meeting someone a few years before they sell their property to give renovation ideas and discuss the market is a great meeting to attend… and yet it’s not the kind of appointment that is going to move the dial for you financially this year.
Meeting someone who wants to purchase their first home, but need to build savings and credit for a few years, is a good meeting… not an appointment.
Meeting someone who is waiting for their mother to pass on before they sell the family home is a good meeting… not an appointment.
Am I saying that you shouldn’t go on these 'appointments'? Not at all! I’ve been on thousands of these and many of them eventually led to a follow up appointment, where they became my clients. The point is that these are NOT key conversion moments.
What you want is to focus on setting appointments with qualified people, who are close to transacting and are considering doing business with you.
On my team we boiled appointments down to a 3 word description:
Signable Appointments Attended
I’m obsessed with business. I absolutely love it.
To me its the ultimate game. Even better, it’s a game where if you get good at it, you can grow wealthy… Not a bad perk in my opinion!
If business is a game, the rules are written in math. This means that if you work at it, you can reduce your real estate business to an equation and “solve” what you need to do in order to reach your goals. Remember how I said earlier that appointments are a key conversion moment? Well essentially what we’ve found is that appointments are the ideal conversion point to build your business plan around.
Since they are a key conversion moment, it allows us to constantly point everything at generating quality appointments and then converting them into contracts. It simplifies the entire business down to questions we can ask our selves to drive growth:
How many appointments do I need to reach my goal?
How do I create more appointments?
How do I raise the quality of the appointments I create?
How can I better convert the appointments that I go on?
How could I automate the process of creating and converting them?
All of a sudden, this business is very simple. This level of simplicity is exactly why top agents are unanimously obsessed with their appointments. We track our appointments and conversions and use it to forecast and predict our business for the year. We use it as a yard stick to figure out if we are on track or if we need to catch up. We look back at the end of the year and use the conversions we achieved to create a pro forma for the coming year so our goals are more likely to be reached.
Understanding the relationship between the number of appointments you attend and the number of clients you get out of those is the key to understanding your business.
As your obsession grows, you will likely become fascinated with tracking and forecasting. To help you on this journey, I’d like to share why I am so obsessed with my three word description “Signable Appointments Attended”.
To get value from your efforts in tracking your business, you will need to ensure that you are collecting Clean Data. We ran into challenges when we realized that we were collecting the wrong information and it’s what led us to these 3 amazing little words I keep repeating.
Imagine for a moment that you are tracking appointments. Well, what constitutes an appointment? Is it when you get off the phone with someone having agreed to meet? Is it after the meeting? What if you meet someone but they aren’t ready to sign, so you go back the next week and meet them again and get the contract signed… Is that two appointments? Or one?
Lets say you track appointments when you book them, and someone rescheduled 3 times. When you meet them, they sign! In this case your stats will be confusing because you signed 100% of the potential opportunities but you only signed ⅓ of the appointments…
What if you attend an appointment but need to go back for a follow up to get the contract signed? Well if you are tracking every appointment you attend, you would show yourself signing ½ of the appointments…
Signable Appointments Attended forces you to get clear with yourself about the appointments you are going on. Be honest with yourself - decide if you can sign them before you knock on the door. If you do this and you don’t sign them, there are only 2 things you need to look at:
Improve your pre appointment qualification so you have a better understanding of what might stop someone from signing
Improve your presentation skills and objection handling so you get the contract next time
Appointments are the one pivotal moment where every opportunity will either turn towards success or veer off towards failure. Focus on them, track them, improve your process in them and most importantly obsess over them! Your business, and your wallet will thank you.
As always, thanks for giving me your time.