Updated: Aug 25
After our last post, we can hopefully agree that creating an abundance of signable client appointment is one of the highest priorities of any real estate business.
If what all of us need as business owners is to have an “abundance” of appointments, then logically, this means that literally every real estate business on earth needs more than they currently have.
Put another way: Find me a business owner who says they don’t want more appointments… I’ll wait.
As a business owner, you typically start out getting your appointments through your own efforts. Your activities on a daily and weekly basis percolate leads into your database which you nurture into appointments. Throughout the course of your career, your appointments will shift towards being more driven either by increasing your marketing or putting more time into your team members.
Building a team and creating a culture of lead generation and appointment creation is a fantastic way to set up your business. Teaching your group how to create opportunities for themselves and giving them the support and tools they need to thrive creates a self fuelling machine which accelerates itself as it grows. If done right, bringing new members onto your team drives your appointment count while simultaneously feeding culture and growing profitability which expands opportunities to better support your team through leverage, leads or personal development. It’s a beautiful continuous loop if you do it right.
The challenge is that most new team members take a tremendous amount of time to get the knack of booking appointments.
Think back to when you first got your license and I’m guessing you can relate. Newer agents often struggle to get anyone to agree to meet with them, even when they are part of a larger organization whose reputation and service warrant them being a viable option for the client.
So what causes this gap? Why do new agents struggle to get appointments? Most importantly, as a leader, what can you do to break the pattern?
Right now many of you are probably saying that their leads need to mature before they are ready to meet OR maybe that the agents skills need to be developed so they have better dialogues with their prospects.
While you would be correct in saying that, the actual reason your agents aren’t getting people to meet with them might surprise you…
My company provides training to a lot of new agents, and I’ve personally coached hundreds of them. Some time ago, I noticed that we had a pattern in the conversation with members of our group who were struggling to secure a solid lead for a meeting.
The conversation goes something like this:
Agent: I don’t know why they won’t meet with me! I’ve followed up again and again but they aren’t willing to meet with me!
Coach: Help me understand, what specifically did they say when you offered them an appointment?
Agent: Holy crap, I just realized I never actually offered them the appointment.
This pattern is only part of the problem. Finding this gap leads us towards understanding the larger issue which underpins the entire problem.
The main reason new agents struggle to get appointments has nothing to do with their skill level or the people they are speaking with…
The main reason that new agents aren‘t getting appointments is their mindset.
To help you understand how to change this, I’ll dig down into 3 core mindset shifts your agents need to make in order to break the pattern:
Mindset shift #1: The VALUE shift - The appointment is something of value to the prospect. By offering it we are offering value and we owe it to our prospects to offer this to them
Mindset shift #2: The CONFIDENCE shift - As a professional we are prepared to deliver value to the client and we have the tools and support we need to do this
Mindset shift #3: The OFFERING shift - Understanding our value is only half the battle, to win the war we need to offer frequently and concisely to our prospects so we don’t leave opportunities on the table.
Mindset shift #1: The VALUE Shift
In our last piece we dug in on why agents covet appointments so much. There is plenty to warrant this and if you want to go back and dig in for yourself you can do that by clicking here.
The challenge is this: Because new agents know it’s really important to have appointments, they feel like agreeing to an appointment is a favour to them. Getting the client to agree to an appointment is so important that they work to justify the appointment and “ask” for it as opposed to “offering” or “suggesting” an appointment.
The reality is the complete opposite: you are the real estate professional! If someone is spending time in discussion with you, they are clearly interested in your opinion and, additionally, you would bring a lot of value if you were to have a formal meeting with them.
The first step is to shift your mindset to you bring value to them, and not vice versa.
To add to this perspective, remember that your clients are in discussion with you because they are interested in doing some form of a real estate transaction. Based on this, It’s only natural that an appointment would be the next step.
Think about it:
If you are considering a car repair you speak with them on the phone and then book an appointment
If you are in need of a new pair of glasses you speak with the optometrist and then book an appointment
If you are opening a new bank account, you speak with them and then book an appointment
It’s only natural that the next step is an appointment. All roads should lead to an appointment in the minds of your agents. It’s the only place things should lead in discussions with people. After we discuss their needs, the next step is always to set a time to meet and discuss in person.
Mindset shift #2: The CONFIDENCE shift
The next thing which is going to create pause for your agents when suggesting appointments is a lack of confidence. Sure, they know that an appointment is the natural progression in the relationship once the prospect has been qualified, but are they ready to deliver? We said that we “bring the value” to the appointment, but what if your agents question that?
Lacking confidence in the delivery of their presentation can often cripple agents who otherwise would have no trouble filling their calendar. Feeling they don’t know what they will do or say in the appointment subconsciously causes them to put baby steps in front of themselves so they don’t end up over their head.
Suggesting that they pop by for a look, or send some more information, or do some research, dilutes the agent's concerns, but it also has the same effect on the relationship.
Confidence can come from a variety of sources, often the most powerful of which are the ones least used.
Build your agents confidence through practice:
Many of the concerns new agents have are warranted. If they haven’t already done several hundred listing presentations they will likely not be entirely confident in how to present your value, address concerns and manage objections. Sorry - but practice makes perfect and you are much better off to practice with your peers than to practice on a live patient. Opportunity size varies, but commission could be anywhere from $5,000-$50,000 depending on the deal… practice what you’re going to say before you get to the table!
Build your agents confidence through your value proposition:
Give your agents an outstanding service package, beautiful marketing and the support they need to focus on their client instead of getting dragged back into the details continuously. Make sure they know the companies stats and track record and the “Why” behind the organization. If you take the onus off their sales skills and help them sell the brand, it removes the need for them to deliver as much value personally.
Build your agents confidence through coaching and affirmative thought:
I’ve had amazing experiences with affirmative thought and visualizations throughout my life. Even if you aren’t very confident in it, you can do small things to create a positive mindset in your team. Share success stories, share gratitude and give kudos to your team on an ongoing basis so they are constantly reminded of how much more your team brings to the table compared with your competitors.
If the VALUE shift is what it takes to help your agents offer more appointments, then the CONFIDENCE shift is what helps them break down anything holding them back. This means the only piece left is to actually get them doing it!
Mindset Shift #3: The OFFERING Shift
Don’t worry, the hardest part is now behind us. Once you have your agents believing in their value AND their abilities to deliver at a high level, all you need to do is help them to open the flood gates.
You might have noticed that I haven’t referred to “asking” for an appointment except for briefly in the first mindset shift. I think this is a point which deserves a second look: If we are bringing value to the meeting, we shouldn’t be asking people if they are willing to take part in it. We should Offer the appointment. We should Suggest that an appointment is the next step. We should do this consistently and, when doing it, we should be crystal clear about what we are suggesting.
Equally important, is that your offers are not passive aggressive:
If the way you offer leaves the onus on your prospect to ask YOU for the appointment, that’s passive aggressive!
👎 “Well if you want to get together and learn more, you know how to reach me”
👎 “Don’t forget to call me when you’re ready”
👎 “I’d love to help when you’re ready to meet”
Make sure you aren’t cornering your clients into asking. If your messaging does this then a huge portion of the population will not have the confidence to ask and you will lose the opportunity.
Instead, be incredibly clear with your prospects when you offer:
👍 “The next step is to get together and look at some numbers and timeframes, I’m available at ____ or ____, would either of those times work for you?”
👍 “I can’t say what your property would sell for without taking a look. I’m in the area and I can pop by tomorrow at 4pm or would 6pm be better?”
…or even just as simple as:
👍 “Let’s meet, I’m excited to dig deeper on this!”
Once you have your OFFERING down there is only one thing left: Offer More.
This is the final step in the OFFERING Shift. Well run businesses have daily and weekly goals on how many contacts they make, leads they generate and appointments they book. Why not how many times per day you offer an appointment?
If you had 2 agents of similar skill calling the same list and one offered appointments 5 times and the other only offered once, which would book more appointments?
I think it’s fair to assume that the number of appointments you book will move in step with the number times you offer them.
What would happen if you ran a team contest to offer 5 appointments every day?
I bet you'd move the needle… try it out and prove me wrong, you’ll win either way!
Helping your agents understand and feel confident in their value is what will pave the way for them to feel confident in creating the opportunities they need for success. Structuring the way they offer and helping them offer more will have them finding opportunities where before they didn’t notice them. Bringing this kind of value will make your culture a place they couldn’t imagine living without.
The best part is that it doesn’t take much to start changing this. Start by incorporating little mindset shifts and encouragement into your meetings and enhance it with training on their skills. Pretty soon you’ll see things showing up which weren’t there before, and when you do, let me know! I’d love to hear about it.
As always, thanks for your time.