There's no shortage of challenges when you buy or sell a home.
“In real estate, there’s almost always a major life event happening at the time of the home purchase. Your client might be going through downsizing, upsizing, divorce, getting married, having a baby, etc." says Debra Beagle, co-owner and Managing Broker of the #1 RE/MAX team in the world.
In fact, sales for high-ticket products (think above $10,000) require a minimum of seven touches to convert. There's just no way around it: the more expensive the product, the more complex the sale.
But that doesn’t stop realtors from crushing multi-million dollar deals. So, what’s their secret?
Here are actionable lessons on how to boost conversions on big-ticket items straight from real estate agents who regularly close million-dollar transactions.
Lesson 1 - Set up a solid process
High-end buyers tend to be discerning, cautious and usually have a lot of questions. After all, there is a ton of risk (and more than a few stakeholders) involved in a single transaction.
The best realtors have systems and processes in place to consistently deliver value and answer all their prospects questions, without losing time or efficiency.
Top-notch team leaders like Debra focus on training agents to be unparalleled sources of intel for their prospects, providing regular updates on the market via a simple, focused CRM which also helps ensure agents are following up with leads.
Data from the Sales Management Association shows that 90% of all companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked among the highest performing brands in their market.
Boosting conversions on big-ticket items is all about having a repeatable and efficient process.
No matter what tool you use, make sure you have a rock-solid system so that you never have to wonder who to contact first when you sit down at your desk every morning.
Lesson 2 - Use thought leadership to build authority
According to an Edelman and LinkedIn survey, 82% of business decision makers found that a brand's ability to demonstrate thought leadership increased their level trustworthiness.
And trust is everything when closing a complex sale.
While there are many ways to become a thought leader, one of the best methods is to simply become the most valuable resource in your market. For instance, luxury agents like Gary Ashton leverage their superior expertise to sell million-dollar homes to former senators, CEOs, and even the GM of the Tennessee Titans.
And Gary knows everything about his market. From the diverse kinds of communities his prospects want to the Italian tiles in the kitchen, he can inform his potential buyers with every last detail they want to know (but don’t want to spend the time researching themselves).
Lesson 3 - Be empathetic
Back in the day, "Always Be Closing" was the norm among sales reps. But today, that old adage just doesn't cut it, especially when prospecting big-ticket buyers.
Today, you need to be genuinely empathetic and knowledgeable about the nuances of your market. As a salesperson, it’s your job to put yourself in your client’s shoes. After all, their decision will have a tangible impact on the people in their life, their office or their community.
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
- What can my prospect stand to gain by working with me?
- What could my prospect lose by working with me?
- What other decisions makers influence the transaction?
In real estate, prospects make life-changing decisions (such as buying a home) that can bring about some major anxiety. So why not go the extra mile to connect with your clients on an emotional level?
For example, in addition to always being available to answer customer questions, Rainbow Russell, Client Care Coordinator for CRG Companies, attends all closing meetings, bringing along a basket with goodies like coffee mugs, a jar of local honey and a thank you card.
It's a little extra lovin' that helped the team triple their conversions to over $25 million in sales volume.
Lesson 4 - Build symbiotic alliances
Let's circle back to Debra and Gary for a minute.
In 2011, Debra found herself with a ton of listings and not enough time in the day.
But when she partnered with Gary — who was bringing a steady flow of buyer leads — the business simply exploded.
At the time, Debra had reached approximately $9 million in revenue and Gary and his team were at about $79 million. But today, their partnership has resulted in a rockstar team on track to hit an annual revenue of over $400 million.
The key takeaway from this is the value Gary and Debra could provide their clients due to leveraged community connections. Introducing your prospect to someone who can solve a specific problem for them offers the kind of value they never forget.
More importantly, showing your prospect that you have ‘connections’ helps them see you not just as a “salesperson”, but as someone reliable with skin in the game.
Lesson 5 - Follow an ‘anti-sell’ approach
In big-ticket transactions, the stakes are high for both agents and customers. Remember, your job is about more than simply selling a solution.
No matter how big, savvy or influential the client, they're still human. Keep it real and remain focused on how you can solve their immediate problem.
Be that one person who genuinely gets it and they’ll remember you as a trusted ally, not just another pushy sales rep. And that is how you sell like a realtor.