November 13, 2015 — Last week I found myself watching part of the Canada-based “Love It or List It” TV show. If you haven’t seen the program it is a reality type real estate show where interior designer Hilary Farr remodels a (e.g.) couple’s existing home so they’ll “love it” and keep it; but, at the same time, real estate agent David Visent tries to get the couple to ‘list’ the remodeled home, sell it, and buy their “dream” casa, I assume, from David.
So Here’s The Scoop: I have seen parts of other real estate shows that are similar and quite frankly, when I do (rarely) watch them, I always grind my teeth because I’ve always believed, in the real world, their ‘sales guests’ play (act) to the TV cameras and the ‘selling’ environment, at least to me, is surreal.
That said, the “Love-it or List It” program I briefly watched was in an area I am familiar with and the home that had been remodeled was pretty darn impressive. Hilary gave the couple the grand tour of the remodeled property, the house and all the amenities and while doing so the couple was cooing and oozing with glee, joy and dilated eyes full of desire.
But meanwhile, David had shown them a different house currently on the market that met most of their criteria and the couple had been equally oooing and ahhing about that house.
It was during David’s presentation that he popped the ‘big’ question: “So, what do you think the listing price would be for this house?” Remembering this couple has a budget that has to be met as part of the new-home search, the husband said ‘about $360,000’ and then the wife jumped in and said ‘oh no, more like $425,000…’
Now I haven’t been sitting on those magical little round tables in The Land of Time for a good stretch but when I heard that question (and response) I found myself wondering if it would be a good idea, at least in the F/B (front to back) selling world, after the entire presentation and just before the money is shown if the F/B’er should ask the same type of ‘qualifying’ question.
Back during my time, as both a T/O and F/B’er I never just laid out the ‘money’, rather I had my own personalized (qualifying) question I always asked before showing the dollars and cents. And that approach worked really well.
Indeed, during that time my documented net YTD (Year to Date) CR (closing ratio) going F/B was always in the 50-60% neighborhood. Sure, many won’t believe that nor would they believe my ACP (average contract price) or my ‘kick’ (rescission) ratio being in the 1% range. That is fine and I only posted my STATS today to illustrate that I have a pretty good idea of what I speak.
However, I never asked any sales guest (e.g.) “…and so let me ask you a question Mary and Bill. Now that you know you can enjoy a four week vacation every year in your own vacation home right here in sunny ‘X’ with your family and friends and that you also have beautifully appointed homes with all the latest amenities all across the country as well as all around the world in over 100 countries to use at your leisure and pleasure, what do you think the ‘list’ price for this vacation home would be?”
In the traditional T/O universe that approach would not work because that antiquated system is not designed to demand high net closing ratios (CR), etc. The T/O system is purely a numbers game and often a net CR in the 15% to 20% is celebrated.
In the F/B system however ‘closers’ have to do better because they can’t ‘table-hop’ and the entire selling relationship is much more personalized and controlled by the professional F/B’er throughout the entire process.
Additionally in the typical T/O system critically important information (aka: discovery) is often never passed on by the front end rep (liner) to the T/O (closer) to use during the closing sequence etc. Consequently, many T/O’s will simply ‘spin-to-win’ and are on and off tables as fast and as often as Donald Trump boasts about his uuuuuge greatness.
At the end of the day, in the F/B sales center I think each sales guest’s answer to that type of question would be a great barometer and the F/B’er would be better able to determine the effectiveness of her/his sales presentation before showing the money.
Equally important the F/B’er would be able to analyze how well ‘Bill and Paula’ perceived the value of owning our industries unique style of vacation home ownership before the F/B’er goes in for the kill, so to speak.
Just a thought; but feel free to chat.
Good Luck Out There
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