How to Build Rapport with Motivated Sellers

Today’s article is on how to build rapport with motivated sellers.  It’s funny how people worry and fret over this.  Whether it’s talking one-on-one to a motivated seller or speaking in front of a small group of people, the best piece of advice I can give you is this:

Think of this as a conversation between two friends. When you change your mindset, this will help alleviate most of your fears.


Here are some other Tips for You

  1. Be prepared. Whether you are picking up the telephone or meeting a seller at the property, don’t show up for the conversation unprepared.
  2. Find some common ground as fast as you can.
  3. Always be on time for appointments.
  4. Always do what you say you’re going to do.

Let’s talk about each one of these things a little more.

It’s Just a Conversation

When you think of these interactions whether they are on the phone or in person, it really is just a conversation between 2 or more people.  You are trying to find a solution to their problem.  Find out what their situation is, ask lots of questions, then try to figure out how you can help them. It’s a common sense approach.

I’m sure there have been plenty of other times you’ve brainstormed a solution to a problem.  You should approach the seller’s problem in the same way.  If you’re unsure of your “next steps”, tell the seller that you need to think about it and get back to them.  Even experienced investors have to figure things out at times.


Be Prepared

If you are talking to motivated sellers on the phone for the first time, you need to know what information you need to get from them about the property. I recommend using a property information form for this call.  This will allow you to make a decision about whether or not to move forward and make an appointment to go see the property.

When it’s time for the appointment to see the house be sure you’ve done your homework. You should know what other properties in the area similar to the one you are looking at are worth. Leave yourself a little time on the front end to drive the surrounding neighborhood as part of your research. You want to know:

  • What is the overall condition of the homes in the area?
  • Are there any “eyesores” that would lower the property values?
  • Could the property be in a flood plain because there is a creek down the street?
  • Do all of the homes have replacement windows except for this house? (Important information for a rehabber)

Just be observant. There are many factors that will affect the value of the property. When you’re trying to build rapport with these folks, having all the facts is important. It will affect all of your interactions with the seller going forward.


Finding Common Ground

It’s easier than you think to build rapport with motivated sellers when you are able to connect in some way.  This is especially true when you go to the property to see it.

After introductions my opening statement is, “Tell me about the house”.  They will usually say something like, “It was my mom’s house and she lived here for 53 years”. The next thing I do is to look around for some signs of exactly who “mom was”.

Here are some conversation openers:

  • Cookbooks on the counter
  • A collection of … anything
  • Sports equipment like golf clubs, a tennis racquet, life jackets (boater), or knitting supplies. These items provide insight into the person’s interests.
  • Perhaps there is beautiful upgraded woodwork in the home. Who did that? Dad?

For example: If “mom” was a golfer you can talk about how much you love golf, or your dad does etc.  Once again, you’re looking for common ground between you and the seller.


Always Be on Time for Appointments

Nothing will stall your initial attempts to build rapport with the seller more than showing up late.  You are already on their bad side when you do that. When you are late to an appointment you’re telling the seller their time isn’t as important as yours.


Always Do What You Say You’re Going to Do

These folks are calling investors most of the time because they have run out of options or at least ideal solutions. If the house was in great condition they would probably list it for more than you can offer. It’s a bad position for the seller to be in, but it’s an opportunity for you, and you don’t want to waste this opportunity. Something as simple as failing to call back can prompt them to choose another investor to do business with.

Building rapport is really comes down to just two things; conversation and common sense.  It can tell you that it does get easier with experience.


Rather Listen?

[podcast title=”How to Build Rapport with Motivated Selllers”][/podcast]


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