Let’s face it. It takes effort, time and a certain degree of faith to change the way you do things. It’s all too easy to slip into a pre-existing mind set -- kind of like the fly that repeatedly bangs into a pane of glass trying to get out.
Often we have no idea where the mindset came from, or how the original decision was made to do things this way. We just accept things as they are because it is the path of least resistance.
Take a look at the way most agents hound FSBO's. As soon as a FSBO places an ad in the paper, he or she can be sure that dozens of agents will start pestering them, even though they've made it clear that they don't want to work with an agent. This is a great example of how agents just blindly follow the rules, even if they don’t make sense.
Well, if you've ever wondered why it is that people in our industry are such unimaginative creatures of habit, who end up banging their heads again and again against the door of failure, consider the following little story about monkeys.
The Monkey Story
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the bananas. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result – again all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. This continues until pretty soon whenever another monkey tries to climb the stairs, all the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now put away the cold water. Remove one of the monkeys from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey will see the banana and attempt to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt, and attack, he knows that if he climbs the stairs he will be assaulted.
Next remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Like-wise replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth and a fifth. Every time a new monkey takes to the stairs it is attacked. The monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the bananas.
Because, as far as they know, that’s the way it’s always been done.
The original monkey story I read called this phenomenon TTWWADI (That's The Way We've Always Done It), but I’ve revised the acronym somewhat to fit our industry. When I look around and see agents blindly following the same old mistakes of their cohorts and predecessors, I shake my head at the fact that they’re following “The Toad”
FSBO Programs That REALLY Work!
So how should you approach FSBOs? Clearly a FSBO is a sensible target to zero in on. After all, they do have a home to sell, and they are interested in selling it now. The problem is, if you follow the strategy most agents use, you end up lining up with 15 or 20 or 30 other agents all fighting for the same prospect. This is a pretty tough fight given that you’re dealing with a prospect who has clearly stated an anti-agent bias, and you’re operating in a cluttered competitive environment where dozens of other agents are lamely pestering the same prospect with their me-too pitches.
What if, instead of lining up with every other agent in town, you could get the FSBO homeseller to call YOU as soon as they’re ready to make a move?
Well this is entirely possible. For example, to get good FSBO leads, run an ad that “calls out” to FSBOs by offering them information on how to sell their home by themselves. The ad looks like an article, and offers them a free report with tips on how to get their home ready for sale, and how to get the best price.
When a FSBO calls you off this ad, instead of trying to bully them, offer to help them achieve their dream. Specifically, call them back and tell them that you've sent out the report they requested which has some important information to help them. Then, tell them you will give them a professional looking For Sale by Owner for sale sign for their lawn which directs inquiries on their home to a message mailbox. This mailbox will be on your 800# system, but give it to them for free with private use of this number. None of this costs the FSBO a penny or obligates them to anything. All you ask in return is that if they decide at some point that they do want to use the services of an agent, that they interview you as one of the candidates. There really is no downside. Even if they do sell on their own, you now have a cash buyer to work with.
Get Rid of The Toad
Now is a great time to eliminate “The Toad” from your mindset. As Ernest Hemingway said, "Don't mistake motion for action." Make it a practice to question at least one decision you make every day.
Craig Proctor invented his real estate success system during his own, highly successful 22 year Real Estate career right here in Canada. While an active agent (not a broker), Craig consistently sold over 500 homes a year for annual GCI of almost $4 Million. In fact, for 6 years straight, no one listed or sold more homes in the Greater Toronto Area than Craig Proctor (Source: TREB Statistics). Experience matters! Craig successfully battled in the trenches just like you. He understands the challenges that real estate agents face and he believes because he better understands you that he can better help you. Known within the industry as Real Estate’s Millionaire-Agent-Maker, Craig has created more Millionaire Agents than any other real estate coach or trainer in the world. Learn about free half day Craig Proctor Discovery Days in your area >> MORE
It always surprises me to observe how so many agents continually embrace “doing things the way they have always been done”. It seems that once a decision has been made to follow a certain system or course of action (regardless of whether it makes sense, and regardless of whether it works), it’s much easier to just continue doing things the “same old way” than it is to re-examine the situation and re-evaluate the decision.