Fishhawk Lake Real Estate-The Five "Ws"-How to Get a New Client to Talk!
I was reading a post by Liz Lockhart..... and it prompted me to think about some old journalism/ interviewer tricks to get a good conversation going with a client.
Open-ended questions are what gives the conversation some flow...giving you somewhere to GO in finding out what a client's wishlist is, what their expectations are, their passions, their deal-breakers.
Who, what, where, why and when are the five "Ws" that cause a person you're speaking with to answer in more than just one word sentences, offering you a way to naturally guide them into the next question. Instead of asking "Do you want a place on the lake?" You can ask, "What kind of view are you looking for in a vacation property?" "Why are you drawn to a lake versus the ocean?" "Who would you like your neighbors to be?" "When are you thinking of purchasing?" And then of course there is the "how" question. "How do you plan on doing the financing?"
I also find that creating some kind of initial bond with a new client, finding something that each of you has in common can make that client feel more comfortable with you. Since I have lived in so many cities both on the east coast as well as the west, hearing a certain familiar accent can prompt me to ask, "where did you grow up?" and sometimes it turns out to be a place that I have lived before and we can discuss that, establishing some common ground.
Often, interest being shown in lake properties stems from childhood memories.
I, too have those fond memories and tapping into that can open up a whole new realm for me to see the underlying emotion behind the reason why this client has called about a lake property in the first place. THAT can be the very reason why someone wants to BUY a vacation home on a lake, because they want to re-capture the joy of childhood for themselves, for their grown children and/or for building memories for their grandchildren--the same pleasures that have lasted a lifetime for them.
Creating the avenue for them to talk about their personal stories can lead you to the REAL reason why they want to buy a property. It's FUN to share stories of growing up in the Thousand Islands where I learned to fish, run a boat, pump fresh water from a well...even talk about using an outhouse, which many haven't experienced! Personalizing the conversation without spending too much time TALKING, is paramount to learning about and connecting with your client.
So, ask those open-ended questions, and take notes and see where it goes! You just might have the added pleasure of creating a new friendship as well as a new client!