The Most Important Question You Aren’t Asking

Real Estate Technology with 855-419-6019

A lead picks up the phone. Now, what is the first question you ask? This is a loaded question since it will determine the rest of the conversation. If there is a conversation.


And the question is … Drum Roll Please:


Why are you moving?


Expand Your Opportunity


If asked correctly, to either a homebuyer or seller, you can quickly determine the reason for the move. In turn, this will tell you generally what size home they may need, what area, a certain price range, their buyer persona, and so on.


For home sellers, instead of “Why Are You Moving?” consider asking “Why Are You Selling?” instead.


This question also allows for a bit more time on the phone. Even if your lead insists they don’t want to act on buying or selling right this minute, you now (hopefully) have more information to pursue further opportunity with them down the road.


For example:


You call Bob Swanson after he registered on your sight over the weekend. This conversation could go one of two ways:


Option A:

Agent: “Hi Bob, this is Megan from Milestone Realty and I noticed you registered on my site. Would you like to get together for an appointment?”


Lead: “No, thank you, I’m really busy right now and have to go.” [Hangs Up]


Option B:


Agent: “Hi Bob, this is Megan from Milestone Realty. I noticed you registered and were browsing homes in the James Island area on my site. This is a great time of year to start looking! Why are you moving?”


Lead: “My wife and I are actually having a baby and need more space, but we aren’t ready to talk to an agent right now.”


Agent: “Sounds good, well let me know if you need any more information, until then I’ll send you property alerts for homes in that area that fit your needs.”


The latter option is the best case scenario, but do you see where we are heading with this?


Inform Your Follow-Up


Whether you gather the lead has a family, is going through a divorce, is single and looking to invest, or whatever the case, you can stash this information and use it when they or you reach out down the road.


If they are ready to buy or sell then even better! The key is to gather enough information to inform your follow-up plan.


Remember, 95 percent of leads are abandoned in the first 6 days. But 60 percent will buy in the next 6 months.


Take this information and use it to your advantage. Through asking the right questions now, you can create valuable follow-up strategies that keep leads active on your site until they want to make moves.


Making the Most Out of The First Call


Whether it is a phone call, email, or text, you need to make the most out of your first contact with a lead. Thankfully, technology now empowers real estate professionals with information in advance of actually speaking to a lead.


These conversations have the ability to dictate future branding, market expansion and persona building.


For example, let’s say Bob and his young family moved into a new area and bought a home with Megan. She then began to see a pattern of many more families moving to that area because of good schools, newer construction, etc.


Every bit of this information can help you make an informed decision on when to move into a new market and begin marketing to this specific group. All because you initially asked, and recorded the answer to one simple question.


Next Steps: Create Personas


Becky Babcock and Brad Nix from Path & Post Realty in North Metro Atlanta have taken this simple question and created a business around it. Their personas create a foundation upon which their business operates.


[Podcast] Listen In For More About Path & Post’s Persona Based Business Strategy


Every interaction with clients is based upon deciphering the client’s persona from the first phone call until the last hand shake.


From this information, Becky and Brad develop the scripts, follow-up, social media, online and offline marketing, and more.


One simple question and a little persistence creates endless opportunity.  

So, What Is Your #1 Question When Calling Leads?


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 03/08/2016 05:30 PM
  2. Peter Mohylsky. Broker Associate 05/10/2016 10:54 AM
Real Estate Industry

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Peter Mohylsky. Broker Associate
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Nice post, I am always looking for new ideas such as you have provided.

Feb 12, 2016 07:41 PM #1
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

If I was selling I have the option to not to disclose. I could, for example, asking i f my 800K home Zestimate can sell for $1.2M (like most sellers).  If I see someone I like I will tell one why I am selling I may hang up if the dialogue is not going well.  Most people want a local specialist and think their home is highly sought after.

Feb 13, 2016 12:13 AM #2
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

This a great post on how to create dialog.  I used to believe the "script" thing would make for a "scripted" conversation and until recently I looked at it as a negative.  Now, I embrace the scripts and find that they lead the way to more meaningful conversations.

Feb 13, 2016 01:08 AM #3
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

Good post on asking questions and listening to answers.. I think the biggest hurdle is to remeber to ask WHY , and other open ended  questions and steer away from the typical yes/ no..

It too me a while to learn to embrace the quiet as well, and not feel the need to keep talking..

Once Ive broken the ice so to speak, I usually let the  lead know that i am there to listen and learn, so I can help them better.. Once I do that they seem to be more comfortable in  talking with and to me!


Feb 13, 2016 02:14 AM #4
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Asking the questions is very important listening then to the answers is even better. The big Why 

Feb 13, 2016 04:49 AM #5
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

Having and using proper scripts is mandatory to be successful in this business.  They can even be simple informal conversations that you do not even realize are scripts because you have been using them for so long.  Most people are using scripts, even when they dont realize they are.

Feb 13, 2016 06:33 AM #6
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Listen first answer later

Feb 13, 2016 09:57 AM #7
Melissa Jackson
Century 21 Alliance Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Conversation is the best way to engage with new leads. Yes / no answers don't have value.  I don't use a script, you do make a point.

Feb 13, 2016 10:42 AM #9
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kelly at BoomTown going through BOLD training - once again-  and once again, going over pre-qualification questions. The first one, where are you moving followed by - WHY? And that motivation really helps us nail down the price as per market.

Feb 13, 2016 03:15 PM #10
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Interesting suggestions...  in an agent/seller or agent/buyer relationships that is one of the well-guarted answers that one is not authorized to disclose.

Feb 17, 2016 05:02 AM #11
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

My question is always the same; How can I help you right now.  This leads to a them sharing what they really want,  regardless of the answer I follow up with a thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

Feb 21, 2016 11:59 PM #12
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I like and "liked" your comment, Anna Hatridge.  I use the "why" question routinely but I like  "How can I help you right now?" better.

Apr 25, 2016 08:47 AM #13
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