What's in a Script?

Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

What's in a Script?


     The word script is something that pops up in just about every area of sales, coaching, and training in the real estate industry.  Top producers and trainers swear by using scripts for success.  Low producing agents are terrified of scripts.  What I've found, more than anything else, is that the term "script" is confusing for most people.


     When a lot of people hear or see the term "Script", their brains move to place where someone else is taking away their personality and pushing a regurgitated message, verbatim.  

Sales Success

     The reality, though, is a script is just a part of any successful system.  It's what we say - not necessarily verbatim - to streamline our efforts, answer FAQ, or get through a portion of our day without recreating the wheel.




     I often explain to our clients that our loan process is generally a series of 2 "needs lists".  The 1st, put together by myself and my processor, details what we think we'll need for underwriting.  The 2nd, is what an underwriter tells us beyond our original submission, to move things to closing.

     This is a script.  It a) outlines our process, settting proper expectations, and b) gives a client some insight into what we're doing to get their loan done.  When we come back for the "more stuff" that drives so many people crazy, they anticipate it, because we told them in advance, via the script.

     I don't use the same word for word text each time - I just have a mental note that for every client I speak with, they're made aware in writing, to expect 2-3 "needs lists" and that's basically the loan process (at least the part they're concerned with). 


     This script has completely resolved one of the biggest customer service issues in the mortgage industry:  The "My LO keeps asking for more stuff after I already sent stuff" issue.  


     Using and mastering scripts for each part of our business is a great step in ensuring the highest possible level of customer service.  It's also a tremendous time saver.  


So how do you implement scripting?  


     One easy step is to think about some FAQ that you receive, and be proactive in addressing them up front through scripted explanations or emails.  


     Another way is to analyze steps in the process where things sometimes slip through the cracks, and write a script with a reminder to always implement the script when you are in that situation.


     Example:  For a while, I was getting frequent calls after closing when a client was getting close to their first payment date but hadn't yet received their new loan package/payment instructions.  A script was needed so I could be proactive.


     Along with thanking clients for their business, I began incorporating a quick note about their 1st payment and letting them know if they closed late in a month, they may not receive their payment instructions until shortly before their due date...of course, inviting them to call with any additional questions or needs.


Magically, those calls stopped.  People knew to be patient, because the "script" set the expectation.


     There are scripts for just about any and every situation in a real estate transaction, and implementing them is a great way to boost production, and more importantly, not skip a beat on customer service when production does increase.


So what part of your business are you scripting?




Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Ginger Harper 01/04/2018 07:34 AM
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I think they are great if they are YOURS the way yours are.  However going to a rah rah convention and sending 120,000 agents back to their various homes to all use the same words is just cray cray.

Jan 03, 2018 09:33 PM #5
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Suri, Alexa, Cortanna and others all approve and support script....

Jan 04, 2018 07:10 AM #6
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great explanation, John, and it makes the whole idea of using a script more informal and personal.  But it has to sound like you and be natural.


Jan 04, 2018 07:42 AM #7
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

John when most people hear the word “script” they normally think of someone reading or memorizing something word for word and it often sounds fake.  What you are describing is a more natural process of explaining a part of the process or question that is often asked.  When it is done the way you do it, it does not come across as rehearsed and is well accepted

Jan 04, 2018 08:26 AM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John- I understand what you're saying. You use a script, or what some may call, a checklist, that you've created for your business. It's in your own words but it allows you to be proactive with your clients and the issues or questions that will come up. 

Jan 04, 2018 08:39 AM #9
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Excellent! In answer to your question everything although it is flexible based on what the client tells me. Plus, there are a lot of questions. Thanks!

Jan 04, 2018 10:39 AM #10
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

Wonderful explanation of what scripts are meant to be, but not always touted that way by those who sell them for a living!

Jan 04, 2018 11:37 AM #11
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
In Tune with your Real Estate Needs - Olympia WA

Absolutely!  I use "templates" but it's the exact same process.  This allows me to give great service to everyone, lessens the chance of important communication from falling thru the cracks, and I don't have to reinvent the wheel with every customer.

Jan 04, 2018 12:06 PM #12
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Scripts are, indeed, a good idea. Anticipating client questions and setting their minds at ease can resolve a lot of problems before they begin.

Jan 04, 2018 01:52 PM #13
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

great post John, I've scripted just about every part of my sales process. I even went so far as to record my 14 minute presentation explaining all the warranties that come with my inspection. Same message every time.

Jan 04, 2018 06:19 PM #14
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

John, well said!

As scripts have been taught I do agree they take away your personality and you sound like a thousand other agents.

I love your use of what I would call a checklist. You are making sure that you cover the key points the consumer needs.

I like the use of the checklist as a proactive measure to reduce frustrations down the road.

Jan 05, 2018 04:16 AM #15
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I deal with a lot of rentals so I have scripts for everything, just like I have checklists for everything. It helps me stay focused, makes it clear to them, and ensures everyone is treated equally.

Jan 05, 2018 05:22 AM #16

this is great information. I've worked in sales my entire life, in different industries, and have always started with a script. When I first started out I would receive a script from my manager and then I would rewrite it to fit my own speech. Then rehearse in the mirror, even if I"m going to be giving it over the phone. After learning the process of any industry, it's great to sit down and write out the process. With this you can elaborate on each individual customer contact. This allows your customer to feel comfortable that you are knowledgeable and are able to find a solution to what ever issue they are having. Whether it's sales, service, customer service, and the list goes on and on.

Jan 05, 2018 05:46 AM #17
Greg Kilroy
Keller Williams Sonoran Living - The Velocity Group - Paradise Valley, AZ
the Velocity Group

I think of 'scripts' as the place to start, when given the prompt you have a practiced response that came from someone else. It becomes a 'conversation' once mastered, including adjusting the vocabulary to match your natural speaking style and pace. At that point, it neither sounds or feels canned.

Jan 05, 2018 10:30 AM #18
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

John Meussner, very good article to remind us the benefits of scripts or in a sense, systems. Being prepared and speaking from the heart not only covers all the needed material but gives clients a sense of confidence and trust in us. Thanks for posting.

Jan 05, 2018 02:53 PM #19
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


John Meussner About five years ago, AR did a contest on scripts and I just found  my entry

Jan 05, 2018 03:02 PM #20
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Being yourself is important getting down what pat what you will say is important as well. Is it a script not sure but either way being yourself is top of my list 

Jan 05, 2018 05:36 PM #21
Stu Dye
Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS #2668 - Portland, ME
NMLS #441847

Love this idea: ‘multiple Lists’ explain (if the client actually listens), in advance, WHY there’ll likely be many items ‘needed’ throughout the ENTIRE process.

Jan 07, 2018 11:04 AM #22
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post. Amazing how some, if not, all salespeople interpret the use of scripts. Internalizing the script (the basic concept) to fit you and your personality is important so you remain focused on analyzing the opportunity to determine which benefits, if any, are extremely important and recommending a most suitable solution. Scripting does work if you internalize it and make it your own. 

Jan 08, 2018 10:12 AM #23
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

As long as it doesn't sound scripted - we are all for scripts. We have outlines in our handouts, etc that help us stay focused in our presentations. We also have a pretty good elevator speech that varies - but just a bit...so, assume it's somewhat scripted by your definition. D 

Jan 17, 2018 07:41 AM #24
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John Meussner

#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852
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