Ask the Right Questions! It Will Help You Get the Listing! Really!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska

Mike McCann Mach1 Realty Nebraska

How should we begin our first contact with a seller or buyer? For me it is with questions...a lot of little questions.

Some of the questions that I ask are phrased so that buyers and sellers know that I care about them and that I know the market they are buying or selling in.

I had a private message asking me after an earlier blog what some of the questions are that I ask.

It is hard to explain that since every single situation is different. But I will try and share some insight.

First and foremost, I want the buyer or seller to be comfortable with me, my mannerisms, and the knowledge I have.  To do that, I have to share info on myself and I always try to relate it to their situation.

My intro is so basic: 

"Hi, my name is Mike McCann, how is everything in your neck of the woods today?" or something like that.  Usually it is in person...face to face...I wear shirts with my name and logo on them. A firm...not weak and not overwhelming... handshake is of my most important tools in the box!!

If I get a lead from someone...I will usually call like this: "(Their name) , this is Mike McCann with Mach1 Realty,  Joe Johnson said it might be good if I gave you a call. He said you mentioned something about wondering if you should be selling your {home, land, farm}." "Do you have a few minutes to chat?"   Based on what they might be a 30 second call or a 30 minute call.

Your on the phone "handshake" is just as vital as the one in person.  They can tell if you genuinely care or if you reading from a script...I never use scripts.

If they tell me...they are not interested, I ask if it is okay to check back in with them on down the road.  If they say no to that, I just tell them I understand, thank them for talking with me, and to please hang on to my number. I may reach out to them some day down the road via US Mail or face to face. If they ask me to not call...I NEVER call again without talking with the face to face.

NOTE: I rarely cold call for listings or Buyers.  I want a name I can reference...a warm call.

I am assuming for this blog that they agreed to chat on the phone.

Some of my questions are general questions about the area, topics that impact them, family questions, what are they seeing in their neck of the woods. 

I will ask them what their goals are and if I can help them reach them. I will simply ask them these type of probing questions.

I always want to know the history of the property even before the current person I am talking with.  Along with the dynamics of the family and how they interact with the property.

Farmland is different than homes in that it may have been in the family for multiple generations and homes are different in that the kids first steps or a loved ones last breath was taken in the home. 

Every situation is incredibly important to that seller...even when they say it is not...most likely there is a reason. 

Commercial property is many times simply a numbers game...if it makes money, that is good. But sometimes it is just as important from a family angle as a home or farm land. 

My goal is to always put them first and to not make them uneasy or uncomfortable.  I will ask if I can see the property...even if they tell me they are not selling...I ask if they would give me a tour. I am trying to establish a foundation for later on...maybe years later. If they say no, I simply thank them and say no problem. 

Rarely am I hung up on but many times it takes a few contacts with them before they are comfortable with me and that is how it should be.

Let's face it...telemarketer scams are everywhere...and now they use local numbers.  That makes it hard for us to dial the phone and get someone on the other end.

I put all client and future client numbers in my phone and make notes with their numbers and the date. Sometimes this pays off in the end years down the road. 

I actually do not start talking about their property until I know they understand that I care about them and that I know what I am doing and that I am not interested in buying it myself...only in helping them reach their goals.

I am surely not saying how I do it is the right way...just the way I do it and it works for me.  I am sure others have differing styles and I like to pick up please share a thought or two below!!  

Until Next time...Do Not be frustrated with the No's...they lead you to the Yeses!!

Posted by


Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker This has been Mike McCann...Nebraska Land Broker...Coming to you from the Farm Land of Nebraska and America!! Visit me at to learn more about the agricultural and farm land for sale market. 

Many farms For Sale in Nebraska are not listed publicly...please call, text, or e-mail with your questions, wants, and needs!

Mike is your Ag, Farm, and Auction expert throughout Nebraska!

308-627-3700 and 800-241-3940 call or text me at these numbers or for easy e-mail access! Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker



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Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Client and call log definitely pays off down the road.  Even within the same year some times.  

Feb 05, 2019 09:42 AM #20
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I'd say you have it down pat! Genuine, interested, informative, and inquisitive. When you do this in a friendly professional manner, people won't have anything to fear and so the conversation begins.

Feb 05, 2019 12:56 PM #21
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Mike - asking questions and careful listening combines with thoughtfulness to create a wonderful experience.  

Feb 05, 2019 04:13 PM #22
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Mike, your authenticity goes a long way. I never use scripts, from day one! It's more important to genuinely connect with someone. I think you have that one down and many other qualities to boot.


Feb 05, 2019 05:54 PM #23
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone stopping by this blog.  I was surprised it was featured but can tell you that a feature definitely brings more folks to your page.  

I would like to take the time to thank each of you...however I am in the middle of rebuilding our website and have been over there the last day or so!!  

Feb 05, 2019 06:08 PM #24
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Making sure a prospective clients knows you care about them first, before talking about the property puts you a giant step ahead of the flock, Mike. You've outlined a great way to build rapport.

Feb 05, 2019 07:06 PM #25
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

You nailed it. It’s always about the public and their needs. If you don’t want to be bothered, most likely they don’t either. But if they think you’re on the sidelines, it could be an eventual score. It’s so important to adapt to their personality and needs.

Feb 05, 2019 08:42 PM #27
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great post!  It is critical to establish a good relationship with everyone we contact in hopes of earning their business.

Feb 06, 2019 03:24 AM #28
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

I like your style. I think it projects warmth. Our potential clients need to feel at ease and comfortable with us.

Feb 06, 2019 05:33 AM #29
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Questions up front are essential...and also creating that warm rapport.  It's often easy to tell how serious the potential client is by the way they answer the questions.

Feb 06, 2019 07:19 AM #30
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

The way you talk to buyers or sellers on the phone sounds very natural.  That's the best way to be with people.  Sales people who immediately go in for a sale or whatever will lose this day and age.  Reminds me of  a telemaketer call I got the other day.  I've been sick so I coughed, knee jerk reaction, into the phone.  The guy on the other end said "Excuse you."  I took offense to it as I had the flu and was literally laying in bed.  He kept on with his schpeel and didn't ask how I was when I had told him I had the flu, diagnosed flu, not just made up definition f being sick.  I ended up hanging up on him.  Ugh!

Feb 06, 2019 10:30 AM #31
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I am loving all of the comments that this blog has received.  I think the vast majority of us just simply want to work the same way we want to be treated. 

Thank you all for commenting!!

Feb 06, 2019 11:05 AM #32
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Since every person, situation, and property is different, I've often wondered how people can succeed using scripts. I know many trainers recommend them, but...

I think your way is much better.

Feb 06, 2019 12:06 PM #33
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I enjoy hearing about this type of thing and it gives us all pause to see how other agents get their clientele. Thanks for sharing.

Feb 06, 2019 04:18 PM #34
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I have a list of questions that I ask EVERY BUYER OR SELLER! No exceptions, friends or just met them. I have a system and don’t deviate 

Feb 06, 2019 05:46 PM #35
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker ,

Glad to see your post featured. Great take on what works for you. Everyone needs to find their voice and go from there. Asking the right questions and establishing what is important to them is key!

Feb 07, 2019 04:57 PM #36
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Good morning Mike, you clearly are very respectful of others and have a nice way of engaging buyers and sellers without coming across as pushy. Have a great weekend.

Feb 08, 2019 05:33 AM #37
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

Its al about establishing relationships, building trust and show that you care. Great post and so true.

Feb 09, 2019 08:19 AM #38
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

Well said; thanks for sharing your insights.

Mar 23, 2019 11:56 AM #39
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

Great post. I think that more than a few Realtors fail to ask the pertinent questions when the prospective client's responses start to become vague or clearly non-disclosive. You need to ask yourself: Am I asking for sensitive too soon (no trust yet) or are they not telling the truth. Trust your intuition and proceed accordingly.  

Apr 08, 2019 08:33 AM #40
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Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker

Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940
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