What a ‘no’ really means

What does a no really mean when you’re pitching to get a listing and someone says no. What are they really saying?

Topic – When ‘no’ means ‘maybe’

Mentor – Leanne Pilkington

  • Work out what they are actually saying
  • Ask to receive the answers
  • Do you understand how they feel?

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Kevin:   And our guest this week in Real Estate Uncut is Leanne Pilkington. Leanne has more than 30 years experience in the industry, Managing Director of franchise group Laing and Simmons and presently President of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales, which in itself comes with a few challenges, Leanne, doesn’t it.

Leanne:   It certainly does, and there’s no doubt about that.

Kevin:   The industry bodies right around Australia are becoming a lot more active is how I’m seeing it, reacting a lot more with governments and pushing for a lot more regulation.

Leanne:   Well, I think we need to because government in their wisdom, now obviously New South Wales is the area that I understand in most detail. Certainly in New South Wales they reduced the level of training and education required so dramatically that now we’ve got agents that aren’t very well educated, don’t really understand the industry to the depth and detail that they should and the government are now wondering why we’ve got agents doing the wrong thing. It’s like we’re attracting the wrong people.

Kevin:   Yeah. And for so long we’ve been talking about lifting the standards. It just simply does not make any sense.

Leanne:   Yeah, absolutely, and of course in New South Wales, it went through Parliament, our reform package to improve training and education. Went through Parliament at the beginning of 2018 and it still has not, the regulations have not been written. So on one hand we’ve got the government absolutely hammering real estate agents at the moment saying that we’re dodgy and we do the wrong thing and on the other hand, they’ve got the reforms right there ready to be implemented and they won’t do it. It makes no sense to me.

Kevin:   Makes no sense.

Leanne:   nyway.

Kevin:   Well, what I wanted to talk to you about, Leanne, was when no means maybe. And we’re talking here about negotiation. What does a no really mean when you’re pitching to get a listing and someone says no. What are they really saying?

Leanne:   Well, they’re usually saying either not right now or I need more information.

Kevin:   Yeah. Exactly. And I guess working on the assumption that it’s need more information, we shouldn’t take it as a rejection really.

Leanne:   No, we shouldn’t, and to that point, if we’re never getting a no, we’re not asking enough questions. We’re not asking, we’re not pushing things far enough, are we? Because you’re not always going to get a yes to every question.

Kevin:   Okay. So let’s play the game. Someone says, we’ll they’re probably not going to say no straight out, will they. They’ll more than likely use some other mechanism to put it off.

Leanne:   Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. Rather than, I think that we probably need to be asking better questions as well. So asking questions that are inviting more information rather than a question that needs a yes or no answer. So we want to really understand the motivation of the person. You want to understand the situation they’re in. You want to understand what their needs, their hopes. You need to understand them more deeply to therefore ask better questions and to get, even if it’s not a listing, but the opportunity for an ongoing relationship.

Kevin:   Yes. Rather than go into a presentation thinking that one size fits all, it’s always good to go in, because everyone’s got different requirements at different stages of their life, to ask those kind of questions, to help you frame how you can help them.

Leanne:   Yep, that is absolutely right. Because it’s not about you and it’s not about the awards that you’ve won, and it’s not even about the record price you got around the corner. It’s about this particular potential vendor, what their needs are, what their situation is. And we have to remember that people are, actually what our research tells us is that once people have had a relationship with our agents, they actually speak very highly of them. But it’s the people that are yet to have a relationship or formal relationship with an agent that, they’re the ones that don’t typically trust us. So we have to actually get into a position where they trust us enough to tell us the truth. Which they don’t always do at the beginning of a presentation.

Kevin:   No, of course they don’t. And we need to understand, too, that in a lot of cases most people will only have ever come across a real estate agent in a professional sense, once or twice in their entire life.

Leanne:   I know. Yeah. That’s so true. And I think we can be a little bit blasé about that because it’s something that we deal with every single day. But I know plenty of real estate agents that haven’t even transacted in real estate themselves for a little while and once they go through that experience as a buyer or a seller or a tenant, they sort of come back to their office and go, wow, I’m actually starting to understand why people are so frustrated with this process.

Kevin:   Yeah. I’ve quite often said that I think that real estate agents, to be really good real estate agents, need to go through the buying and selling process at least once or twice a year.

Leanne:   Yes.

Kevin:   Might help them understand a bit more.

Leanne:   Yeah. Absolutely, and particularly now. You know, how much has changed just in the last year? It’s a whole different game. Right.

Kevin:   Leanne Pilkington, back again tomorrow morning. Thanks Leanne, talk to you then.

Leanne:   Thanks so much.

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