Anyone with a Silver Tongue?? (JT, Kaiser,et al) - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by James Mc (IL) on July 12, 2003 at 12:52:21:

Me, I’ll give it 7 times, but not at one sitting.

Then, I’ll check it out a month or so later and start over.

James Mc (IL)

Anyone with a Silver Tongue?? (JT, Kaiser,et al) - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 11, 2003 at 21:09:15:

Evening, everyone. I’m looking for a little guidance on a particular issue of seller motivation and negotiation skills. I just got yet another call from what I call a lethargic seller (my niche). Almost always they’ve inherited the property. They always live pretty far away. There’s always a ton of repairs needed. The properties are nothing but a cash drain. They never need the money. They always like me and would be happy to sell to me…WHEN they are ready to sell.

And, man, these people are never ready to sell. I call weekly or monthly, or whatever, but they just don’t know. They never want me to stop calling. I think that may be it. They always tell me their life story (and I share the relevant parts of mine), and I’ve spoken with most of these types more than I’ve spoken to my mother in the past year. I’m feeling some kind of co-dependency or dysfunction coming on.

I know there are no “magic words,” but what can you say to get people to feel their pain and/or motivation and get on with it? It feels like a ministry to people and not like REI. Please help. Thanks for listening.

Sincerely, Kristine

Re: Anyone with a Silver Tongue?? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on July 13, 2003 at 08:41:21:

I understand your side. I also do things, that are not 100% about business. I build up a relationship with sellers. Yes, most investors say ‘leave the emotion’ out of business, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s satisfying to me. I jsut got a deal after talking to the lady for 2 years. Whenever I saw her in her yard I’d stop. I got the house for a lot less, than the offers she’s had in the past few years. She feels comfortable with me and trusts me. We’re closing tomorrow. Of course, now people come out of the woodwork resenting the fact, that I got the property for such a great price.

I spent all day yesterday bringing things out of her house to have a ‘yard giveaway’. I got some antique dealers to come over and buy some of her furniture Did I have to do it? No! Most other investors wouldn’t ahve wasted their time. I felt good about it. Several neighbors were so impressed, that I was doing this and one of them knows of 2 other neighbors, that are interested selling their houses and they’ll get me in touch.

I think things will always come back to you and having your heart involved in a deal may not give you a bigger tangible profit on this particular deal, but could rate in referrals - you never know.

Just my thougths

personal growth through dealing with sellers - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on July 12, 2003 at 15:14:24:

Hi Kristine:

I liked Bill H.'s suggestion for getting to the end of a conversation with a lethargic seller.

Consider this: if what these sellers want is to spend time talking to you, then give them that IF and WHEN they sign a contract, but not before. Maybe that can add to their motivation. Something like “Ms. L. Seller, I’d love to catch up with you, but I’ve got a lunch date with a seller that I have a contract with and I’m running late right now.” [I’m only half kidding when I say this.]

Turn your charisma and skill with people into a tool that you use to get things to closure. It sound to me as if you just need to fine-tune it rather than completely change your method.

good luck,


Quit calling - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on July 12, 2003 at 14:56:59:

and put them on a mailing every 4-6 weeks.

You can’t afford to be spending your time on the phone with to-be-motivated-at-a-future-date sellers.

Not only is it a complete waste of valuable time, it drains you psychologically.

It’s important to keep in touch, because consistent follow-up will make you a lot of money.

It’s equally important that you follow-up with as little investment as possible.

Re: Anyone - Posted by GL - ON

Posted by GL - ON on July 12, 2003 at 07:12:35:

It sounds to me like you are not asking for the sale. In other words you are not “closing”.

This is a very common problem in sales. There are many books on salesmanship that cover this subject.

But really, you should be asking for the sale every time you talk to a prospect or at least leading up to it. If they are not ready, that’s OK. You can ask again later.

Give’em the facts … your hand selected facts. - Posted by Robert Campbell

Posted by Robert Campbell on July 12, 2003 at 24:38:41:

To help create motivation, give these unmotivated sellers specific facts - negative facts only - about what is going on in the economy … and what this portends for real estate values.

This has always been one of my favorite tactics, and it can be very effective.

Robert Campbell

Silver Tongue is not the answer - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 11, 2003 at 22:58:45:


This all boils down to how we choose to spend out time. You are choosing to spend your time with these folks because you do want to loose a deal there, if one exists. That is understandable… to a point.

Let’s say that you had the phone ringing in 5 other ways, then you may not have time to spend with these folks… you would simply cut to the chase, and the one’s that fell in, are in, and the one’s that fell out are history. You wouldn’t look back. As it is you do not have enough avenues feeding you qualified leads, so you choose (out of necessity) to pamper these folks along, in hopes one of them will “fall in”. Some do, and have, and consequently you keep hand holding, (and no doubt do a markedly wonderful job at it).

Bottom line is you will continue doing it this way until you have a more fruitful way of attracting folks to you, who may be more motivated sellers. Analyze what you are doing, versus what you could be doing… Seek ways to bring more motivated sellers to you. It is a numbers game, and the more numbers you have to deal with (the more phone calls from sellers), the better off you are going to be. Ideally, you do not have the time to chit-chat, but must bring them to the point of decision making, and fast.

Just the way that I view things…


Anyone with a Silver Tongue?? (JT, Kaiser,et al) - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on July 11, 2003 at 22:05:04:

Hi Kristine:

Sounds to me like your “lethargic Seller” has turned into a “Phone Friend.” The world is full of lonesome people who will take up your time, efforts and energy just to have someone to talk to.

I like Joe’s comments. Re-analyze your situation…Are you calling in a business like manner or just hanging on to something that probably was not there to start with?

Put it back in a business atmosphere like. “Hello mr Lethargic Seller, I had a couple of minutes free and thought I would check on our proposed transaction. Have you made a decision? No? Thanks…here is my number when you decide…please call. Oh, you are thinking about it…What is it that you are pondering? Price, terms, close,? Well Mr Lethargic Seller I look forward to hearing from you when you decide to sell. MY company and I are ready to fund and close almost immediately…pack your bags and call me.” Goodby

Maybe a 30 to 45 second call at the most and as Joe says MOVE ON. Tell them you got better things to do. Be fair and curteous but firm in that the next call has to come from them…NO Call…No Harm…No Foul…Move on.


Why bother? - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on July 11, 2003 at 21:50:15:


We get to pick our own niches, so why pick “lethargic seller?”

Get yourself in front of truly motivated sellers and deals will
happen. It’s just not worth the effort doing any other way . . .


How 'bout a silver bullet! - Posted by gwtx

Posted by gwtx on July 11, 2003 at 21:44:05:

If they don’t feel the pain…give them some pain to feel. In other words…if they don’t feel their knee hurtin, then grab a crowbar or tireiron and whack em in the kneecap. Now they start to feel the pain that they didn’t even know they had till you came along.

hope this helps

Re: Anyone with a Silver Tongue?? - Posted by DaveD(WI)

Posted by DaveD(WI) on July 14, 2003 at 08:21:56:

I remember your story. Some would ask what all that handholding cost, in terms of other forgone opportunities. Maybe you could have gotten more “production” if you kissed her off and jsut moved on. I’d say you won anyway, and won big.

Good advice! - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on July 12, 2003 at 21:38:28:

I could not agree more.
I too try to conversate with sellers, rather than give them a “sales pitch”.
They are the ones with something to sell, not me, really.

My last seller meeting that netted a contract, was 3.5 hours long.
The sellers and I talked, well, they talked more, and we just had a conversation, in their living room.
With a few questions and explanations thrown into the mix, a contract was the result.

Screen them on the phone, and talk to them more in person.
Works for me, and I’d guess for you as well.

Take care,
Jim FL

Asking for the Sale… aka Closing - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 12, 2003 at 08:36:22:


You are probably correct in this assumption. Closing is something that most folks aren’t comfortable in doing, becasue they don’t want to offend anyone… or be told NO themselves… The rejection thing.

The old rule of thumb on sales is to bring that prospect to the decision making point 5 times, so until you have asked for the order, or asked them to sell to you 5 times, and heard a NO in each case, then you are not sufficiently attempting to close the sale…

It is the ABC of selling… “Always Be Closing”…

"You are interested in getting this problem taken care of, aren’t you Mr house seller…?

If I could show you a way to resolve this RE problem in the shortest time possible, would that be of interest to you…?

Are you planning on resolving this problem yourself, or letting the Judge take care of deciding how this will be handled…?

And on and on… Always be asking questions, controlling the converstation and moving toward small decisions that ultimately will lead to THE Final Decision.

Just the way that I view things…


Agreed, and… - Posted by rm

Posted by rm on July 12, 2003 at 15:00:46:

You should be analyzing where your best leads come from, where you’re investing and not getting any business, and where you could be re-investing those dollars.

The Pareto Principle says that you’re getting 80% of your business from 20% of your efforts. Discover which is which and re-allocate your marketing $$$ as indicated.

Re: Why bother? - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 11, 2003 at 22:10:51:

Joe: so here’s the deal with the lethargic sellers…I’ve had some pretty sweet deals from these kinds of sellers in the past year (a couple of flips in the 5 digits), so now I’m hooked. So maybe it’s just a numbers game and it takes the time it takes.

BUT, I was hoping that I was missing something in the negotiating department so that maybe sometimes the process could be a little faster. It’s true, motivated sellers are easier.

Sincerely, Kristine