Sample Chapter:
Chapter 9
"What Really Motivates People to Decide"

Buy now!

One afternoon, I was wandering through a mountain antique shop. I say " antique ", although frankly, most of the stuff looked like pure junk to me. Keep in mind, though, that one person's trash is another person's treasure. 

I happened to see an aeronautical sign, which was simply an old piece of wood about two feet high by three feet wide. To me, that looked like a pretty good piece of firewood, but the price on it was one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. Pretty expensive firewood, huh? 

I asked the shopkeeper about it. " Oh, " he said, these signs are very popular to flyers who collect flying memorabilia.

All of us have been in galleries that display artwork that looks more like rejects from a second-grade art contest, and yet it sells for thousands or millions of dollars. Why? Because they were painted by " master artists, " and the buyers were convinced that they were great values. But are they great values?

Of course! It's simple economics - supply and demand. There's a limited supply, and large demand from enough people with money who felt that ownership of one of these things would enhance their status, self-esteem, enjoyment, or whatever.

We've all heard that " beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. " So does value. As we mentioned earlier, there is no real value in anything on this earth except for people. Everything else has a value placed on it, based on the individual's core values. What's valuable to the prospect?

Perception of Value. When value perception is heightened in the mind of the prospect, it automatically triggers the desire to acquire or possess that which is valuable. Therefore, the real key to successful sales is to develop personal perceived value. There are a number of ways we can do this.

  1. Have a clear understanding of what represents value to your prospect. It is not always related to money.
  2. Always speak in terms of the benefits of owning in your community.
  3. Make subtle comparison of values to other communities that tend to be your primary competition.
  4. Provide numerous strong third-party testimonials.
  5. Show a nice, possibly leather, binder containing pictures and letters from your purchasers. Pictures of community activities should also be included.
  6. Set up and utilize community ambassadors. These are the gung-ho owners who would enjoy and do a good job of taking your best prospects out for dinner, golfing, and so forth.
  7. Learn to use a video camera in an effective way. It's an excellent follow-up tool. As you are videoing the one-of-a-kind property for them, make it fun and talk directly to them, as if they were standing right beside you. Keep it light and entertaining. Of course, a digital camera is a given. That follow up picture e-mailed is quite affective and it's good for them to hear you on the video too.
  8. Make sure all other departments within your organization are working together. Whether their responsibility is security, food and beverage, or golf, he or she is a salesperson, assisting you in selling real estate. After all, that's what keeps the doors open. So they need to be trained to think this way. A rude or careless comment or action from them can destroy in seconds what you have spent hours/days building! I know! It's happened to me.
  9. Generate more physical, and consequently more emotional, involvement with the prospect, such as boat rides, shrimping, fishing, hiking, golfing, or skiing. You give them a taste of what life in your community would be like.
  10. Remember to sell the various aspects of your community " by the slice. "

And finally, once the desire to acquire these values begins to take place, another emotion automatically kicks in as well -- FEAR. 

What we're talking about here is fear on the part of the prospective buyer of losing out on something that he/she has begun to perceive as valuable.It can be one of your most powerful tools in making a sale.

Using Fear as a Tool

It's human nature to want something more if we know other people want it as well. Maybe all of us are afflicted with a little bit of greed. The true sales ace will learn to subtly play on and enhance this fear, knowing that this fear of losing out sparks a sense of urgency to act. Most of the time, if there is no urgency, there is no action. How do we develop and capitalize on the fear of loss?

You have found out what the prospects want to accomplish. You have discovered what their deep buying motives their " hot buttons " really are.

Then you emphasize dollar values. Explain clearly how values have risen in the recent past. Kiawah Island sales ace Cynthia Bettridge has a super technique for demonstrating values.

She calls it " map overlays. " She uses three or four maps representing each of the last three or four years. She marks in different colors for each map, a number of examples of properties that were purchased and the prices that were paid. She starts with the oldest map by describing the prices in that year, pointing out examples that have been marked, and then moves to the next year, showing the escalation of prices in various areas of the Island. 

Cynthia told me, " It really helps establish credibility. The prospect doesn't feel what's being said is just a lot of fluff, because they can actually see the records of it. " 

Indicate the scarcity of your property, because a lot of people want the very same things your prospects want. This would be a good time to use articles, such as " How to Beat the Boomer Rush " in Fortune magazine's special edition of October, 1997. There are some great real estate articles in Harry Dent's book, The Roaring 2000. These chapters alone have made several more large sales for Brad Munday at Kiawah.

Tell them about marketing incentives that may be offered for a limited time, including natural ones such as low-interest rates and financing availability as well as internally-created benefits such as limitations on building permits or club memberships. The aim, of course, it to create a bandwagon effect everybody' s getting involved.

Be sure they get the sense that something is happening there, which will add to a sense of urgency to act. One of the biggest mistakes I see developers make is having too much inventory on the market. This destroys your ability to create a sense of urgency. I' ve seen salespeople give out price lists that have one hundred or more pieces of property on them with all the prices glaring. If you're going to give out any kind of price list, it should have price ranges, not individual property prices.

Purchased signs, if not on the sites themselves, should at least be on a site map in the office. The buyer must be made aware (through stories woven in even within the first twenty minutes of meeting the prospects) of others who have hesitated and lost out. They either lost out on their ideal property and had to settle for their second choice, or they lost money because they purchased after a price increase.

Look at it this way: The more the perceived value, the stronger the desire to acquire it. The stronger the desire to acquire it, the greater the fear of losing it. The greater the fear of losing it, the more intense the sense of urgency to act.

The more intense the sense of urgency, the more likely they are to decide to buy. And when that happens, everybody wins! It will be a " Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one! " 

It' s all right to look back in life -- but never get caught staring too long.

- T.L. Weaver

Sinking that ten-foot putt to win the tournament! Tagging home plate with the winning run! Stripping the net, with only two seconds remaining, to win the championship! Catching that pass for the winning touchdown!

All of these created a win in the books, but none of them actually won the game. Winning the game resulted from an intricate combination of well-executed offensive strategies, actions, and decisions, coupled with focused concentration on not making dumb mistakes.