About This Episode
In a challenging real estate market like this, you’re having harder client conversations than ever. More than ever, communication is the key to keeping your buyers and sellers calm and keeping their transaction moving forward. Jesse Zagorsky returns to The Walkthrough™ this week with specific NLP communication techniques that you can use to help your clients get out of their own way and make it to the finish line.
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Links and Show Notes
- Live. Love. San Diego Homes – Jesse’s Team’s Website
AgentPowerHuddle.com – Jesse’s free, daily training open to all real estate agents
- Book mentioned in this episode: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – by Robert Cialdini
- Article: James Clear writes about “because” and the copy machine study
- The Walkthrough™ episode 48 with Jesse Zagorsky: Apple | Spotify | YouTube
- Jesse Zagorsky: HomeLight Agent Profile
- Connect with Jesse: Instagram and/or Facebook
- Join our Facebook community for The Walkthrough™ listeners
- HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host)
Matt: It’s so nice when you sit down to watch your favorite TV show, and they realize, you know, you might have forgotten what happened in the past episodes. So they start with something like, “Previously on Billions…” or maybe it’s “Previously on Yellowstone…” Well, here’s the deal. I get to do that today. How fun? Are you ready? Here we go. Previously on The Walkthrough™…
Jesse: Absolutely. I’m sure you’ve encountered salespeople who were “doing it to you.” But the idea is you’re not doing it to manipulate someone. Right? That’s the whole idea of sales. It’s about persuasion, not manipulation. If your goals and their goals are in line, then it’s persuasion, right? They’re helping you achieve your goals. But yes, you probably have encountered people doing this.
Matt: That’s the voice of Jesse Zagorsky back in episode 48 of “The Walkthrough™.” It was early 2021, and we did an entire episode about NLP in real estate. It’s one of the most popular episodes we’ve done, but I don’t know, for some reason, we never aired it again as a replay. Probably should have, definitely should have. So when we were putting together our plans for season three this year, I thought, rather than replay that old episode, why not just do another one? So Jesse is back with me today, part 2 we’ll call it, 16 months later with more hands-on tactics that you can use to master the hard conversations. This is The Walkthrough™.
Hi, there. I’m Matt McGee, managing editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center, and welcome to The Walkthrough™. This is a weekly podcast. New episodes come out every Monday morning. This is the show where you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd and become irreplaceable.
Imagine if you had a better way to say a lot of the things that you say to your clients. Imagine if you had a tool to help your clients get out of their own way. You do. It’s called NLP, “Neuro-Linguistic Programming”. It’s not only about what you say, but about how you say it. It’s about listening and building rapport. It helps you be a better communicator.
Jesse Zagorsky is one of the best communicators I’ve come across in real estate. I’ve heard him speak at the big conferences. I’ve heard him on podcasts. I’ve watched him on videos. He’s been in real estate for 18 years. Jesse runs a small team in San Diego called “Live. Love. San Diego Homes”. They’re just three agents and one admin. They do about 40 to 50 deals per year, and that’s even with Jesse stepping back from production a bit over the past year.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, Jesse was my guest in early 2021 when we did our first episode on NLP in real estate. That episode was called “The Art of Persuasion through Better Communication”. We only scratched the surface then. So we’re gonna dive a little deeper today. Because here’s something I think we can all agree on: in today’s market, when your client conversations are more difficult than ever, we can all benefit from better communication.
So on today’s show, we’re gonna share more NLP techniques you can use to be a better communicator. You’re going to learn how to find out what really motivates your clients, three power words that grow your influence, and how to handle five specific objections with a technique called “reframing”.
Jesse and I are gonna do a lot of role play in this episode so you can hear exactly what this sounds like when you’re talking to clients. Now, I don’t want to assume that you heard episode 48 with me and Jesse last year. I also don’t wanna tell you that you have to go back and listen to that one first. So before Jesse and I get into the new stuff, we start with a three-minute recap of what NLP is and isn’t.
(SHORT MUSIC TRANSITION)
Jesse: So NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and it is a modality. It is a platform that has a lot of overlap to therapy and that whole world, but this is not therapy for your clients. This is truly a way, like you said, to connect to go deeper, but it’s really about…the way I look at it, it’s just another way to help our clients get out of their own way and do the things they wanna do. Right?
Matt: Yeah. And it’s about being, not just a better talker, but being a better listener as well.
Jesse: You have to have the talking and the listening. It’s all about rapport and deepening that connection. I mean, there are some persuasion techniques that are built into it. But again, yeah, it’s all based off of a foundation. If you look at kind of the foundational elements of NLP, it starts with active listening and rapport.
Matt: And one thing that I wanna make sure we repeat from last year because we spent… I kind of pushed you on this a bit. It’s not about being a pushy salesperson.
Jesse: It’s probably the opposite. It’s really not about being a pushy salesperson. I mean, if your interests and the client’s interests align, obviously, that’s the goal, is you’re looking to get new clients and to close deals. But it really is about tapping into the power of people’s brains and subconscious and being able to help them get where they wanna go, not to put your agenda on them. It’s very hard to get someone to do something that is not in their best interest or that they don’t wanna do. That said, we’re not talking about magic tricks and hypnosis and things like that.
Matt: I think that’s the key point too, is when your interests and their interests align, that’s sort of the foundation piece right there.
Jesse: Absolutely. And then in terms of the other piece that I’m sure we’ll go into because we talked about it a year ago, and by the way, if people at this point haven’t wanted to go back and find the episode from last year, they should because we talked about a lot of really good stuff.
Matt: We did. It was really good.
Jesse: And even if you’ve never heard it, we’re gonna build forth from here. It’s all pretty…at their core, they’re pretty easy elements. It’s about practicing them and ingraining them so that you can stack them one on top of each other. When it’s done right, it doesn’t feel like pushy sales, to me, at least. I think you agreed by the end of it, right? It’s not about being a pushy salesperson, it’s really more about understanding the art of persuasion.
Matt: You have to get to a point where this becomes second nature for you and it becomes natural.
Jesse: That is absolutely the goal with any sales technique you’ll learn, but especially with NLP. When you are learning this, you want to practice this stuff in a really low barrier or really in a low-risk environment, right? Because when you’re practicing it, it’s gonna feel awkward. I remember saying some of these things and practicing some of these things, and it felt like I had marbles in my mouth… [vocalization].
And so the last thing you wanna do is practice with a real client where you feel awkward, and then that lack of confidence translates more than anything. Your clients can feel that. And once you practice it and ingrain this, then it becomes part of who you are, there’s little examples of speech patterns that are part of NLP. I use them in my everyday speech now without even thinking about it because they’re just how I talk. It happened because of years of practicing them and playing with them until they got that comfortable.
Matt: Right, exactly. That’s fantastic. All right, let’s dive into some of these NLP techniques that we’re talking about. And for listeners, we have the same kind of situation that we had a year ago when we recorded. Jesse, there’s a list of like six or seven things here, different techniques, and we’re just gonna, like, pick and choose one at a time and have you kind of show me what it sounds like, what it looks like, and how it works. So where do you wanna…should we start with… let’s do value elicitation patterns. What on earth is that?
Jesse: A value elicitation pattern is a very fancy name for something that’s going to be pretty obvious when I point it out. Now, I’m gonna give you a statistic to frame this one up. The majority of people are motivated one way or another. They’re either motivated towards pleasure or away from pain. Okay? The majority of human beings are either motivated towards pleasure or away from pain. Which one do you think it is?
Matt: I would guess… Wow, that’s a good question. I would guess we are… The fact that I’m actually thinking about this makes me think it’s probably motivated away from pain. The obvious answer is that we’re motivated towards pleasure, but the fact that you’re asking me makes me say the other one.
Jesse: Yes. I feel like we’re in the scene from the movie, The Princess Bride. Remember that one where they’re in the battle of wits at the end?
Jesse: Okay. If you haven’t seen that movie for research, go watch Princess Bride. All right. Back to the story at hand. So you’re 100% right. Statistics have shown… I don’t know how they verified these statistics but they’ve done some psychology studies. Over 75% of people are highly motivated away from pain, and only 25% are motivated towards pleasure. Okay? What does this mean, the way when you said you had to think about it? The way it comes up in conversation– typically, people will tell you their goals first. They will tell you the things that they are moving towards pleasure. They’ll tell you the things that are important to them because it’s cool to have goals. Right? It’s like it’s a cool thing to talk about. Very few people will right away off the bat open up and just share with you that they are moving away from something.
Matt: That’s interesting. Yeah. Like we’d never have, “Hey, Jesse, these are the things in my life I’m trying to avoid.” Right? That would never come up. And yet you’re saying that that’s what really motivates us.
Jesse: That absolutely is, and that’s the value elicitation process. It’s a series of asking questions to go deeper, and I’m just gonna give the basic format of it now because we can give you some other specific language patterns. But the basic idea of it is you’re gonna find out, you know, asking questions like, “What will (fill in the blank) do for you?” Okay? “What will selling your house, listing your house, moving into a new neighborhood, what will this do for you?”
At a really high level, that’s where you’re trying to start by opening the dialogue, and you’re gonna listen for what they tell you and you’re gonna wanna go two to three, even three to four levels deeper from whatever initial response they give because, typically, that first response is just a surface level, and then it’s really two to three levels down. “Tell me more about that. What would that do for you? Okay, what would that do for you?” When you continue drilling in and peeling back the layers of the onion, that’s when you really start to hear their real emotional hot buttons.
Matt: Maybe this is the wrong situation, but say you’re in a listing appointment, for example, what would that conversation sound like?
Jesse: So imagine a home’s sold. Okay? By the way, which’s another word we’ll get to. The word imagine’s really a good word. So imagine you’re home’s sold. Imagine your home’s sold? What would that do for you?
Matt: My home is sold. That would allow me to move into a smaller house that fits the size of our family now, would allow me to have a smaller mortgage payment.
Jesse: Okay. Love it, small mortgage payment. And what happens if you don’t sell your house then?
Matt: If I don’t sell my house, then we have to still pay, you know, a lot more every month for a mortgage for a house that’s bigger than we need.
Jesse: Tell me more about that.
Matt: Well, you know, the kids are in college, and soon to be out on their own. So we don’t need, you know, four bedrooms and all this space. And, you know, if we can save $500 a month on our mortgage, whatever, I don’t know what the numbers might be, that would be fantastic.
Jesse: Okay. So it sounds like, basically, you’re paying for something right now that you don’t need.
Matt: That’s kind of what we’re thinking. Right.
Jesse: Right. And so I’m gonna pause here. I could dive into what’s this person in this role play going to do with the money when they downsize. Do they have a use for it? Right? Are they actually going towards pleasure? My guess is it already sounds like you’re moving away from pain. It’s this feeling of, “I’m wasting money,” or maybe you can’t actually afford it. You haven’t shared that with me yet but maybe you don’t want to afford it. But it really sounds like you’re like most people where you’re moving away from this painful spot. Even if you said, “Well, when I got this money, then I could use it to go buy an extra golf membership,” or whatever it is. My guess is it’s more of the away from pain than towards pleasure. Does that make sense?
Matt: That does make sense. Yeah, totally.
Jesse: And so it’s not necessarily something I’m going to use on the spot to take the listing. I don’t need to know that to take it, although when I repeat back to you in terms of recapping before I were to close for a listing and I can say, “Look, so if I’m hearing you right,”(it’s a phrase I use a lot) “If I’m hearing you right, it really sounds like this house is just bigger than you need. And so you’re paying for this mortgage that you really don’t need to pay. And if you could save that money and reuse it somewhere else, it would really make a big impact in your life. Is that right?”
Jesse: When I repeat that back, how does that make you feel?
Matt: Makes me feel that you understand me.
Jesse: Makes you feel heard, right? There’s an understanding.
Matt: Right, there’s a connection there.
Jesse: Right. At that very simple level, just spending the time to do that, and this is where some agents will ask a question or two. And it feels awkward at first to say, “Tell me more about that.” But when you genuinely ask, occasionally, sellers won’t wanna talk to you. But most people, when you genuinely and authentically ask and listen, they wanna talk, and they wanna tell you their story. And just you listening without saying much creates that connection. But where I’m gonna use it later is more when things come up during the process of the listing. Like, I’m really gonna file this kind of in the back of my mind, take some notes on it, file it for later. Maybe I’ll use it in taking listing in order to cement it so they feel heard.
But it’s more gonna be when it comes up and we have, I don’t know, a negotiation situation where, obviously, they’re in control, but I’m hoping to guide them and they’re being stubborn about something they don’t wanna give up. And I’m gonna remind them, “Hey, you know, you are absolutely in control. We can make any decision you want. I just wanna remind you when we first sat down, you were telling me about how the fact that selling this house was going to stop you from having to pay this mortgage every month that was just higher than you needed for this house you didn’t need that was that big anymore.” Right? “So if this decision we’re looking at potentially kills this deal or falls apart over a couple hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, is that worth it compared to finally getting this mortgage off your plate and being able to move on to a house that fits the size for your family?”
Matt: Value elicitation pattern, you’re trying to go and just like find out what makes the person tick?
Jesse: Absolutely. I wanna know what makes them tick, and I wanna go a couple levels deep. And I wanna save that in the back of my mind for a rainy day for when I need it.
Matt: You mentioned the word “imagine” earlier. So why don’t we talk next about words to bypass the conscious mind? That sounds very new agey, Jesse. Come on now.
Jesse: It’s super new agey, but I’m a new age person. I’m okay with it. But it’s a science. Okay? It’s new agey, but it’s Western science. How about that?
Matt: Okay, fair enough.
Jesse: Your brain, when you say bypass the conscious mind, our brains are hardwired to keep us safe. They’re processing more amounts of data. I’m taking this out of new agey into science now. Your brain is tossing… I can give you the number of how many bits. I forget how many millions or billions of bits of data every day we process. But you don’t consciously take it all in. But, yet we take this data and our brain’s job is to keep us safe.
And so in the world of sales, there are certain trigger words that we can use to, one, put your brain into a different state, one of those words being “imagine”. Okay? If you ask someone to imagine something, I asked you earlier and said, “Imagine your house is sold.” It’s very different than like, “Matt, your house is sold.” Because when I say, “Your house is sold,” you’re already thinking of like everything that goes into it. If I just say, “Imagine your house is sold,” at a subconscious level, your brain is processing that data in a different way allowing it to already feel real in your brain. Does that make sense?
Matt: That does make sense. Yep.
Jesse: And you’re not gonna be able to consciously, like, feel what I’m talking about. This is that woo-woo at a new age level. Right? So, “Imagine your house is sold. Okay? What does that do for you? What does that feel like?” Imagine is a great word to throw in there. “Imagine you’ve hired me as your agent. Okay? And I’ve done a fantastic job of selling your house.” I drop things like that into it. So even though you’re saying, “Imagine it,” you’re planting the seed as if it’s already happened.
The other word that we use a lot, there’s a few different power words we talked about, right? One of them is just the word “you”. Old school salespeople use someone’s name. If I was like, “Hey, Matt, let me ask you this.” You can only say someone’s name so many times before it just gets creepy and weird. Everyone listening to this has probably been in a situation, maybe it was when they were buying a car. Usually, that’s the thing that pops in your head.
Matt: Yes, I was just gonna say that. I was just gonna say that.
Jesse: Totally. Where, like, you could just tell when someone is in a very disingenuous way saying your name to get your attention because when someone says your name, even if you know it’s cheesy, like, it will get your attention. But if you do it too much, like more than once, it feels weird energetically.
Matt: It does.
Jesse: But you can use that word “you” as a placeholder for someone’s name really consciously, really strategically a lot more often than their name. Right? “Imagine you sold your house.” Okay? “Imagine you sold your house.” And is that the beginning to making it true? Yeah, absolutely. “Imagine you sold your house. Imagine you listed with me, and we’re already at the end of this transaction. How does that feel?” Right? “What would have happened to make this feel like a really successful transaction?”
Matt: Right. The minute you say that, I start seeing this, you know, world of possibilities. And how are we gonna get from where I am to what you just asked me to imagine?
Jesse: Yes, that’s exactly it. And so, again, these are all subtle things. And I’d be hard-pressed to sit with you and tell you this is why I convert better on my listing appointments. This is why I do better with clients. But I think when you put all these things together, they just add up to a different style of communication that helps people feel comfortable and also allows them to step into the future that you’re painting for them.
Matt: Okay. We’re talking about power words or words to bypass the conscious mind as it’s called in NLP. Jesse has talked about “imagine” and “you” as two power words. And there’s a third one we’re about to discuss, the word “because”. There’s a great story in a book called “Influence” by the author, Robert Cialdini. He writes about Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer, and the “Copy Machine Study”. Have you heard that? James Clear, the guy who did the book “Atomic Habits,” he’s also written about this study. I’ll have some links in our show notes for more background on all this, but for now, let’s get back to the conversation with Jesse telling us about this “Copy Machine Study” and the word “because”.
Jesse: And all these people waiting in line to make some copies in the library. Big long line, people are waiting, and someone would walk up and try to cut the line. Okay, just jump in and say, “Hey, I wanna make some copies.” And they tested how often that person was successful being allowed to cut the line just by saying, “Hey, I wanna make some copies.” Then they tested it, and what happens if that person used the word because? “I wanna make some copies because,” and then they gave any sort of explanation afterwards, “because I’m in a rush, because I have a lot of paper, because it’s Tuesday.” I just wanted to drop that in and pull up full circle. I don’t know why I actually said that. All right.
So here’s what they found. What’s your guess, Matt? How much more effective was it when they used the word “because” in terms of the success of actually being allowed to cut the line?
Matt: I mean, it had to be way more successful. I’m just imagining myself in a line like at the ballpark, you know, like the concession line, and somebody says, “I need to move in front of you because my kid is screaming,” or something. I’m gonna let them in front of me. I don’t even know if they have a kid.
Jesse: Exactly. Twice as successful, two times as successful by using the word “because”, and what they found was what followed those statement because almost didn’t matter. “I wanna cut the line because my kid is screaming. I wanna cut the line because I have six copies to make.” It doesn’t matter what they said. The word because, again, triggers. It bypasses that critical brain and it just triggers that if someone’s saying because, it must be because there’s a real reason, so I’m gonna agree to it.
Matt: How would you use that in conversations with real estate clients whether it’d be buyer or seller?
Jesse: Yeah. I mean, you can use it in almost any situation. This is why “because” when it becomes part of your speech pattern, so let’s say you have three offers that your clients are looking at and they’re trying to pick one. And again, obviously, your client decides, but there’s one that you really feel as strong and you’re trying to guide them to which one you believe is–your clients hire us for our recommendations–to which one we believe is the strongest offer, right? You’re gonna throw in. “Look, we have three offers here.” Right? “Because…”. You’re gonna give a fact or facts, whatever it is about that offer, right? “Because this and this, that leads me to believe this is the strongest offer. What’s your take on it?”
And I believe even if you don’t have… I mean, hopefully, as an agent, you have a strong recommendation as to which one is the best buy. I mean, as a listing agent right now, it’s one of the hardest challenges, which offer are you accepting? It’s not always just the highest, right? And so hopefully, you have a strong guidance as to which one it is. But even if they all seem the same to you and it’s a toss-up, when you allow the client to have a sense of security that they have selected the right offer, it just helps the transaction go better because they feel at ease they’ve made a good decision.
Matt: Okay, there’s another one technique, another NLP technique, Jesse, that I wanna make sure we cover here because it specifically relates to objection handling. And that is in any market, it’s very important, but especially again in this market when the real estate transaction is so difficult. So tell me about this concept of “reframing” or it’s called “level shifting”.
Jesse: Yeah, depending on who’s teaching it, it’s got a couple different names, “the reframe” or “the level shift”. And I couldn’t believe that we didn’t get into this one last time because this is one of my favorites that I use all the time. Let’s do this on the buyer side because you talked about buyers earlier. Right? And you’re representing the buyer. And one of the most common things I think you hear from buyers these days are, “I don’t know if I wanna write an offer. I just don’t wanna get into a bidding war.”
Matt: All the time. Every listener can identify with that right now.
Jesse: “I just don’t wanna get in a bidding war.” Of course you don’t wanna get in a bidding war. Right? Okay. So step number one of objection handling is I always agree, right? “Makes sense. I like the way you think.” Right? I’m not gonna make them wrong. And then you can go into…you’re gonna restate. But in this case, we’re actually gonna reframe it. Instead of going head-on into a situation where you’re trying to explain to them either why it’s good and they have to be into a bidding war because you’re gonna lose that one every time when you try to spin… “Every property we write an offer on is gonna have six offers. You’re gonna be in a bidding war, deal with it.” Okay?
You may end up with just motivated clients that agree with you. But what if we could shift gears, instead of tackling it head-on, we moved it to the side to an area that’s adjacent to not wanting to be in a bidding war by listening to what’s the underlying meaning they’re saying in that case? And let’s take it to a place where we can actually have some position of power and add some authority for them.
So when someone says… The way to do this technique of “reframe” or “level shift”, you wanna first ask yourself, “What are the alternative meanings that they could be making true?” So when they say they don’t wanna be in a bidding war, aren’t they saying they don’t wanna overpay for a property?
Matt: Okay, that’s fair. Yep.
Jesse: Aren’t they saying they don’t wanna buy a house that they may not really like just because they’re feeling competitive? Okay? We could come up with three, four, or five different reasons. They could all be valid. But I’m looking for someplace to shift it to that I could actually discuss. So in this case, I like the first one because that’s where my brain goes to, which is they just didn’t wanna overpay.
As an agent, I may not be able to tell them why they’re not gonna get into a bidding war. The structure of the reframe is what I’m hearing you say is, and then I’m gonna fill in the blank for whatever my alternative meaning is. What I’m hearing you say is you just don’t wanna overpay for the house you ultimately buy. Is that correct? I’m gonna end with…it’s called a tie-down. It’s a very short question to pull them in and make sure the question is landing, I’m on the right page. “What I’m hearing you say is, ultimately, you just don’t wanna overpay when you buy your house. Is that right?” And they’re probably gonna say yes. Okay?
If you’ve gotten it totally wrong, they’ll tell you no. You adjust a bit. Nine times out of 10 when you practice this, you’ve shift this somewhere you know, it’s pretty obvious they’re gonna say yes. Now, it’s just a matter of handling, how do we address the fact that they’re not gonna overpay? Whether we talk about historical values, how things have risen lately, right? The people that bought a house six months ago, who thought they were overpaying? Right? Look at what their house is worth now.
There’s all sorts of ways that you can justify this. Never ever, listeners, never ever promise the market will keep going up because you have no idea, you don’t have a crystal ball, but you can still talk historically because you don’t know what’s gonna happen. At the same time, we can look at trends. If your market has appreciated 15% in the last 6 months, is the house you buy today no matter what you pay for it, if it’s going to appreciate, can you really overpay? So ultimately, it’s more important for us to find you the house that you want at a price that you can afford the payments. That’s gonna make you feel comfortable. Correct? Like, that’s where I’m gonna shift it to. That’s another place to shift it to.
Matt: Gotcha. Okay.
Jesse: Now we’re no longer talking about the bidding war because the bidding war’s gonna happen. Let’s do one on the listing side. Let’s just do someone wants you to discount your commission.
Matt: I made a list of objections here. And the first one I listed was, can you lower your commission? How do you level shift or reframe that?
Jesse: Perfect. Okay. Not every objection handling technique is right for every objection, but the reframe is perfect for someone asking you to discount your commission. Right? So again, the first thing to ask is, in your mind, what could they be making true? What could be important to them? Do they really want you to lower their commission? Are they really saying that they just want the most amount of money in their pocket at the end of the sale? “Here’s why hiring me is actually going to net you more. Can I explain?”
Now I’m gonna go through the things that, “Even in this market where things are selling faster, here’s how we can net you more than the average agent, right? If every house is selling at 105% of market value, here’s my statistics. And for the last, you know, 18 months, we’re selling at 111% of market value. Whatever it is, you’re gonna see… This is where it’s about the most amount of money in your pocket.” That’s where you have to explain. Does that make sense?
Matt: That does. I mean, you’re shifting it over to what you think their main goal is and you’re showing how you help them get to that goal even without discounting your commission.
Jesse: Correct. Do you do a lot of videos, social media? Does the impressions you have… Whatever it is that causes your houses to sell for more. And if you can’t illustrate your value, if the seller truly believes that in this market, the agent doesn’t matter, well, you better go back and illustrate more value or else you’re gonna have a hard time justifying your commission.
Matt: Okay. Let me ask you a couple others, Jesse, that I think are, you know, from the seller angle, and tell me if you can level-shift/reframe these. The seller, you’re arguing about the price, the value of their home, and they say, “Let’s price it high and we can lower the price later if it doesn’t sell.”
Jesse: Well, it totally makes sense. What I’m hearing you say is you just wanna end up with the most amount of money in your pocket possible when this house sells, correct?
Jesse: Notice it’s the exact same thing I said before about commission. I’m thinking about the most amount of money. And now I can explain how overpricing your house will not actually end up having any more money in your pocket. But I’m not just talking about pricing, I’m talking about pricing strategy in the context of netting you more because every agent can attest to this and we can give actual studies and we can show you that when you price a home correctly in this market, it’s gonna get pushed up versus pricing it too high and it’s gonna sit there and then you have to reduce down.
Matt: Okay, here’s another one I wrote. “You’re too busy to give me the attention I want.”
Jesse: “What I’m hearing you say is you wanna make sure that you have an agent that is absolutely hands-on and understands your needs. Is that correct?”
Matt: “That’s correct. I want you to be available and help me through this process.”
Jesse: Now, I’m gonna be able to handle that objection because I’ve shifted to, “You want someone who’s a hands-on and understands your needs.” If I’m a team, I’m gonna go back and explain how my team structure allows you to have someone responsive and available. Doesn’t have to be me. But my team collaboratively is going to handle all of your needs better than any one agent ever could. If I’m a solo agent, I’m just gonna talk about how responsive I am and give you testimonials from my other clients in terms of responsiveness. Like, the fact that I sell houses means that I have the people, you know, that are in my back-office that can take care of the things that don’t need me, and you have me for my full attention with you. Right? That’s how I’d frame it if I was a solo agent because even solo agents have affiliates and people in their back-office that end up handling some of the other stuff. That makes sense?
Matt: That does make sense. Let’s do one more. What if the seller is, “You don’t have experience selling homes in this price range.”
Jesse: “What I’m hearing you say is you want an agent that absolutely understands how to maximize the value of your house, right? So they can just like knock the sale out of the park for you, correct?”
Matt: That’s correct. Absolutely.
Jesse: Okay. Now I’m going to shift it from, “You just said I don’t have sales in this price range.” But I shifted it to, “You wanna someone that understands the value of your house.” And I’m gonna talk about how I understand the value of your house better than anyone. Or let’s say I’m really good at marketing, right? And I’ve got a track record of marketing sales. I’ve never sold larger price point. What I’m hearing you say is you just wanna hire someone who truly understands how to market your house for every dollar it’s worth. Correct? Let me explain how my knowledge of marketing is gonna knock your house out of the park regardless of price range, and then you’re gonna go into that. So you shifted again to whatever place you have the best expertise in.
Matt: You mentioned at the beginning of the conversation, you talked about practice and getting to the point where this is natural. Unpack that a little more for me. Are we talking role play? Is that something that you have to do with another agent? Can you practice this on your own?
Jesse: Yes, yes, and yes. So role play is fantastic. I recommend, doctor-prescribed, 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week for like a couple of weeks, for a couple of weeks for something that you’re working on. Within a few weeks, you can get 80% of the way for where you need to go. I’m not talking about role play forever. I did role play this for our first couple years in business, but I had a different role play partner each day for 20 minutes a day. It’s all it takes. However, you can absolutely do it by yourself. And I would recommend you do both, role play and by yourself, writing out sentences.
You could spend 5, 10, 15 minutes just writing down the things we just talked about. How can I do level shifts that fast on the fly? You throw something out and I can shift it. Because I’ve practiced it and they’re the same basic things you go back to over and over. But if you write them out, “Okay, objection is this, seller says, ‘You don’t have experience in my price range.'” And I write out, “What I’m hearing you say is,” and you write out three different ways that you could have shifted it. And you do that over and over. That connection between the hand and the brain will solidify it for you. And then when you do have a chance to say it out loud to a real-life human being, it’s almost like… You watch any Star Wars movies?
Matt: Oh, of course. Yeah.
Jesse: You know when like Luke pulls out his lightsaber and it’s like [vocalization]. Right? That’s that feeling of confidence, that Jedi confidence when you practice this, when you’ve actually taken the time to internalize it through role play and/or writing it out, you know, in long-handed sentences, when you hear a seller say this, you’re like, “I know exactly what to say that.” [vocalization] That’s that feeling that when you have that, it just makes everything go a lot smoother.
(SHORT MUSIC TRANSITION)
Matt: I love the Star Wars reference there. NLP gives you the confidence of the Jedi real estate agent.
[lightsaber sound effect]
There you go. NLP is your lightsaber. That is perfect. If you wanna connect with Jessie, check out agentpowerhuddle.com. That’s three words all combined into one domain name. Jesse is one of the organizers of this daily 30-minute training session. It’s free. It’s open to any agent anywhere in the country of any experience. It happens every weekday at 8:00 am Pacific Time. And the URL again, it’s agentpowerhuddle.com. I will link to that in today’s show notes.
If you liked this episode and you wanna go back and listen to Jesse’s first time on The Walkthrough™, I highly recommend it. If you’re on Apple or Spotify, scroll back through the episodes, look for episode number 48. It was published on February 22nd, 2021. I will link to that episode directly in today’s show notes as well.
All right. Let’s do our takeaways segment. This is what stood out to me from episode 85, NLP in real estate with Jesse Zagorsky. Takeaway number one, NLP is a way to communicate better with your clients. Jesse said it only works when you and your clients’ interests are aligned. It’s not about being a pushy salesperson. Early in the episode, he said NLP is about being able to help your clients get where they want to go, not to put your agenda on them.
Takeaway number two, we talked about an NLP concept called “value elicitation patterns”. That’s where you’re asking a series of questions to find out what really motivates your buyer or seller. You’re trying to peel off the layers. Jesse talked about how 75% of people are motivated to avoid pain. And we did a role play where even though I said my goal as a seller was to find a smaller house that fit our family better, Jesse kind of uncovered that my real goal was to avoid the pain of paying a higher mortgage on a bigger house.
Takeaway number three, Jesse shared three power words as part of the words to bypass the conscious mind concept. Those words are imagine, you, and because. These are words that help you create influence and help your clients step into the future that you’re both working towards. Go back and listen to the examples that Jesse shared of where and how to use these.
Takeaway number four, Jesse explained the NLP concept of reframing. It’s also called level shifting in some circles. It’s a great way to handle objections. The idea is to reframe their objection into something that you can address head on. Again, go back and listen to that. We did five specific objections and how to handle them with reframing.
And then takeaway number five, you have to practice these techniques until they’re natural. That can be in the form of role play with other agents, or if you’re alone, you can just do it by writing things out. Like, “If the buyer says this, here’s what I will say to reframe the discussion.” Do this for a few weeks, and Jesse says you’ll be 80% of the way toward mastering those hard client conversations. And those are your takeaways for this week.
If you have any questions or feedback about what you’ve heard today, a couple different ways you can get in touch. Leave a voicemail or send me a text. The number is 415-322-3328. You can send an email, the address is walkthrough[at]homelight.com. Or just find me in our Facebook Mastermind Group. Go to Facebook, do a search for HomeLight Walkthrough™, and the group should come right up.
All right. That’s all for this week. Thanks again to Jesse’s Zagorsky for joining me and thank you for listening. My name is Matt McGee and you’ve been listening to “The Walkthrough™.” At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. Go out and sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.
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