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Buying and selling real estate in a recession is no easy task. You have to work hard. And your margin for error is a whole heck of a lot thinner than when things are good. I’ve been in real estate long enough to see my fair share of booms and busts. And I’ve been in real estate long enough to know which sales tactics will lead to success–and which will lead to failure.

These latter tactics, the ones that kill deals, are all too common in our business. If you are not familiar with them, take a peek to see if you are making any of them. And see how you can avoid them.

1. Chase Dead Leads

Getting a warm body on the phone or in person in today’s economy can make some salespeople giddy. And it can blind them. Real estate agents are no exception. We get someone interested in us to help him buy a house. He’s got a few picked out. You immediately agree, jump in your SUV and pick them up. Three weeks and ten homes later you learn he’s got a poor credit score and is underemployed.

That would be a dead lead. You didn’t just kill a sale. You never had one to begin with. It was DOA. Next time around find out if they both have the desire and ability to buy. Stick them in your marketing funnel if they don’t.

2. Sell Features Before Benefits

Fireplace. Low utility bills. Close to downtown. In-ground pool. All of these are great things. They are also features. And can mean a thousand things to a thousand different people.

An in-ground pool sounds like work. Come to think of it, so does a fireplace. And what does low-utility bills mean to me? And close to downtown–so what? Next time around sell them on the benefits. Save money. Be the most popular guy in the subdivision. Romance your wife with a fire in the fall. Save time commuting so you can spend it with your family. Those are the benefits of the features I mentioned above. That’s what will sell him. Not the features.

3. Raise Objections Too Soon

Answering objections that your prospect or client raise is essential. But don’t get ahead of yourself and answer those objections before they have even been raised. Sure, you can cover some obvious objections, but leave the other stuff for them to raise. Don’t hide anything illegal from them. Just don’t point out issues that they may not being looking for.

4. Wait for the Prospect to Move

There are a hundred ways to skin a cat. There are a hundred ways to kill a deal. Some quickly. Others slowly. Putting the ball into the client’s court–and leaving it there–will more than likely lead to a dead deal. Keep the ball in your court and you keep the sale alive. You keep the sale moving. Tell them you will call them at such-and-such date and time to follow up. Tell them what you need them to do next. Control the sale and you won’t kill the sale.

5. Fail to Listen

You can, however, control a sale to death. In your passion and excitement to keep the deal and live and moving forward you might find yourself talking over, around and through your client. You say you hear their concerns and desires, but you aren’t listening to them. You are too busy moving forward. Too busy to listen. This is a great way to shoot yourself in the foot. Don’t do it. Slow down. Listen to your client. Ask questions. Check his pulse every once in a while. What’s he thinking about? Anything he needs to share? Probe, and then listen carefully.


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