Posted on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 8:00 AM by Craig L Proctor
On previous posts and webinars, I’ve outlined the basics of running my FSBO program. I thought I’d share a little Q&A about this program from other members as my answers to the questions asked should be useful to those of you who would like to run this powerful program in your marketplace.
Q: Could you please explain the FSBO Program.
A: Basically, the FSBO Program is designed to attract FSBOs who are not at all open to speaking with us. Instead of trying to convince them to hire us, we offer free marketing assistance: 1) the 800 FSBO sign, and 2) a professionally recorded talking script so that buyers can access info on their home 24/7. That saves the FSBO lots of time on wasted calls from prospects who are just curious, don't qualify, have a home to sell, etc. The ones that are interested, after having heard the message, are directed to call the owner at their home number for more information or to schedule a showing. All we ask is that if they do ultimately decide to pursue selling their home with an agent, we respectfully request an opportunity to compete for the job and be interviewed.
Q: I purchased the FSBO web site and have signed a couple of leads up recently. I received the marketing kit, but I have a few things that I need help with. Which Hotline is to be used for the FSBO Program -- the Property Tree or the Information Line?
A: You should be using the less-branded Info Line because you want the buyers who call to think it's marketed by the seller. That's also why you use a non-branded FSBO sign.
Q: How many deals a month did you generate from this program?
A: We probably did 10-12 FSBO listings a year from it, but got much more because our agents called all the hang-ups and offered the Buyer Profile service to those who had no interest in the house after hearing the recording. For those that were still interested in the house, assuming we reached them before they reached the owner, we scheduled a showing on the FSBO and got 3.5%, which we didn't have before and which saved the seller from paying the full 6 or 7 %. (Note: Understand that commissions are negotiable and that I am just sharing what I did and it is not intended to fix commissions in any market.)
Q: The advertising agreement does not mention anything about the duration of the agreement or commission. Does this mean that we still need to use an Open Listing Agreement from our board?
A: There is no agreement or discussion of commission. Be clear on the fact that this is a Free service for FSBO's. The purpose is to have the FSBO advertise the 800 number. At the end of the message, you direct them directly to the seller and include the seller's phone number. The secret to success with this program is recording ALL details about the home on the 800 hotline recording because the more you tell, the less likely it is that it will be a match for the buyer (i.e. too many eliminating features -- things we know to leave out of our own recordings in order to make our own offers universally appealing.) The benefit to the seller, however, is that anyone that does call them directly knows all about the home -- so they're a better qualified lead. Then you call all the hangups, because the majority will not have an interest in the FSBO property but likely still represent good buyer prospects.
Q: Over and above forwarding the leads from the web inquiries about the properties we list to the FSBO, how do we get the Hotline leads to them?
A: The hotline script instructs callers to call the seller directly if they have further interest.
Q: In sharing the leads with the FSBOs, how do we prevent a tug of war if we are contacting the same leads and one of the leads wants to buy the FSBO but has talked to both of us? We don't want the FSBO to feel we are working against them of course.
A: Most sellers don't have the first clue and certainly don't track. We follow up all the leads and if they have already spoken with the seller, we back off. If they haven't, we'll ask if they wish to see the property or any other properties that might match their criteria.
Q: Should we use any disclaimers to protect against any implied liability of representation?
A: Not at this stage, because you don't represent the seller until they sign a listing agreement. If you end up representing a buyer and bringing them to the FSBO, you'll need to get the seller to complete all the required disclosure forms.
Q: Since they are not an Exclusive Right to Sell listing, can we help them with a CMA to determine the price they should ask for their home under the FSBO program?
A: Yes, just like you help any other seller prospect. But if they're open to a CMA, then you should get the listing. The FSBO program is for sellers who want to do it all on their own. Don't allow them to use you.
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