Handling Objections

Transform a challenging conversation into an opportunity for growth

An aerial view of a beautiful coastal house situated close to a busy main road. The house should have a modern architectural design, with large glass windows and a flat roof. The nearby road is bustling with traffic, showcasing various types of vehicles. The coastline should be visible, with clear blue waters and gentle waves. The surrounding landscape includes a well-manicured lawn, a few palm trees, and a small sandy beach adjacent to the property. The image should be photorealistic, capturing the vibrant colors of the house, the ocean, and the busy road.

Image: Dall-e

It was a week out from the auction, and there were no bidders.

Our beloved reno on Cypress Drive was getting noise objections from pretty much everyone who came to the front door and not to point any fingers, but nobody was handling it well.

But what if you could be proactive about handling objections - by taking all of the feedback on board and asking the robot to handle those objections.

Or at least get prepared for them before they happen.

Prompt of the Day

Firstly, if there is an objection, you want to find out what is behind it because it could be very different from an assumption you might make. The last thing you want to do is jump into solution mode before you’ve explored the problem to see how big it is.

If you were to ask for advice from an AI, then you might ask something like this first:

I'm a real estate agent trying to sell a property that is [problem with property]. Pretty much every buyer has mentioned [insert problem]. Act as an expert negotiator and give me some examples of questions I should ask buyers to find out what is at the heart of the objection.

When you put a real issue in, it might play out as follows:

I'm a real estate agent trying to sell a property that is close to a main road. Pretty much every buyer has mentioned the noise. Act as an expert negotiator and give me some examples of questions I should ask buyers to determine what is at the heart of the objection.

I asked Claude this one for a change and here is the response:

Here are some questions you could ask buyers who raise concerns about noise from the main road near the property:

  • Can you tell me more about your concerns with the noise? What specific types of noise are you worried about?

  • How sensitive are you to noise in general? Have you lived near busy roads before, and how did that impact you?

  • What times of day are most important for you to have quiet, such as for sleeping or working from home?

  • Were there any rooms in the house where the noise was more noticeable, like bedrooms facing the road?

  • What kind of noise insulation features does your ideal home have, like double-paned windows or sound barriers?

  • Is this property missing any noise reduction features that you'd want to see added?

  • How might occasional noise during busy traffic times impact your family's lifestyle or daily activities?

  • Besides noise, what other factors are most important to you in finding the perfect home?

The goal is to get a detailed understanding of the root of their concern, whether it's sleep, work, health conditions, or other lifestyle factors. Noise can be mitigated in various ways, so with more information, you can better show how this home can meet their needs despite the road location. Focus on listening and finding solutions rather than dismissing or downplaying their concerns.

Once you have some idea of how big the problem is and have explored it some more, you might ask a follow-up question:

Can you give me some ideas of how to mitigate these, both with and without the vendors help?

Note I’m including “with and without my vendor’s help” because I want the answer to include solutions that are within and outside my control. 

Here are some suggestions for how to handle buyer objections about road noise when selling a property near a main road, both with and without help from the seller:

With the seller's help:

Ask the seller if they've had the property noise-tested to measure the decibel levels objectively. Provide this report to buyers to put concerns in context.

See if the seller can pay for soundproofing upgrades like double-paned windows before listing. This shows they are addressing the issue.

Have the seller disclose known information about traffic patterns on the road to set expectations better. For example, noting rush hour volume.

Advise the seller to highlight other benefits that offset the noise, like the convenient location.

Without the seller's help:

Research the road to get data on traffic volume, speed limits, etc., to educate buyers.

Suggest noise reduction solutions a buyer could implement, like fencing or trees to reassure them.

Note comparable sale prices for other homes near busy roads to emphasize value.

Offer to let buyers visit the property during high traffic times so they can assess for themselves.

Frame the noise as a tradeoff for the great location that minimizes commute times.

Provide ear plugs and advise running white noise machines to help buyers visualize minimizing the impact.

The key is addressing the concern directly with facts and solutions to overcome a buyer's objection. With the seller onboard, you can be even more proactive. But even without their help, focus on the property's overall value and ways to reduce noise.

This prompt really showcases the “idea generation” capabilities of large language models - instead of starting with a blank sheet of paper, it gives you some ideas to work on.

Happy Hunting 🚀