Realty Times: The Objective of Qualifying Questions

The most frequent first contact with a prospect is experienced over the phone. If an agent is contacted directly via sign call, ad call, or even floor time, they are likely to be working or focused on something else when the opportunity to interact with a prospect arrives.

We can’t lose sight of the objective of that prospect encounter. It’s to set a face-to-face appointment. That objective is primary to the selling process in real estate. The fall back position is a phone appointment for a specific day and time in the future. The concern and hesitation on the prospect’s part can increase the longer we manipulate to keep them on the phone. This is especially true if they feel there is a verbal judo match going on between you and them.

Their mind begins to think you are asking questions because you are trying to make a “quick” sale; that you are just trying to acquire information that you will use against them in the future. The more they feel this way, the greater the resistance you will feel from them.

Once you secure the appointment, you have been granted permission by the prospect to ask qualifying and service expectation questions. Most trainers in real estate will teach you to ask a litany of questions prior to booking an appointment. These questions will, however, raise the resistance on the part of the prospect. The best approach is to secure the appointment and then ask the questions. Unfortunately, you can’t always select the best approach. We will often have to ask a few questions to keep the dialogue flowing long enough to ask for the appointment a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th time.

Having a solid set of qualifying questions is essential when faced with a prospect over the phone, and taking notes right on the qualifying questions page for each prospect is paramount. You want to record their responses accurately. Remember, however, the true objective isn’t to get all the questions answered but to secure an appointment. I can never say that enough.

I have included a complete set of qualifying questions in script form for your use.

Qualifying Questions

Hi, this is _____ with _____. My desire for each of my clients is to provide them with outstanding service and counsel. For me to achieve that I need a few minutes of your time to understand your goals and objectives for your family.

  1. Where are you hoping to move to?
  2. How soon are you hoping to be there?
  3. So, if you could design the ideal moving situation for your family, what would it look like?
  4. Timeframe?
  5. Why are you moving at this time?
  6. _____, please tell me what is wrong with your present home?
  7. What is right about your present home?
  8. May I ask, how long have you been looking?
  9. Describe to me the home you are looking for?

    _______ Bedrooms

    _________ Square feet

    _______ Bathrooms

    _________ Style of home


    How Important?

    Specific Features:

    How Important?


    How Important?

    Price Range Expected?

    How Important?
    Condition of property

  10. Have you met with a lender yet?
  11. Have you seen anything you really like?
  12. Do you own or are you renting?
  13. Do you need to sell before you purchase?
  14. Is your home currently on the market?
  15. Are you currently committed to another agent?
  16. What are the best days for us to meet and see the property?
  17. Would this _____ or next _____ be better for you?
  18. What can I do to make it easier for you to get the kind of real estate information you are looking for?
  19. Tell me the process you typically use to make decisions like this?
  20. What price range are you considering?
  21. What is the most important service you want from a real estate agent like myself?
  22. Besides that, what’s next? (Go 3 deep)
  23. So if I provide ____ and ______ and _____, we would have a basis for doing business together?

    ______, I really believe we can help you achieve your list of goals. To really do the job for you we need to meet. Would ______ or _______ be better for you?

    I look forward to our meeting at ______. Our office address is ________.

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