Sales in real estate can be an intimidating and scary situation. That’s why many realtors and other real estate professionals look for a safe haven – real estate scripts.
But why are scripts important in real estate?
At first glance, they can help you know what to say in a crucial sales conversation. At a second glance, they can also inform you on how often they don’t work at all.
This article will give you the reasons why they often don’t work, in which scenario they are more useful, and what might be a better approach.
What is a Real Estate Script?
A real estate script is usually another term for a call script or cold calling script used within a real estate business’s sales conversation.
It’s essentially a sales script.
Now I just explained a term using other terms, so let’s further define it.
In turn, a sales script is a piece of paper with a text on it that you prepared and ideally practiced before having a sales call over the phone or video with a potential client.
Ideally, you will have sales scripts for different sales scenarios.
But you do not only cover different sales scenarios on the macro-level (e.g., cold calls, follow-up calls, etc.) but also on the micro-level.
The latter means within the sales script, you cover other scenarios that could occur in a conversation, such as typical objections, stalls, and more.
Today, software-powered solutions can pull up a particular sales script depending on the registered prospect that you call or that calls you. This technology is called C.T.I. (computer telephony integration) and is mainly used by call centers.
Suppose you have a C.T.I. system and a potential customer is on the line.
The system can then research them by their name. It can then develop a sales script immediately and dynamically based on the customer’s already known data and stored in the respective database.
The script and the additional information are then displayed on a screen, and the salesperson can go from there.
A script for a C.T.I. system is prepared by building out a decision tree to cover each possible scenario in a conversation.
From the system’s perspective, it goes like that:
- Pull out script A to open the conversation.
- If the prospect says “yes,” pull out script B to move forward
- If the prospect says “no,” pull out script C to handle objections
- If the prospect uses objection B, pull out sales script D to handle objection B
And so on…
I see a great value in this type of software for call centers dedicated to technical customer support, where different scenarios don’t have a high degree of variation within the conversation.
However, I am skeptical of their efficiency in dynamic sales call situations.
Bear with me; you will get to understand why I made the above statement in this article.
How Real Estate Scripts are Practiced – Does it Help?
The reason behind practicing sales scripts is easily explained when you are not the best reader and read an article or a book out loud to someone.
You can stumble over several pitfalls that will definitely not sound like a natural conversation when you read it aloud.
So the overall goal is to make a script that if you read out to a prospect, it will sound as if you were conversing naturally with them.
When you don’t practice a script, the pitfalls I mentioned earlier can be the following:
- You stumble upon words and reveal to the prospect that you are reading from a script.
- Even without stumbling over words, you still sound like you are reading from a script.
- You focus too much on the script and sound naturally and miss using essential elements of good communication. These are active listening, friendliness, confidence, humor, providing and accepting feedback, empathy, respect, picking up nonverbal cues, and responsiveness.
That’s why those who are convinced of using (real estate) scripts recommend practicing them a lot.
How Are These Scripts Practiced?
You can practice them alone, which is suboptimal or try to resemble an actual sales situation by roleplaying with friends or other people.
One plays the prospect, and the other uses the script.
Of course, the next step would be a real-life sales call situation. After these roleplays, you can refine and adapt the script to improve it over time.
But I would go even a step further.
To resemble a real natural conversation, you would have to practice the different scripts so much that you actually don’t use them anymore. So that in the end, you fly on autopilot.
In my article about “how to improve your real estate sales skills”, I mentioned what the top communication skills consist of.
So if you want to be a top communicator, you will have to do all of them ideally, depending on the situation.
What happens when you don’t have a script basically in your blood on autopilot?
You will cognitively be overloaded in processing additionally a barely practiced sales script.
Humans are not good at multitasking (yes, women, neither according to science). This means you will definitely neglect most of the elements that make a top communicator.
Why is it a bad thing for a prospect to realize that you are reading from a script in the first place?
It has again to do with communication skills.
You will not come across as someone authentic. The prospect will also feel that they are not worthy of a good conversation.
Additionally, they will likely not feel understood if you miss their needs, greed, and pains.
By the way, the latter is in line with the sales statistics I covered in this article of mine.
Only a tiny number (13%) of customers think that salespeople understand their needs. I suspect this is because of scripts.
Are Real Estate Sales Scripts Really Worthwhile?
I have used scripts in the past or, let’s say, tried it out. For some time, as a hobby, I even did a small radio show in a local radio station and used scripts.
And I know from experience that it’s super challenging to first create a script that sounds conversational and then secondly have it ingrained in a way that you additionally sound natural.
In a one-way communication such as a radio show or podcast, you can get away with that.
A two-way communication such as a sales conversation is a different kind of worm.
Now it bears the question when you have to practice a script so much that you don’t need it anymore, why use it in the first place.
Because of the many pitfalls of being a top communicator, using a real estate sales script likely decreases your odds for better real estate sales.
Suppose you talk to a potential property buyer. Using a script will be much more challenging to listen to them.
This will lead to you missing out on their pains, greed, and needs. Which is not too good for a sales call
Or what happens if your prospect suddenly starts to tell you a sad story that your script or script software hasn’t covered in one of the prepared scenarios?
You will start to struggle and get nervous. It may cause some uncomfortable silence because you will be searching for your correct script for this scenario.
In short, your reaction will be far from authentic and thus far from a natural and spontaneous conversation. And then your prospect will lose trust in you.
Usually, it’s not a strength of inauthentic people to gain trust with strangers.
The problem is in each sales conversation, you will find yourself in a dynamic and pretty variable interaction and with different personalities and characters each time.
What does this mean for the preparation for each scenario?
It means that a real estate sales script won’t prepare you appropriately for any eventuality that could arise.
Maybe at some point in the future, you could, though.
But this would be actually the moment A.I. would take over all sales calls.
This would require A.I. that understands human psychology, probably also transactional communication and different personality types.
It would also require that it detects and analyzes the prospect’s personality type by the phone number stored in the database and the prospect’s voice.
Maybe it could also use big data and learn further things essential for the sales conversation with the prospect.
In that case, it could pull behavioral data from past prospects’ interactions (e.g., social media, Zoom conversations, etc.).
Based on the personality type and category the A.I. puts the prospect in, the sales goals, and the live behavior on the call, it can then dynamically create the right script answers, behaviors, and questions for you.
The latter you can then read hopefully in a conversational tone better than the A.I. could.
At this point, I would say that the A.I. would be better at pretending a script to be a natural conversation than a human can.
Your real estate sales script would be pretty immense to cover all scenarios.
Imagine you having to turn many pages and causing unnatural interruptions in a conversation when you don’t know where to find answers to particular objections you come across.
An often better way than a script is, having a system with principles, and it’s similar to a script but not a script at all.
By practicing a system like that with roleplays and real potential clients, you will become more authentic and spontaneous in sales calls.
One of the best I have come across in this context is the so-called G.U.T.S. sales system by Claude Diamond.
He offers different training programs for real estate professionals, including many group roleplays.
Some of the elements of his system are the following:
- Asking good questions
- Qualifying early
- Mutual respect
- No presentation too early
- A variety of reverse psychology “moves.”
Here you can check out his website.
Coming full circle: are real estate sales scripts worthwhile?
Suppose you memorized them and practiced them ridiculously often.
So often, they have become part of you, and you can use them on autopilot, still sounding authentic as if you had a natural and spontaneous conversation. Then the answer is “yes.”
On the other hand, the effort and time you will need to get to this point, you could also invest in learning a sales system that makes you a natural and spontaneous real estate sales communicator.
I think long-term, the second option will be more effective and economically sound.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.