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Top Real Estate Agent Behaviors for Converting FSBOs Into Listings

Converting FSBOs into listings is one of the main methods for new business for real estate agents. There are multiple pieces to the process, of which influence and persuasion play a key role.

The process in general can be split into:

  1. Readiness and preparation (systems, branding and positioning, existing pipeline and content);
  2. Prospecting and lead generation (finding and approaching FSBOs);
  3. Closing (where influence and persuasion comes in);
  4. Following through (relentlessly pursuing leads);

Let’s take a look at each of these steps for converting FSBOs into listings in detail:

Readiness and Preparation

Before approaching a client, an agent must make sure that all of the proper systems and preparations are in place. In terms of systems, this can include:

  • CRM for managing leads (preferably with lead metrics);
  • Social media and content;

In terms of preparations, this can include:

  • Ready package to convert the FSBO owner;
  • Responses to common objections;
  • Documentation ready to move forward;

And more than anything, the right mindset. Many agents are prepared for failure, but not for success. If the owner replies positively today and wants to close the deal, do you have the documentation at hand? Do you know what the next step is, immediately?

Don’t make the mistake of assuming only the “technical” systems have to be in place – your mindset, usual sales process, interaction and communication style all must be in place as well. Even your productivity routines and rituals count as preparation here. If you don’t have a clear messaging, clear positioning, and don’t come across as congruent in all of your communication, you will have very inconsistent results even with all proper systems in place.

So, before even tackling clients, ask yourself: are my website and social media ready? Do I have an information package ready to convert the owner? Is my CRM system in place? Do I have a replicable, data-driven lead pipeline? If you don’t have the correct preparations and systems in place, approaching clients will yield you suboptimal results.

Prospecting and Lead Generation

This is just the process of finding and approaching FSBOs – in the real world or digitally. Although an essential step in converting FSBOs into listings, I don’t focus on it a lot, since it’s outside my core expertise of influence and persuasion, and since there are tools out there that can make a great job helping you with this.


This is the most interesting part. This is where a framework for influence and persuasion can really help you – for example, my Kingmaker Influence framework. You are going to have to perform the following, not limited to but including:

  • Elicit objections and disarm them;
  • Show empathy to build rapport and connection with the person;
  • Tailor the communication to their specific personality type;
  • Making them invest in you and dominate the frame;
  • Constrict their options;
  • Erode their convictions to install your point of view;

Being able to perform all of these different tasks will go a long way towards closing more customers.

Following Through

This phase is predominantly about mindset. Not all clients close or reject you immediately. It’s a subtle game of survival, of constantly contacting them, keeping on, persisting gently. Important skills and mindset elements that come in here including:

  • Knowing how to properly deal with rejection without being discouraged;
  • Having a proper “execution mindset” and a tuned RAS to closing;
  • Knowing how to apply all current influence skills in the long-term (knowing how to, for example, leverage investment in you not just to close this immediate sale but building loyalty in the long-term);
  • Maintaining a consistent schedule of contact – both personal and on social media – to keep contact with customers even when not selling;
  • Properly obtaining referrals from existing clients and prospects to generate new business;

You can think of this step as the “everything else”. It includes chasing down leads that don’t reply and getting them to give you an answer, it includes having the patience and persistence to close people that are still hesitating after you’ve done everything that you can, it includes having the motivation and focus to everyday keep at the task at hand, and everything else that helps you in the long-term.

Conclusion: A Fuller Approach for Converting FSBOs Into Listings

For successfully converting FSBOs into listings of their own, top agents must be able to first set a solid foundation (from marketing to customer management to social media systems, having materials in place and others), to successfully prospect and generate leads, all the way to the final close. And, of course, being able to maintain peak performance and manage their mindset as they navigate different circumstances and deal with customers at different stages of the sales process.

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