How to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

by Peter Thomas Ricci

By Bob Corcoran

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill 

I could spend this entire article moaning about the problems real estate has endured over the last three years, but I refuse to do it. And you should vow to yourself right now to never pay attention to any negativity. Everyone who knows me knows I believe success in real estate is about adopting a positive mindset. I’ve always been that way, and always will.

And while we’re on the subject of vows, I’d like you to make another one for yourself: From this minute forward, promise yourself that every time you see the word “obstacle,” you say the word “opportunity” to yourself under your breath. And the same for “problem,” or any other variant: hurdle, difficulty, pain, etc.

I’ve been coaching Realtors for 20 years now and there’s one word I’ve noticed that separates the average agents from the top producers: acceptance. Let me explain: acceptance that objections are a natural part of the sales process. Top producers get that. They accept that. And what’s more, they embrace that. They realize that if there were no objections in sales, everyone would be in sales. So the better you are at understanding that you’ll see objections every time you sell, and learning how to overcome those objections, the better off you’ll be.

Let’s go for a test drive by looking at a couple of fairly common objections:

Obstacle #1
Overly cost-conscious sellers. You may have heard this one before: “If I list my home with you and buy my next home from you, will you cut your commission?” Of course that’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. But my take is, this is an opportunity to explain all the details of the work you’ll do to sell the house to justify your commission. Think value. And then share all the value you’re adding by completing each of those tasks as you put the home on the market.

Obstacle #2
Hesitancy from sellers. This is a very common objection, especially these days. It goes something like this: “I’ll sell my home when the values go up.” Here you have the opportunity to explore why they believe values might go up and just how much they think they might make if they do wait. Probe to learn the specific reasons behind these questions. You can’t solve the problem (or create an opportunity) until you learn what it is. Maybe they think interest rates will drop farther. Whatever it is, turn that problem – their hesitancy – into an opportunity by addressing their specific concerns. Yes, it’s entirely possible values might rise. But as more and more time goes by, they’re also losing money they could have made by selling earlier. And interest rates, some believe, may be heading upward instead of downward, so that could impact them negatively when they buy a new home. Just know and explain your local market in terms that create urgency.

These are just two examples (and by the way, email me at article@corcorancoaching.com and I’ll send you a free article with answers to many common objections), but what I really want you to take away from this article is a fresh set of eyes that helps you view problems differently – no longer as hurdles, but as real opportunities – and not only in real estate, but in all aspects of your life. You may be surprised how this simple adjustment can change your life.

So as you move on in your life and career, think about where you want to be in the future. With a new vision, reaching your career goals can be a “problem” that actually becomes fun to solve. And, at the same time, you find yourself going in exciting and fulfilling new directions you may never have imagined.

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.

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