S8 E7: FSBO Mastery: Secret Hacks
Meet Tonia Crowe from Greenville, South Carolina. Her goal for the year for closed sales is 65. Her main source of income is prospecting. At least 60 to 70% of her business is FSBO. She uses the Vulcan7 system to prospect FSBOs four to five days per week. Tonia is on the phone about two hours on those days. She says the key is to keep following up with clients. Once you get in there, make the presentation. If for any reason you don’t get it, just follow up because you will appear to be aggressive in a good way. You’re showing them the value, the power of negotiation skills that you have, the power of aggressiveness and they feel comfortable with you to list their home and know that they’re going to get the maximum amount of money. It’s all about skillset.
Tonia Crowe (00:04):
It’s all about skill sets. So, if you know your scripts, if you know the questions to ask and the way, sometimes it’s the way you ask the questions. For example, you don’t have to sell. But if I could bring your offer now at this price, would you be willing to sell? And where would you go next?
What’s the process from there? Do you have a listing packet? Do you follow up? What’s your strategy?
Tonia Crowe (00:29):
Yes. So, from there I have the listing packet. I go out and sometimes you don’t even need the listing packet when you get there. They’re just ready to sign and tell you to get started.
It’s at time. Welcome to Roadmap, How to Take Three Listings a Week until you’re ready for more. Each week we interview a great agent who’s consistently taking several listings each month and we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can. And then use the copycat principle. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, Carley Hathaway. That’s carleyhathaway.com. Hi Carley, how’s the real estate business?
Hi, Ren. Hi everybody. It is amazing. It’s a great time to be a listing agent. Loving it.
Super. Well, let’s get right to it. I want to introduce our guest today from beautiful. What a beautiful part of the country. Greenville, South Carolina, Tonia Crowe. Welcome Tonia.
Tonia Crowe (01:38):
Hi. Good morning.
We are so excited to have you on today. We know you’re like a major prospector. So, we’re so excited.
Tonia Crowe (01:47):
Well, thanks for having me.
Yeah, of course. Okay. So, we’re just going to dig right in. We do. What is your goal for the year?
Tonia Crowe (01:57):
So, my goal for the year is regarding listings taken.
No. Cold sale.
Listing sold. Sold.
Tonia Crowe (02:07):
Okay. So, my goal for the year for closed sales is 65.
Good. Good. Okay. So, your goal is 65 Home sold. How do you reach that goal? What is your main source of income? How do you get those listings?
Tonia Crowe (02:23):
So, my main source of income is prospecting. So, using the Vulcan system, I prospect for sale by owners, which is what I love. So, prospecting for sale by owners, I prospect at least four to five days per week.
Okay. How many hours a day are you on the phone?
Tonia Crowe (02:45):
So, usually I’m on the phone about two hours on those days. And if I don’t get anyone or not having a good day on the phones, then I do a little bit of door knocking.
Okay. Good for you. Let me ask you this, why do you love FSBOs more than expireds?
Tonia Crowe (03:04):
Well, I don’t know. When I first got into real estate following the Mike Ferry. He had a program that was for sale by owners or FSBOs. And so, I just learned that in the beginning and just became really good at it. So, it seems to me much easier. It’s like you’re going out and hunting for your food type deal/
But in a way I guess it’s easier because a lot less lot fewer agents go after the for sale by owners because they have all these stories, they tell themselves in their heads.
Tonia Crowe (03:40):
That’s correct. Yeah. So, the competition’s not as fierce in the for sale by owners as much as the withdrawns or expireds.
Good. Okay. So, is there a little bit more follow up or what… do you see the difference? You say it’s a little bit easier, I appreciate that. What is the lead follow up? What’s the difference?
Tonia Crowe (04:01):
Yeah. So definitely, the lead follow up is the sweet spot or the golden ticket, right? So, even though you get there and get in front of them, your chances of getting the listing agreement signed sometimes on the first attempt is almost like that golden ticket. But the key is to keep following up with the clients. Once you get in there, make the presentation. If for any reason you don’t get it, just the follow up is amazing because they look at you as aggressive. And hey, if you’re doing this much follow up for my property, then they look at that and say, “Hey, what are you going to do once it gets listed?” And this market, once it gets on the market, it’s sold really quickly. So, you’re pretty much, you look amazing at getting the property under contract very quickly.
Yeah. Okay. So, when you say that, what is your lead follow up system? So, say you go on a listing appointment on a FSBO. What’s your next and you didn’t get the contract signed. What’s your next step?
Tonia Crowe (05:03):
So, my next step is usually I call them back the next day just saying, “Hey, thank you so much for allowing me to see your property. Have you guys made a decision yet? I want to go ahead and get started working with you or for you now.” So, the lead follow up, then they may say, “Hey, no, not right now.” But you just can’t give up. A lot of agents if they don’t get it on the… once they follow up the next day, then they just say, “Oh, they’re not going to do anything.” But you’d be surprised I may call back two days later and say, “Hey, have you made a decision? The home next door just went on the market.” So, I’m just also updating them as well as follow up and just being a little bit aggressive until I get them to sign.
Okay. Okay. So, you’re not quitting. So, you call the very next day, then you call two days later, then you call the next day.
And she’s bringing value to those calls. She’s updating them on what’s going on. They’re like, she’s well informed. She’s aggressive. She’s determined. Why wouldn’t they give them the business? And I think most agents need to hear this. The stories that a lot of agents would tell you why I don’t like to call for sale by owners because they don’t want to pay a commission. I don’t want to call for sale by owners because they eat, they’re young, I don’t want to call for on and on. So, let’s say you.
Yeah. What’s your biggest objection you get from these FSBOs?
Tonia Crowe (06:28):
Yeah. It’s like everybody else. You do get the objections for. Oh, I can sell it myself or I don’t want to pay a commission because the listing agent’s not going to do anything but put it in the MLS. But that’s not true. I mean, yeah, you put it in the MLS but as you’re doing this follow up. You’re showing them the value. The power of negotiation skills that you have. The power of aggressiveness. And they feel comfortable with you to list their home and know that they’re going to get the maximum amount of money and that’s what you really want.
Okay. So, they’re going to net more by using you than they are if they do it themselves and you explain that to them. Now, would it be fair to say that you meet some for-sale owners that no matter what you say they’re not buying it and you have to move on? Would that be a fair statement?
Tonia Crowe (07:17):
That is a fair statement. And those sometimes you are as an agent, you get are a little bit harder on yourself. And my coach, Sharon Dover over at Mike Ferry knows that because there’s time, I’ve called her and like, “Hey, I went on such, and three four appointments and I can’t get these people to sign. And she’s like, she’ll give me some really good advice. But at the end of the day, some will not sign. It is what it is. But at least I know that I’ve tried my hardest and done the best that I can do.
Would you also say there’s a parallel between for sale by owners that have to move and for sale by owners that also have to move pretty quickly in your batting average?
Tonia Crowe (07:56):
Are those people like prime versus somebody that’s got plenty of time, could take a year or two where they’re not in a hurry. When we detect that. Is that a big waste of time or is there still some value left there?
Tonia Crowe (08:12):
I think there you’re spot on that, that’s true. So, some of the for sale by owners are a little bit more ready to move and they’re willing to work a little bit quicker with you versus someone that doesn’t have to sell as quick. They do tend to take their time, but if you can show them, hey, the markets what’s going on, they are a little bit more willing to work with you and get things done a little bit quick, quicker.
Okay. In the case of the people that have lots of time, would it be… is it if their excitement for the next place is strong, that would also be a motivating a factor. So, I guess what I’m saying is when you’re talking to… you talked to 14 for sale by owners yesterday morning, let’s say. Of those, two or three of them didn’t have to move, but of those two or three that didn’t have to move, they’re excited about doing something. Is that taken into account? I guess the whole motivation, timetable and desire has to weigh into where you spend your time.
Tonia Crowe (09:24):
Right. So, you’re right, timetable and desire and the end result where they’re going. How soon they have to be there. Even though they say all the time, “Oh I don’t have to sell, I don’t have to move, I’ve got time.” But when you really ask the right questions and dive in, then they would move tomorrow if they had the right contract with the right dollar amount. So…
Okay. So, you’re bringing up another point, what they say and what’s really going on at the beginning. You have to dig and dig and dig because they don’t want to share that they’re anxious to get going.
Tonia Crowe (10:00):
That’s just another objection to overcome, right?
Tonia Crowe (10:03):
Right. And those walls are generally come down once you get in and get through the listing presentation and it’s all about what Mike Ferry and everyone says, “It’s all about the right questions to ask.”
Okay. All right. So, you’re getting into such a level of rapport and trust, I assume. That they are a little more candid with you.
Tonia Crowe (10:29):
Right. And it’s all about skill sets. So, if you know your scripts, if the questions to ask and the way, sometimes it’s the way you ask the questions. For example, you don’t have to sell, but if I could bring you an offer now at this price, would you be willing to sell? And where would you go next?
Fair enough. So, you’re taking them through a process where they’re thinking about what that would look like.
Tonia Crowe (10:54):
Okay. I like this.
Mm-hmm. It’s really good.
No. I mean, because you’re selling five or six homes a month, probably some months even more. That’s which is a lot because most people would love to have that for one year. So, it’s a pretty exciting thing. How much is your business for sale by owner?
Tonia Crowe (11:13):
So my business for sale by owner because I like the go out and hunt every day. I’d say at least 60 to 70% of my business is for sale by owner.
Two out of three. Okay. Two out of three. So, is Hunter your middle name? Is it Tonia Hunter Crowe?
Tonia Crowe (11:31):
[inaudible 00:11:31] so.
Okay. Good. Good. I like that. This is exciting.
Okay. So, when you do get that listing appointment, you’re so excited. What’s the process from there? Do you have a listing packet? Do you follow up? What’s your strategy?
Tonia Crowe (11:50):
Yes. So, from there I have the listing packet. I go out and sometimes you don’t even need the listing packet when you get there, they’re just ready to sign and tell you to get started. But yes, listing packets generally and go in, do the presentation and talk to them, walk through the property. So that’s generally.
Okay. And how long does that listing appointment take you?
Tonia Crowe (12:15):
So, on average, if I’m in there longer than 20 minutes, I’m too long in my mind I’m like, “Okay something’s not clicking here.”
Oh, I like that.
I 100% agree because people, yeah, they want you to sell their house, but they don’t necessarily want you in their house for an hour or two. Get out of here.
Tonia Crowe (12:35):
I feel like-
I like that. So, you’re in and out in 20 minutes unless you’re signing papers, then it’s what, 35?
Tonia Crowe (12:41):
Yes. And yeah, it’s usually 35 to maybe 40 max.
Okay. I’m a direct to it. I like that. So, you are taking them through a very scripted pro in order to do 20 minutes or 35 to 40 with paper sign, you have to be taking them through a very tightly scripted process. And it also has to be in order to do it in that brief of a time, because a lot of agents are going, “How can I possibly do that? By the time I ask all these questions, I haven’t even started on my presentation.” Which means that you’re asking them a lot of questions before you get there pre-qualifying it as they say. Would that be… is that what’s going on?
Tonia Crowe (13:22):
So that’s what’s going on. I’m pre-qualifying before I get there. I’m prepared before I get there with comps and numbers and what I want to list the home for. And I’ve already on the pre-qualification with them, I’ve already determined if they have a mortgage where our numbers are. I did the research. So, my goal is to get out, get in and get out and get the listing signed and move on to the next one.
So, that allows you to go on three appointments a day if you want?
Tonia Crowe (13:51):
Okay. And the efficiencies, so there and because by the time you get through a lot of agents and some of them do two steps do, have you ever done a two-step or is, I mean, is it all just one step?
Tonia Crowe (14:07):
It’s usually one. Just depends on the client. Some clients are a little bit unique, so it honestly just depends.
Got you. All right.
So, when you pre… I don’t know. When I was starting out, I hated pre-qualing because I was so excited that I got the appointment. I didn’t want to pre-qual and get rid of it. So how much of when you pre-qual do you cancel that appointment after going through?
Tonia Crowe (14:32):
So, there is chances that I do cancel the appointment and I’ve learned that because of my time it’s so valuable. So, it’s better for me to cancel or not take the listing or in order for me to maximize my time and get new listings. So…
One more question in that, because it goes both ways. One of the major challenges with for sale by owners is you set the appointment on Tuesday, and you’re supposed to go on Thursday, and you call a couple hours ahead saying, “Earlier on Thursday.” And say, “I’m looking forward to our appointment at 4 o’clock.” And they go, “Well Tonia, we have somebody coming back for a second time and we’re going to… they’re bringing their husband and they’re bringing their wife whatever and we just need to hold off. Which happens a lot with for sale by owner. How do you avoid that from happening? What do you do when you hear it?
Tonia Crowe (15:29):
So, sometimes I you’re, you’re going to get that they’re going to cancel or they’re going to tell you we’re going to go another direction. Just depends on the pre-qual that you’ve done prior to that. Sometimes I will still show up to the property and if they’re still going to be there and say, “Hey this is what I have to offer.” Let’s rethink the whole situation. So, sometimes I do show up.
So, in other words, they left it as a voicemail and you’d show up at four, maybe you didn’t get the voicemail and knock on the door and see what they say. Is that it? Okay. So…
I like that style.
I like that too. But so sometimes I’m just thinking of all the for sale by owner situations I did for 16 years. But sometimes the only thing in the way of you signing a contract is this situation where they think they have a leader to. What do you do with that?
Tonia Crowe (16:31):
Well, if they have a lead or two, and I’ve talked to them, have you… basically asked the seller, “Have you saw that their pre-approval letter. Are you for sure that this is a valid lead?” And then they’ll answer, “Well, no, I didn’t know I needed to do that.”
Do you ever exclude any of those people?
Tonia Crowe (16:50):
What’d you say? I’m sorry?
Do you ever exclude their lead or lead a couple of their leads to go ahead and move forward?
Tonia Crowe (16:57):
Yeah. On some of them I have. And then I also tell them, hey, if I come over to the… once I get to the property, I can go ahead and verify that your lead is valid. I’ll go ahead and give them a call once you sign the listing agreement while you’re there. So, that way we can go ahead and get you to the closing table if that is a valid lead.
Okay. Good. Fantastic. So, what’s holding you from going to getting to 100 transactions? Because you’re at 65, which is a lot of money. And a lot of people would like to do five or six transactions a month average. So, what are the next steps? How do you get to that 100?
Tonia Crowe (17:41):
So, the next steps, like I said, I’ve been talking to my coach a lot of it is mindset. I think just preparing yourself mentally for those 100 transactions because that is different. That is a lot of work. All what I’m doing now is a lot of work. So…
Well, being on the listening side is a lot easier.
Tonia Crowe (18:00):
It’s definitely a lot.
Do you think you’re telling yourself I can’t handle a 100 or it’s… when you say mindset, can you expand on that?
Tonia Crowe (18:09):
Yeah. I mean as an agent it’s just when you get ready to shift to another level in your business and doing 100 plus transactions. It’s just you want to make sure you’re giving the right amount of service. And that also since I’m going on these appointments, that I’m making sure that I’m taking care of myself. And working out and eating right because with a lot more appointments comes a lot more requirement of yourself, right?
Do you have a morning routine that does all those things that gets your health and eating and mindset and place that before you start the day?
Tonia Crowe (18:50):
Yeah. I do. It’s almost like being an athlete, you got to keep your body in shape and mindset and just before you get into the game. So yes, I do have a morning routine.
Will you walk us through your morning routine? Because we all want to get on your morning routine and do the same thing.
Tonia Crowe (19:09):
So, usually I’m up about 5:30. I do morning meditation and then I hit the gym. And then once I’m showered and back, I usually get to the office or started my day around 7:30.
And then that what is that role play next? Or what’s next?
Tonia Crowe (19:31):
It’s role play, getting ready… preparing to get on the phone. Usually, I do it the night before, just looking at my bulk and what kind of leads. What follow up. And then getting on the phone and ready to go usually by 8:00 AM.
Fantastic. So, are you doing anything with your database? Are you taking care of those folks or what do they say? One trick pony for sale by owners?
Don’t say that. Because I’m a one trick pony too. It expireds.
Tonia Crowe (20:00):
Probably a one trick pony, but I am working on my database.
You do what with your database?
Tonia Crowe (20:07):
I am working on it.
Okay. Let me ask you this. So, you have a lot of lead follow up on your hands with FSBOs. How do you keep up with them? How do you coordinate it? Do you set timers? What’s your process around that? Because it’s easy to forget about people, right?
Tonia Crowe (20:26):
Yeah. For sure. So, I set timers. I also have a system that I use that daily. It lets me know which ones to call, which for sale by owners that I need to follow up with. And that’s usually, again, prepared either the night before or right at that 8:00 AM. But yes, I do have a follow up.
Good. That’s so important. And do you have a TC, an assistant. I mean, 65 homes a year. You got to have some help, right?
Tonia Crowe (20:57):
Yeah. So, I’ve got a transaction coordinator and we’ve got a showing agent and then a buyer’s agent that I send the buyers that I don’t want to work with too.
I love running on a lean team like that.
I love it. And if it’s any… from everything I know myself personally and also from other folks, when you hit a 100, it’s actually easier than when you’re at 65 if that helps.
Tonia Crowe (21:25):
That’s what I’ve heard. But I don’t know how, I mean-
It is a fact. It is a fact-
… it is a fact because you have some leverage that you can do and you’re a lot more systematic and you actually end up with more free time. As you get a 100 and higher, you actually can work a little easier week. I know that sounds strange, but it’s all true. If that creates any anticipation because you’re on your way and you’re already a rockstar, it’s pretty exciting. I mean, because most people would love to have your income. That is fantastic.
Yes. Let me ask you this, do you have a vision board?
Tonia Crowe (22:03):
Okay. What’s the next car on your vision board? I love cars. So…
Tonia Crowe (22:10):
I know, so my next car that I want would is a Bentley.
Yeah. What color?
Tonia Crowe (22:19):
I want black with either red or black interior.
[inaudible 00:22:23] red.
Tonia Crowe (22:25):
But I’ve also been on and heard about the Tesla that you guys… Ren’s talked about a couple times-
I know I’m getting my third one as soon as they’ll deliver it. It may not be until November. I mean, those are-
Oh, the one with the suicide doors? Yes.
Tonia Crowe (22:42):
Oh, yeah. That one
It’s so cool.
Tonia Crowe (22:45):
Do you have one?
No. I don’t. Not yet. I just got my last vision board car, so I got to put my new one on.
Tonia Crowe (22:52):
And what did you have?
I have X5 twin turbo. I like a fast car, but my next one is a vintage Porsche, but Ren said, I have to start dating a mechanic to get that one.
There’s some truth in that.
Yeah. Good for you. And the vision board really works. It helps, right?
Tonia Crowe (23:13):
It does. It does.
Good deal. This is so exciting.
And one of the things, the topic of for sale by owners, which is a struggle for real estate agents, and if they hear this, they’re going to all of a sudden… because honestly, folks, I’m going to look in the camera. Nobody, no agents are talking to them. Go list them.
Tonia Crowe (23:35):
And the good news is a 100% of them are overpriced, so it’s okay. They’re not going to sell right away because they’re all overpriced. Now I know it. We have markets where there are multiple offers and they last one day, and yet there will be plenty that you can get. It’s a numbers game, folks.
Tonia Crowe (23:54):
Yup. It’s definitely a numbers game.
Good. This has been a real treat, Tonia, and I’m thrilled that you’re here. And can we invite you back again next year and see how you’re doing?
Tonia Crowe (24:05):
Yeah. That’d be great. I love to come back.
We have to have you back and you have to send us a selfie in either your Tesla or your Bentley.
Tonia Crowe (24:13):
All from FSBOs people. All from FSBOs. Tonia, how can we send you business? How can people send you the referrals?
Tonia Crowe (24:20):
Sure. So, I can give you my personal cell number, which is 404-333-1102. So again, it’s 404-333-1102. And I can also give you my email address. So, it’s email@example.com.
Good deal. I want to thank everybody for being here. This is a lot of fun. And we’ll be back again next week with another exciting guest. Thanks everybody.
Tonia Crowe (24:57):
Thanks for having me.
Thanks Tonia. It was so much fun.