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By Mike Miller

RISMEDIA, Oct. 15, 2007-Consider the math: According to a leading FSBO lead service, there have been nearly 260,000 For Sale By Owner listings nationwide in the past six months alone. Yet, says the National Association of Realtors, only 12% of all home sale transactions are completed without a real estate professional.

That means the majority of FSBO sellers ultimately use the services of an agent-offering a great opportunity for those agents who can turn FSBOs into clients.

The overwhelming reason sellers go the FSBO route is to avoid paying a commission. It is little wonder they become irate when called by an agent they had no wish to talk to-and little wonder that few agents want to face a hostile seller.

But there are ways to help your agents build rapport with the most resistive FSBOs-and the savvy broker will recommend tools to help them do so. The key to success is to approach the FSBO offering as something of high perceived value.

Among the most effective is a simple strategy we have developed at Talking House. Talking House, as you may know, provides transmitters on which agents pre-record a sales message-much like recording an answering machine message-describing the key amenities of a listed home. Special signs invite house hunters to tune in on their car radios.

More than that, though, we have fully developed a strategy in which our agents approach FSBOs to rent the transmitters for just a few dollars a day.

As part of this strategy, no cold call is necessary. We recommend a doorknob kit be left at the FSBO’s home that contains a special DVD describing the rental offer, and a short note that lets the FSBO know when the agent will stop back to retrieve the loaner DVD. The DVD does the selling for the agent.

It doesn’t guarantee the listing if the sellers tire of trying to sell on their own. But, it does invite trust and appreciation and a non-threatening way for your agents to initiate that all-important first meeting-and it’s well-known that the listing generally goes to the first agent the FSBO talks to. At the very least, the rental approach can defray or exceed the moderate cost of the transmitters.

So, do the math and put your agents on the fast track to success. The field is wide open for capturing the lion’s share of FSBOs that eventually turn into listings. RE

Mike Miller is president of the Talking House Listings & Leads Program, a leading training program and a member of NAR’s Realtor Benefits program. For more information, please visit www.talkinghouse.com/ jumpstart or reach Mike at 1-847-227-5310, mike@talkinghouse.com.

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