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Thank you for your words of wisdom and experience. I have already benefited from some of the techniques in your materials. My return on investment will be huge! Thanks again. Mike Fortin, Platinum Group REALTORS®


How to answer common objections… May 26th, 2020 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

In my seminars and even here through a blog format, I’ve been able to share some of my best ideas regarding seller leads, which will then result in buyer leads.  However, a lead is just that until it is actually memorialized in ink.  There can be a lot of objections between the discovery of a potential client and asking for their commitment.  I wanted to make sure that you are clear on answers to some of the most common objections.

One of the biggest problems comes in talking with a client for the first time.  Your only goal in the first phone call is to determine motivation and make an appointment.  When the client says, “But I will not pay a full commission!” then your answer should be, “I don’t know of any transactions I have handled that haven’t been completed because of commission.  What would be the most convenient time for us to meet so we can discuss how to increase your net proceeds and help you to achieve your goal of getting closer to the beach (or whatever their core goal of selling)?”

Put off all discussions regarding price, market, marketing, commissions, and anything else until you are able to take them through the best listing presentation, which is detailed in our product Beating the Competition Every Time.  This product will not only give you a video of my listing presentation, but it will also take you through the audio of why I do what I do.  Also included are the documents to use in the listing presentation in book and data CD format.

Occasionally, you might have objections prior to getting that appointment.  These objections come about whether it is a good or bad market, but unfortunately, you will find more of them when the sellers are not as excited about selling.  Here are some objections that my coaching clients have most recently received:


  1. “We are not going to sell any longer.”

“I understand, but may I please impose upon you for two more questions?  (wait for response)  What caused you to put the property on the market in the first place?  (wait for response)  What has changed about that?”

Obviously, if there is something that has changed to affect their motivation then putting the property back on the market again is a realistic objection.  If nothing has changed, let them know that you can provide a customized marketing plan to achieve their goals and try some new concepts that were most likely not presented on the first marketing effort.


  1. “We are just going to rent the property.”

This objection usually stops most real estate agents cold in their tracks.  The reason is because they often do not understand investment property.  Let’s cover some basics.

Most rental properties will have an approximate 40% expense factor.  This means that without considering the principle and interest payments, there will be taxes, insurance, maintenance, vacancy factor, utilities, advertising, and a myriad of other expenses.  If you are able to say to them, “Many of my clients have mentioned that, but once I show them the true net that they can expect in this market, many of them allow me to achieve their goals by way of a sale.  Would it be okay if I could show you the numbers you talk about when you mention renting?”

Your job is to simply show them the numbers.  First, you will need to come up with an agreeable market rent amount.  Next, deduct a 40% expense factor.  You will be deducting the principle and interest payment.  Add back the equity pay down portion of that payment.  Figure the amount of equity the client would receive on a sale using your services, and agree upon a safe amount of return, should it be delivered to their pocket.  This amount of lost opportunity cost on their equity is then once again deducted from the rental amount.

Explain the concepts of buying up in a down market that will motivate someone to make a purchase in an unforgiving market.  Subtract all those numbers from rent, and the negative can be substantial.

If the market is at the beginning stages of a down market, you can let them know that they might have a number of years with further deflation in their price.  Please don’t forget to mention that real estate markets don’t turn on a dime.  If they think it is going to get better next spring, what they are actually saying is the market might actually stop going down next spring.  Explain to them that it might take years for them to achieve the same price they could have had in the previous year.

Your job with any seller is to find their motivation and goals then create a customized marketing plan to achieve that goal.  Show them how expectations regarding renting may get in the way of achieving those goals.


  1. The next objection you will hear is some sort of a put-off for a certain amount of time, maybe because of a holiday, maybe they are not ready yet, or maybe they just want a break. These objections can usually be handled by asking when they want their goal to be accomplished.

By working backwards, you can let them know that an appointment might soon be appropriate.  For instance, if their property had expired in December, they might want to wait until March to put the property back on to give themselves a break and hit the hot spring market.

If you were to ask them when they would like to see their goal accomplished and property sold, they might say “End of the summer before the kids go back to school.”  By working backwards, you can make a case for the fact that they should be seeing you potentially “now.”  The reason for this is that many buyers buy with the purchase subject to the sale of their property.  A transaction like this could easily take 90 days, which takes us from September 1st back to June 1st.  The marketing time in many markets has been at least four to six months, taking you back to January 1st.  The remaining thirty days will be for designing the marketing materials, getting the house ready for the market, and designing the media mix.  The goal of any conversation with a motivated client is to obtain an appointment.


  1. “We are going to list with a family member or a friend.”

Regarding their listing with the same agent again, I believe that it is easy to overcome this objection by offering them a win-win situation.

You can offer them the following: “I can certainly understand loyalty.  Let me run an idea by you.  What if I was to present my marketing plan, discuss with you all of its benefits, and share why it has been so successful in the past with clients like you.  At that time, you can decide whether or not you believe my plan might be able to achieve your goal of getting you closer to the beach.  If you still believe that your previous agent has not done everything that they know how to do at this point, then you can stay with them and offer them any good ideas I bring to you.  The benefit is that you can go back to your previous agent with some new ideas.  I get to understand your motivation and see your property so that I can show it to any buyers should you choose to list with your previous agent.”

This will usually get you an appointment.  If your presentation is cutting edge, you will find that because you have counseled the sellers better then you will be showing up with better solutions, which usually leads to a commitment and a listing presentation.

Sometimes they just have a family or a friend in the business, and they would like to use his or her services.  In dealing with this concern, it is important to point out that in any business decision you want to maintain the reigns of control and the ability to hold an agent accountable.  Explain that sometimes it is hard to put pressure on a friend or family member to achieve their very important business goals of getting their new residence.

You can explain to them how important it might be to have an agent who would not be offended if the client/seller wanted to see different marketing priorities implemented in a different way.  They might still think that their friend or family member is the cat’s meow, but they might begin to see the advantage of having a real estate agent they can more aggressively control.  You can mention that based upon the stats over their family member or friend, the days on market, or the list-to-sale ratio just how this is a much better business decision as demonstrated in net proceeds or in time saved.

If this second reasoning does not affect them, then they must be extremely close to this friend or family member.  However, at this time, they might be thinking about the fact that you might be a better alternative, but they are trying to figure out how to save face with that friend or family member.

As a last alternative, you might consider to offer them a referral fee.  As unhappy as it makes me, that might be enough for the client to save face with the family or friend.  You could say something like this:

“I think that tonight we have brought to light the fact that possibly my marketing plan might achieve your goals in a shorter amount of time with higher net proceeds to you based upon the figures I have shown you.  I do understand the fact that blood is thicker than water.  How about I offer your friend/family member a 25% referral fee based upon my gross listing commission?  Therefore, they would receive the majority of their profit without spending any money or time on the project and more than likely would be netting you more results.”

It is always amusing when they bring up the fact that they will just take the 25% off the commission they pay, which means that you probably offered the referral fee too soon!


  1. A lead is either worthy of the trash can, a newsletter list database, a calendared call back date, listings in the “A” class, or maybe an immediate appointment.

If you have any objections that you cannot figure out, let me know.  I will be happy to give you a cutting edge answer so you can continue the conversation to achieve the client’s goals.


Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.

Do You Plan for Trends? March 10th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

In 2005, we, the real estate community, saw interest only loans with no money down.  We knew the banks were going to own a lot of property.  I started systems that built relationships with banks so our clients would be in first place when short sale and REO listings would be considered. 

Now, the market is hot in some areas and getting hotter in others.  One of the many trends in this environment is the growing “for sale by owner” inventory. The FSBOs still don’t have a ton of equity but are sure they don’t need a REALTOR®.  Each of my coaching clients is great in re-educating FSBOs on the fact that they probably can net the same with one of our customized marketing plans, but the indoctrination always works better with a relationship.

Once a week, my clients absorb the new FSBOs from every local source.  A faster way to accumulate that same information is to subscribe to Landvoices’ fine product.  They do a great job of finding every FSBO in your area and delivering it to your inbox with all pertinent information.  Call them at 888.678.0905.  Be sure to tell them you got their name from me for a special discount. 

The first week, they call and explain that they show their buyers “secret property” that other agents do not show by using a buyer-brokerage agreement.  They ask the FSBO seller to help fill-in their information sheet with details not provided by the FSBO’s ad or Landvoice.  They also ask questions about motivation and expected closing dates.  The FSBO might ask about commission, which is easily explained by the fact that the buyer-brokerage agreement calls for the buyer to pay the commission if the seller does not.  The FSBO will, most likely, gleefully help you complete your spreadsheet questions. 

Before you get off the phone, let the FSBO know that you will be sending some free value offers and calling to follow up on a weekly basis as you try to match their property to your buyer database. You follow this process for 20 weeks. 

The results are four-fold:

  1. You impress your buyers by showing them “secret inventory” (I have 12 other secret property sources) 
  2. You increase your chances of a double-ended transaction.
  3. The FSBO may eventually become your listing.   
  4.  There is less rejection from the FSBO.


This is a true, multiple source of income from one exertion of energy system.  It’s what we specialize in at Sanford Systems. 

With this system, you have more knowledge about the property and the seller; additionally, you are possibly showing the property.  Don’t forget that you are also sending the FSBO value and following up every week so that you do not wear out your welcome.  You will even have your lender call with a third-party endorsement and provide more offers of value.

You’ll need the spreadsheet and the 20 weeks of letters/emails for you to customize for your business.  We have (nearly) perfected them over the years of using them, but I am sure there are some services that you don’t want to or can’t offer so feel free to customize.  Email us with the contact person (and his/her contact information) who is most likely to hire a speaker for a big real estate event in your area.  We will send you the spreadsheet and the emails — all for free. 

I can’t wait to see you at one of my seminars in your town!

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years.  One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry.  Do what works, do what is proven.  Hire Walter Sanford.  Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at


The Best Agents Initiate Consistent Systems to Obtain Listing Leads September 5th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate

Well, all the sellers are taking “happy pills.”  There are more FSBOs, and they are tougher to talk to now.  What are my coaching clients doing right now?

  1.  On the FSBOs, they are setting up spreadsheets that keep track of the information on all FSBO’s in their market area. 
  2.  They subscribe to services like Landvoice and REDx to get lists of FSBO’s. 
  3.  They check their hometown newspaper and subscribe to the rags where the really cheap FSBOs might advertise. 
  4.  They check all the FSBO websites. 
  5.  They have built a team of family, assistants, and affiliates who drive through town, always taking different routes.  This team writes down all the FSBOs addresses with their respective phone numbers, and they pull brochures, if available. 
  6.  They time-block this weekly accumulation of information for about an hour on Monday morning.  Each of the affiliates knows to get his/her information in before that time frame.
  7.  Next, my clients carefully go through the ads and complete their spread sheet columns.  The columns would be the following: property address; situs address; owner name; 4 spaces for phone numbers with the first one being the one used in advertising; bedrooms/baths; square footage; extra rooms; garage space; lot size; basement; upgrades; best features of the home; email address, and special circumstances.  Additionally, including columns to answer these questions: is the seller a local buyer; in what city do they need an agent; why are they selling; and what date they have to close. 


The first week of these activities will be tough, but it will get easier after that!  After the information is assembled for the week, a call is made to the seller.  Let the seller know that you show your buyers more than just MLS property.  If they tell you they won’t pay a commission, tell them that commission is taken care of by an agreement with the buyer via a buyer brokerage agreement.  Complete any empty slots in the spreadsheet.  Let them know you would like to send them articles and information that may help them, and let them know that you will call them after they receive the letter or email.

Send them letter/email #1 out of “Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter” from the FSBO chapter.  Call to follow-up on the value that you mention in the letter on Thursday.  Time-block it.

On the next Monday, do it again.  Send letter/email #2 to last week’s FSBOs and letter #1 to the new FSBOs for this week.  Call the new ones on Monday to fill in your spreadsheet.  With each call, you may be adding more information to your spreadsheet.  Call everyone again on Thursday to see what value that has been mentioned in the letter that you can deliver to the FSBO.

There are twelve letters and twelve phone calls in addition to the initial phone call to complete the spreadsheet.

Give copies of your spreadsheet to your buyer’s assistant(s) so that he/she can start showing the FSBO whenever they have a buyer who is even close.  Make sure he/she leaves a lot of material with your picture and name on it plus mention your name liberally.

Pay special attention to nice FSBOs who take value from you, have a clear reason for selling, and especially, have a definite move-out date.  “Special attention” means previews, personal consultation, pre-listing consultations, and sessions to show that if you use their closing date and work backwards that now would be the time to list.

Most sane FSBOs who need to sell, have taken help from you, talk with you, and have not sold should be talking about listing around the 7th week.  

In the meantime, show the property to your buyers and earn commission.  Talk the “sold” FSBO into being your buyer and earn commission.  Send the FSBO as a buyer referral someplace in the world and earn a referral bonus.  Get the buyers to whom the FSBO didn’t sell and earn commission.  Finally, build the FSBO into a raving client who becomes part of your database and earn money from the referrals and business after they have learned that being a FSBO is no fun. 

As I used to own this demographic, I’m proud to see my coaching clients dominating their individual markets’ FSBOs, too!  You could send another request for someone to like your Facebook page or get to work with great systems that make lots of money! 

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years.  One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry.  Do what works, do what is proven.  Hire Walter Sanford.  Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at


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