How to Handle Objections as a Real Estate Agent

By: Matt Giggs | January 22, 2024

My Triple A strategy: Acknowledge, Ask, Agree

As a real estate agent, how do you handle objections? I’ve been in this industry for 28 years and I know that one of the big skills that you need to learn as an estate agent is how to look at objections like a pro.

What are you really focused on when you get objections? How can you use them to help your clients move forward? You're going to learn more about this in this episode.

I hope you take loads away and enjoy it, so let's dive straight into this: how to handle objections as a real estate agent in the UK. Now, you're going to get objections. It's par for the course for a salesperson in any industry.

In estate agency in particular, I think we could learn a thing or two about how to perceive an objection. How to look at what an objection actually is. For me, it's a step closer to helping that client make a decision that meets their needs. So today I'm going to share with you three very simple steps that you can take to improve the way you handle objections and achieve more for your clients as an end result.

Step 1: Acknowledge the objection

Step one is acknowledge the objection – 99% of salespeople do not acknowledge an objection.

Do you know what they do? They go into justification mode. When the client objects that their fees are too expensive, most estate agents justify this by saying something like, “Well, no, actually well we have sold the most houses in the area.” Or they’ll say “I've got a buyer willing to come around”, or “I'll drop my fee.”

Hang on. Let's talk about this objection just for a second. Let's dissect it. When the client says “Your fees are too high”, this is how I would approach it: I completely understand you asking that question – why wouldn't you? If I was in your shoes I'd be really focused on what the fees are for my estate agent. But can I ask you what you’re looking for from the sale of your house? What are the things that are really most important for you?

Do you see what I did there? I took the objection as an opportunity to bring the conversation back to their needs, not yours, because for me acknowledging the objection is a demonstration of listening. For more help talking to clients about your fees, have a look at “How to Raise Your Fees 101”.

We all hate being sold to, but everybody loves to buy. So when your clients raise objections they’re giving you a reason to overcome something so they can buy from you. That's how I see it.

Objections are simple steps towards a sale. So the first thing is you’ve got to acknowledge it. Don't be rude, right? If they're telling you something, acknowledge it.

Acknowledge it to show you're listening to them, and you're not pushing their barriers back up again. You're actually taking them down, and one of the easiest ways to acknowledge is to put yourself in their shoes. Say “If I were in your shoes, I would totally understand why you're asking that question” or “If I were in your shoes, I'd be saying exactly the same thing.”


Step 2: Ask questions

Swiftly move on to step two: ask questions. So you acknowledge and then you ask a question.

The acknowledgement bit keeps the barriers down for you to then ask a question. So for me, I would say “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” as soon as I've acknowledged the objection. They're always going to say “Absolutely.”

So I would continue like this: “Look, let's revert back. If I showed you how my fee was an investment for you and how it gave you the best return of investment which achieves the outcome that you're looking for at the end of the sale, would you see that as expensive or would you see that as a great investment?”

So once you've asked the question, it’s for them to answer. And you’ll find that half the answers are there if you listen. So if you listen, you should be able to ask another question, and then they'll give you another answer.

There's a really old adage that you've got two ears and one mouth – when it comes to sales, and I think it when it comes to life more generally, you should listen more than you speak. You know the difference when you're talking to somebody versus talking at them.

You also know that when you’re justifying yourself, you come across desperate. People want you to be confident. The best agents that I've worked for and with have all come across confident. They ask questions and they listen. That’s why in this three-step process we've talked about acknowledging (listening) and then asking questions. Your questions demonstrate not only that you’re listening, but also you're really truly interested in understanding more. When you understand more you can ask a question that prepares them for the final part.

Step 3: Gain agreement

The final step is agreement. Gaining agreement is the killer because once you've agreed something there's like an unwritten contract that you've just made with the client. For example, if you're talking about fees again, right? You’ll be talking about your client’s priorities.

They’ll have said to you that their priority is actually that you achieve the best possible value for their home. They want you to find them the right buyer – someone who's not going to muck around. They want great communication.

So then you ask would a fee or cheapness of a fee achieve that for them? Or if they saw that the investment in you produced that result, would they be happy to go ahead with you? So in other words, you're gaining agreement.

That could be a closed question, but for me “Can we agree?” is a great start to the third part. “Can we agree that fee then isn't the most important thing for you? And it's actually the best value that you achieve?”

So when you go into this three-step process, my AAA strategy, which I'm giving right to you now – Acknowledge, Ask, Agree – you take those steps away with you to use when you’re dealing with any objections.

Application of my AAA process in real estate scenarios

Let’s look at how this works. As an estate agent you might ring somebody up and you might find out that they're looking for a property and you have a house that you think's suitable for their needs. Then they say to you, “Just send the details.” If you’re not careful, you will launch straight into selling mode. Which means you’ll say something like, “But I really want you to come and have a look at it.”

Uhuh. Wrong move. What you need to do say is something like this: “Do you know what? If I was sat in your shoes, I would be thinking yeah just send me the details. It's the right thing to do. But is it really the right thing to do? You've asked me for x, y, and z, haven't you? Yes! Brilliant! This delivers that, so do you mind me asking what's stopping you from actually taking a look at the house?”

So now I've asked a question and they might say “Well, I'm not sure I've got the time.” Okay, then you need to ask if it’s really a case of the property not being suitable or if it's actually a question of booking at the right time. That’s where you get your agreement – that’s the end of the really really simple AAA process.

It’s all about first acknowledging so you don't look rude. You're showing that you're listening and you're genuinely interested in their needs. The second bit is to get permission to ask a question, okay? When you ask a question you uncover more of what's important, and when you uncover more of what's important you get the answers. That's when you can launch into the final part, which is to agree the next steps.

If you follow my AAA strategy, you’ll become an absolute pro at handling any objections clients throw at you.

Next steps

If you have any questions or comments, pop them in the comments below. Head over to my YouTube channel if you want to watch more great content like this – while you’re there, make sure you subscribe and hit the notification bell.

It's really important to me that you come on this journey with me, so finally from me I just want to say thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you here next time.