In the final weeks of summer, we’re thinking about that sudden surge of energy and business that comes to our community of Realtors each September. When you’re working on ramping up your business, it’s easy to say yes to any client. Over the years, however, we’ve seen that working with unqualified clients is one of the biggest drags on a thriving business.

A financial qualification alone is not enough to assure you of a good client. Just because they can buy or sell a home, it doesn’t mean that they will!

As entrepreneurs, our time is always valuable- time not spent with clients can be devoted to your creative methods of growing your business, so no matter how ‘busy’ you are, it’s a sacrifice to waste time with unqualified buyers.

Financial Qualifications are key- and something we (hopefully) do by default every time.

Beyond this basic tool, here are two other methods to qualify clients: Motivational, and Reasonableness.

A Motivational Qualification is looking at the situation of the potential client that is driving them to look at buying or selling. This is “I’d buy a house if all of the stars aligned at just the right moment” versus “My family is living in my friend’s 100 square foot basement after a transfer from another city.”

A Reasonableness Qualification is more elusive. This is the attempt to qualify whether your potential client is seeing the market, process, and relationship with you, their realtor, in a realistic or at least open-minded way. This can show up as anything from “I will sell my home if I get x” (when x is very far off base from the actual market value) to “I can only look at homes on Sunday nights at 6 PM.”

Reasonableness is the hardest to identify of these three qualifiers, luckily, it is also the easiest to shift with strong communication skills and empathy, giving your client the space to see the situation in a way that better aligns with their interests and the reality of the variables.