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How to Get Your Offers Accepted In a Competitive Market

Inquiring loan officers want to know: in a competitive market with multiple offers on properties, how do you get your client’s offer accepted? 

I sat down recently with my friend, Kei Kullberg, in New York’s Hudson Valley to talk about just that. Kei and I met after he started listening to my podcast from his tree stand of all places. Besides loving to hunt, he’s a loan officer who loves helping his clients get their offers accepted. And he’s really really good at it.

So what’s his secret?

It All Starts with Quality Referral Partners

Any way you can put your thumb on the scale and tilt it in your client’s direction is always appreciated by that buyer and their agent, right? Then you get the chance to work with another listing agent too. The faster your offer is accepted, the faster you get a contract, the faster you close, and the faster you get paid. Everybody wins in the faster-offer-accepted game.

So how do we make that happen? 

Kei says they’re taking the offer stage with their buyers very seriously at this point. Every agent wants to be a listing agent in this market, but Kei is encouraging them to take all the buyers, because his team has got a process that’s working to get them accepted offers. 

The agents put so much work into getting that lead and getting it over to the lender, as their partner. Kei’s mentality is that, if they can have that agent show 1-3 homes to a buyer—and they get the accepted offer—they can handle more buyers and can do more volume. And that’s good for everyone. They can spend their time prospecting more leads for Kei and his team.

Think of what could happen for us if our Focus 40 could scale their business by just 20%. Remember, the Focus 40 is our list of qualified agents that are referring to us on a regular basis. Why do we limit our list to 40 agents? It all comes down to swamp marketing vs. well marketing. Swamp marketing is when you’re marketing to a gazillion people but it’s wide and shallow with muddy water. Well marketing is less people but it’s a lot deeper and you’ve got sweet, clean water.

Now back to the buyers. If a buyer puts in 8-12 offers and they all get rejected, there’s a good chance they won’t move forward, because they’re discouraged at the end of the day. They feel like all that work was for nothing. 

It all comes down to promising to close on time, clearly communicating, and always following up. Kei tells the listing agent this when the offer is submitted, and they coach the buyer’s agent on this too. So often, agents just throw a hail Mary offer via email, and the listing agent doesn’t hear from the buyer’s agent or the lender. They’re truly doing their buyers a disservice. It’s an emotional process for a buyer to be interested in a home that they’re willing to buy and then getting beat out on an offer. Kei’s team wants to do everything they can to get them the accepted offer. 

The Perfect Set-Up for an Accepted Offer

When it comes to getting offers accepted, the Daily Success Plan (DSP) is crucial. The DSP is just two hours of phone calls four mornings a week. One of those days is strictly for calling realtors, and one is for updates on current files in the pipeline. 

Kei and his team ask the buyer and the listing agent to make sure they let Kei’s team know when they’re submitting an offer, so they can get the preapproval updated. They’re very detailed with their preapprovals. They have agent and client testimonials. They want to come at their listing agent with as much firepower as they can. When the agent speaks to their seller about the offer, they can lay it all on the table and say, “This is where we’re at.”

They’re able to do that by calling the listing agent and vetting their buyer’s qualification to them. Kei thanks our good friend, Steve Kyles, for helping him generate a script (conversation by design) for just this purpose. They let the listing agent know that they have a fully underwritten TBD approval that has already gone through three layers of Kei’s team. Kei’s loan partners are structuring the deal, and he’s hopping on the 30-minute loan consultation as a second look. Then, prior to sending the preapproval, they’re running the automated underwriting findings and the underwriter is signing off on it. They just need an address associated with the deal. 

When Kei makes that call, he simply says:

“Hey, this is Kei Kullberg, branch manager at AFN. I just wanted to reach out about your 7 Smith Street listing. Our client so-and-so offered on your home. I just wanted to call you and vet their qualification. They’re a home run applicant. I also want to vet my agents and the buyer’s agents’ partnership in this transaction. We’re here to keep you updated throughout the whole process and follow up on any request you have. Also, when you accept our offer, we’re promising to close on time, communicate with you clearly, and follow up consistenly. I’ll text you and the buyer’s agent in a group chat after this, and that will be a simple way to communicate outside of my team’s Tuesday update calls. If you accept our offer, we’re looking forward to contracts immediately so we can get this loan submitted and the appraisal ordered and guarantee your commission for closing in the next 30 days.”

So his client is getting ready to make an offer. He calls the listing agent to tell him how solid of a buyer this person is. He talks about his own qualifications, which is yet another way to get more business in the future. He follows up immediately with a text in the group chat. He told me he names the group chat “7 Smith Street” (or whatever the property address is) and uploads a photo of the home.

“We’re setting the expectation so heavy that they’re going to accept our offer,” Kei says. “They go to their seller and say, ‘Wow, they’re ready to go. Let’s just do it.’” After they accept the offer, he calls the listing agent and says, “Hey, so why did you accept our offer?” They usually laugh and say something about how Kei’s team communicated so quickly and so well that they felt really comfortable and confident that the deal was going to close. They’re even getting offers where they aren’t the highest bidder.

Implementing the Daily Success Plan

It’s all about instilling confidence in the agents, making calls, and using scripts. They make Thor’s Hammer calls every Monday where they reach out to their list of qualified agents and tell them they’re awesome. They also call new agents to ask to meet for coffee. Then they stay connected and build relationships.

Their conversion of preapprovals to accepted offers went from 20% to 41.5% this year. That’s remarkable. Kei says there has been a trickle effect because once a listing agent accepts their offer and they close the deal, when they see another buyer with Kei’s name on the letterhead, they’re like, “Cool, we trust this guy.” And he doesn’t even need to go through his spiel again with them. 

At the end of Kei’s Tuesday updates to the listing agent, he always asks for more business. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t, he says. It can be uncomfortable at first, but it gets so much easier, so much more natural. 

He said this process really helps them retain buyers as well. They’re a well-known lender in the area, and the listing agents know they fully vet their buyers. Buyers have a higher chance of getting their offer accepted if Kei’s company’s name is on the preapproval letterhead, because people know and trust them now. They have a competitive advantage. A lot of times buyers will send them the home they’re offering on, and they already know the listing agent, and Kei tells them, “Let me work my magic.”

Once you get your ducks in a row with the Daily Success Plan, everything just takes off. All those calls—to realtors, to preapproved and lookings, to clients in the pipeline, to the past database—start to come together in all kinds of connections. The more people you actually talk to, the more success you’re going to have. It’s about personal touch. That’s the secret sauce. It’s all about getting back to the basics.

As Kei grows and scales, he has his loan partners make these calls. And he doubles up on calls to realtors and his past database. Successful agents realize the importance of a team, and they don’t mind that Kei is delegating the calls to team members who can do it just as well as he can.

“I don’t have a team because I don’t like doing it,” Kei says. “I have a team to help serve you even better.”

Kei and his team have really found their groove, and they’re hardly even getting shopped anymore. You’ve just got to do it, he says. Just do it. Jump off that cliff and grow wings on the way down.

Would you like to experience the kind of success Kei and his team are having? You can! And we’re here to help. If you’d like a copy of our Daily Success Plan with all the scripts, we’ll give it to you. Click here to schedule your FREE call TODAY.