The third time a home buyer ghosted me, I realized I was making a classic newbie agent mistake: I spent too much time pitching myself and not enough time listening to my buyer’s hopes, dreams and needs. A simple buyer questionnaire that only asked the right questions—followed by an in-person meeting to discuss the information the buyer furnished—would have quickly built the trust and rapport I needed to keep them.
To save you the embarrassment from making the mistake I made, I put together this insightful buyer questionnaire. You can download the questionnaire as a PDF below, or scroll down to read it and copy and paste it into Microsoft Word.
What Is a Buyer Questionnaire?
A buyer questionnaire is a tool that experienced real estate agents use to learn what their buyer clients need and want from a home. A well-written questionnaire helps agents find the right home at the right price for their buyers and helps build the rapport they need to develop relationships with them. It is a simple list of questions that quickly build up their buying profile for your assessment.
Why Top Agents Use Buyer Questionnaires
While many newer property agents think they can just wing it and learn what their buyers need on a phone call, most top producing agents always use a buyer questionnaire. Here’s why:
- You may or may not be able to steer the first conversation with your buyer in the direction you want on a phone call. A good conversation, even a professional conversation, needs to flow. If it doesn’t, it will be awkward and might even turn your buyer off before you even get to personally know them.
- Writing down what your buyer says in your in-person meeting makes you look like a psychologist. Worse, if you have handwriting like mine, you will look back at your notes a few hours or a few days later and have difficulty figuring out what your cryptic scribbles meant.
- Finally, a well-written questionnaire is the best possible way to prepare yourself for a buyer presentation. It makes the buyer think a little harder about what they really want, and since the questionnaire covers the basics, it allows you to ask more personal, detailed questions at the actual presentation.
Example Buyer Questionnaire
Figuring out what you need and want from a home can be stressful. This is why I ask every new buyer I work with to fill out this short questionnaire. It helps me find you a home that will be practical for your needs and (hopefully) fulfill some of your dreams. Please fill this out as honestly and completely as you can. If you have any questions about this or anything else, please call me on my phone: [your mobile number]
1. How long have you been looking for a home? __________________________________
2. Have you seen anything you really like yet? ____________________________________
3. Which home would you buy if price was not a concern?
[ ] A Good Class Bungalow in Singapore [ ] A Hollywood penthouse [ ] A Malaysian beach house [ ] A 10,000-square-foot suburban mansion in Thailand [ ] A charming Victorian townhouse in London
4. What is most important to you about the location you live in?
BUYER’S NAME _______________________________ PERSONALITY TYPE __________
DATE ENTERED_______________________________ BUYER # ______________________
PHONE – HOME_____________________________ WORK______________________________
o RESIDENTIAL o RENTAL PROPERTY o OTHERS
TERMS__________________________ PRICE $_______________ to $______________
# BEDROOMS ___________ to __________ # BATHS ___________ to __________
SIZE _____________ to ____________ COMPUTER SECTION ___________________
SCHOOL DISTRICT ________________________________________________________________
OTHER DESIRED FEATURES: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How to Use This Buyer Questionnaire
Now that you’re hopefully sold on the value of having a good questionnaire, here is how you can make the most of it:
1. Pitch Your Buyer on the Value of the Questionnaire (Script)
Every time I go to a new doctor, I get annoyed. I make the appointment and spend a half-hour getting there, only to have a clipboard shoved in my face with 20 minutes of paperwork on it. Some of the questions make sense, but others don’t. Why does my oral surgeon need to know if I’m married or not? I would feel much more comfortable answering questions like this if I knew why they were asking. What’s in it for me? Your buyers are in a very similar situation but with one key difference.
The difference is that I NEED to go to the doctor. That buyer doesn’t NEED to work with you, or any agent, for that matter.
So telling them what they will get from answering all those questions is important. It will make them more likely to complete the questionnaire, take it seriously, and make you look more professional and empathetic.
Here’s an example pitch you can use:
Hi [their name],
Before we have coffee tomorrow, please fill out the attached questionnaire and send it back to me. This will help me learn exactly what your hopes, dreams, and needs in a new home are and give me the information I need to pull together a list of homes you will love.
Choosing a home is often a process of discovery. Many of my buyers have found that this questionnaire helped them prioritize what they were looking for and helped them avoid making expensive mistakes or wasting time looking at homes that weren’t quite right for them.
See you soon!
2. Use Their Answers to Prepare Your Buyer Presentation
As my wife always say, “You can’t sell steak to a vegan.” This is why having detailed answers about your buyer’s needs and wants will make your buyer presentation much easier. It will allow you to pull together a list of properties they might like, or better yet, schedule a quick tour right after your presentation. After all, you already know what they want!
You can also skip the new buyer spiel if you know they’re empty-nesters who have already bought and sold five homes before. You could even swap out the images you use in your presentation to appeal directly to them. For example, if they’re looking for waterfront properties, you could use stock images of waterfront homes in your presentation. If they’re looking for first timer homes, you can use first timer home imagery.
3. Add as Much Information as You Can to Your CRM
To use another quote, real estate agents are in the database-building business. All of the value you produce as an agent is in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This is why adding as much information as possible from your questionnaire to your CRM is essential. So after you get your questionnaire filled out and use it to prepare your buyer presentation, start using it to add data to your CRM. While you may enter this data manually, there are even ways to fully automate this by making the questionnaire fully online and integrated with your CRM, so that the automation happens without your direct involvement.
Depending on how your presentation goes, you can even set up a drip campaign using your CRM to send them drip emails with properties that fit their criteria.
4. Save the Delicate Questions for Your Buyer Presentation
No matter how charming or trustworthy you personally think you are, odds are that not everyone you talk to will agree 100% with you. Some people are highly cautious about sharing personal financial information with a total stranger. This is why we don’t ask delicate questions about income, savings, or financing in the questionnaire. Save those for your presentation, or even better, on your first showing. This way, they are less likely to think you see them only as a commission cheque!
Questions about marital status or children can also be delicate depending on country and context. This is why we ask about preferred school districts instead. If you have a buyer with a large family, trust me, they will let you know in person.
Over to You
What do you think about our buyer questionnaire? Are there any questions you ask in yours that you think I should add to it? Let me know in the comments.
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Author, Coach & Trainer
Yasser Khan earned less than $1,000 in his first year as a full time property agent. With no money for the $2 train fare to his Broker's office, he was forced to walk 25 kilometers on foot. Worse, he got evicted at midnight with his wife and baby son by the roadside. Desperate, he bought a $16 Sales book and took massive action. That single investment in himself gave him an OBSCENE ROI of $160,000 in just 11 months. Today, Yasser is on a mission to make the real estate great career again and helps ambitious agents quadruple their commission income within 90 days.
Yasser Khan is a real estate coach at YasserKhan.SG, trainer at PropertyAgentUniversity.com and the author of Property Agent Secrets Book who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S. plaguing the industry today.
Yasser Khan’s approach to coaching is highly personalised, holistic, no B.S., and for “PROS ONLY… amateurs not allowed.” He believes that true success means winning in every single area of your life (like Financial, Family, Social, Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Fun).
When Yasser isn’t coaching, he loves playing GOTY PC Games with top-of-the-line Razer products and being a kid again with his 3 naughty children (actually, boss babies...), traveling to and across scenic Pakistan, enjoying hot & spicy food, taking pictures of the Milky Way with his favourite Canon DSLR and reading up all about Dinosaurs (especially T. Rex)
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