Uncovering Their True Motivation


What is motivation?

Motivation is the driving force which influences our actions.

Motivation is the why behind the action.

Think about this analogy. You have a car with a full tank of gas, a well-tuned engine, a brand new set of tires, amazing sound system, and a sleek, polished exterior. There it sits. This car has incredible potential. (Have you heard that before?) However, until a driver sits behind the wheel, puts the key in the ignition, and cranks it up, the car doesn’t function. You guessed it; the KEY is MOTIVATION.

Another analogy. You talk to an owner who has an interest in selling, the numbers indicate selling is the right thing to do, they never use the property and the kids don’t want it. There they sit. This lead has potential. However, until the owner puts the property on the market, their situation means nothing. So what is the Key to move then forward?

The Key is their Motivation

One more…You receive a buyer call, they are excited and have their list narrowed down to two properties, they are prequalifed with the bank and have enough money for the down payment. There they sit. This buyer has potential. Until this buyer signs a purchase agreement, this is worthless. So, what is the Key to move then to contract?

Remember the Key is their Motivation

Many agents have a file full of potential. They have a database loaded with thousands of potentials. They have a list of past clients and a sphere of influence that has potential also. Some agents even have great database management systems with drip campaigns that they use to manage all of their potential.

Let’s compare the definition of Motivation along side of Potential

Potential defined: Capable of being but not yet in existence

Motivation defined: Driving force which influences action

Motivation = WHY and Why = Driving Force

We must stop looking for potential and start identifying the motivation of those we connect with.

The key factor for getting to the next level in your production is your ability to find potential and then identify the motivation behind it. There are many ways to find potential. You can phone prospect for buyers and sellers, send eblast, direct mail, open houses, advertise, build websites, Craigslist, purchase leads or work on referrals. No matter how you generate the lead or what script you use, you must understand the process of taking the conversation from a potential opportunity to an opportunity acted upon.

As we all know, scripts and dialogues are necessary to opening up a conversation, building rapport as well as keeping the conversation moving towards a desired result. In addition to the scripts and dialogues you use, there is a process you must follow in order to transition the conversation from a lead to a qualifed appointment. There are many scripts created by great real estate trainers across the country…you can google search real estate scripts and find hundreds of trainers willing to sell you their script book.

A good script will allow you to get on the phone and help you engage in a real estate conversation. This is what the script is designed to do and most scripts are very effective at accomplishing this goal. The challenge in these conversations is that the script doesn’t take you deep enough for you to determine if you are speaking with a motivated prospect.

Scripts are fantastic at helping you identify potential and sometimes that alone leads you to a listing or a buyer sale.

Using no Scripts leads to low production
Using Scripts leads to above average production
Using Scripts that help you relate at a deeper level leads to extraordinary production.

Here is the Simple Process

Why of the Why?
Why of the Why of the Why?

In every prospecting script, there is a time when you ask why they are considering selling. This the time where the prospect has the opportunity to share their motivation. The conversation typically goes like this…

Normal Agent Script:

“So, I am curious, why are you thinking of selling?”

Normal response from prospect
“I just want to get closer to my family”

At this point, the agent understands why they are thinking of selling but have not dug deep enough to find that driving force that causes the prospect to act now. The key is to dig deeper and ask additional questions. Until you identify the deeper motivation or the pain that the prospect is trying to move away from, you are not likely to convert the prospect to a client.

Here is a simple yet very effective way to identify the driving force that will cause your propect to act now…

Next Level Agent Script and Normal response from the prospect:

“So, I’m curious, why are you considering selling?”

“I just want to get closer to my family”


“Great, where does your family live?”




“Ohio, ok. Tell me this Mr./Mrs. Smith, what is important to you about getting closer to the family?”


“Well, my husband passed away recently and I really don’t have anyone to talk to in this area anymore.”


“Wow, I can understand how that could be a little lonely. So, realistically, are you willing to stick around this area for awhile or are your ready to get moved so you can enjoy your family?”


“I will sell today as long as I don’t have to give it away”

The above example is two different ways that an agent could handle the prospecting call. In each case, potential was identified. Remember, potential doesn’t lead you to the desired result. In example #2, the agent identified potential as well as discovered the motivation…the driving force that will cause this potential to get into action. This prospect is motivated to get to her family and no longer wants to live in her current location. From this point further you know that she is a motivated seller and your job next is to discover if she has the ability to conclude a transaction.

What is taking place in the Next Level conversation is the agent is digging deep. Understanding WHY someone wants to sell is important yet understandind the WHY behind the WHY is what takes your production to the next level.

What was her WHY? To get closer to her family.
What was her WHY behind the WHY? She is lonely.

Moving away from lonely is a much stronger motivator than moving towards her family. Moving away from the pain is typically a stonger motivator than moving towards a pleasure.

The following list are possible questions that you can ask when seeking to discover ones deeper motivation…

1. Why are you considering getting your property sold?

2. What is important to you about moving to Ohio?

3. What is the impact of you making this next move?

4. What happens if you decide not to sell?

5. Realistically, what is your long term exit strategy in the event the market doesn’t make an immediate turnaround?

6. How long can you continue to ride this market out?

7. So, why is that important?

8. I’m curious, what are the negatives of keeping the property?

9. If things don’t change, are you prepared to live here for the next 10 years.


These questions are only great questions once you know that the potential is there. You cannot skip step one!