In today’s episode, the three buckets strategy that works like a charm with your buyer. Clients Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent I’m your host Jennifer Myers Listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I used in day two, became top producing agents. Now through this podcast and agent, rod School dot com, I’m sharing the same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside of the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get you to real estate business you’ve always wanted.
And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. You know, that there’s the Strategy called the three of us Bucket strategy that can help your clients be in alignment with what they’re looking for in a home, and helps them make decisions every step of the way along the long windy road that sometimes it takes to get to their ultimate house, the best possible house that they can get for their, for their money and for what they’re looking for in a house. So I’m gonna explain what this three Bucket strategy is going to explain this concept of getting into alignment and how you can use it in your own business.
And then I’ve got my trusty. Sometimes co-host Amy Weise here who will help you understand how she’s applied the same concept that she learned in her own business. And the reason I always invite Amy back is because she’s been through the evolution. She’s the one she’s been doing age in grad school for over a decade. And she, you know, some of these concepts become more or less important kind of as you evolve. And so she’s B she’s able to look in hindsight over the last 10 years and said like, this is how I use it. This is how it was important. So I think her perspective is really helpful too, to help you see, like, how do I take this big nebulous thing and actually apply it to my business? And so Amy is going to give you those examples.
So let’s dive in and talk about the three buckets Strategy in getting your clients in alignment. I think the best way to explain it is the way that I explain it to my clients. And so, as I’m talking through this, this is exactly how I explain it to my clients and how you can explain it to your clients as well. Oftentimes when you have a buyer client coming in, right, they want to start talking about their criteria and they are all over the place. They have all the stuff and it feels very chaotic. And they’ve got the swirl of things happening in their head. And that’s how most buyers approach their home search, right? They have all these things they want in their head. They are not sure how to organize it in a way that like adds clarity to it. And this goes for even clients who are buying and selling at the same time, who may be on the third or fourth house, it does not become more clear, easier with people.
The longer they’ve been buying a house, unless you introduce this concept to them. So the first thing is I say, I start listening to them, spew off all their criteria, which is wonderful. You let them talk first, but you say, this is awesome of all the things that we could possibly talk about when it comes to your home show search and all of the criteria that’s floating around in your head, all of that can fall into one of three categories. It’s either your budget, your location, or what you’re actually looking for in a home like one bedroom, two bedroom, you know, all that kind of thing. And so those are the three buckets. Can they find the house that they are describing in the location that they wanna live for the budget, for the price that they want to pay.
And I always tell clients, most times people come in and they’re not in alignment. There’s something off about that. Because if there wasn’t something off about those three buckets, then you would be able to wake up, scan the internet and go buy any house that you want. But our job as real estate agents is to add clarity to their search and tell them where are the little adjustments that they can make so that they can end up with the best possible house for the budget that, that they’ve set up for the location they want to live for the type of house that they’re describing. And so when somebody starts talking to me about all their criteria, I pull out this three Bucket note, a piece of paper that, and that that’s, today’s download.
It’s a The three Bucket Strategy PDF, where it already has it kind of divvied off into three sections on a piece of paper. And on the top it says budget. And the other one says location. And the other says house criteria. And so this is something that you can use when you’re meeting with Your with your buyers and the initial consultation to take your notes. And they see that, and you can say, look, here’s what I hear. I take notes. I’m gonna organize all of the things I like to start the conversation by saying which one is your most important, because what this does is start prioritizing which one they don’t want to switch. Right? We know that with every most buyers they’re going to have to make little tiny adjustments and they just don’t.
We just don’t know which one at this initial conversation. And so I always say, start with the one that you want to be the least flexible about. And what that does is help me see what is most important to them? Is it location? Is that their budget or is it what they’re really looking for in a house? And so it makes them pause and kind of think about, wow, what is most important? What do I want to be less flexible about? So making sure that you ask that in that way is really important as well. So as they’re telling you criteria, you just put the criteria in one of those buckets. So for example, they might say, I need to have a 30-minute commute. Well, you’d put that in. You’re in the location. Bucket but you’d also ask clarifying questions.
You’d ask School are you planning on commuting by car or bus or Metro or whatever? The modes by bike, because it, that way you can start to draw boundaries and you just ask clarifying questions because a 30-minute commute isn’t enough criteria you need even more. Well, how are you going to do that 30 minutes? Do you need to be on a bike lane? Do you need to be on a bus route? That kind of thing. Do you have a car? These are all the kinds of things. So don’t just take, don’t just take notes and be silent. Ask clarifying questions. Because what you’re trying to do is paint truly a visual picture in your mind, as the agent, you should be able to ask questions until you have a level of clarity about where you’re at least going to start.
And oftentimes buyers just don’t have that level of clarity. And so by you asking those clarifying questions, you start to paint this picture of like, are we talking about this neighborhood or that neighborhood? Are we talking about, you know, if I’m going to go search online and say, here’s the six houses we’re going to see, do I have a clear enough picture of what that actually looks like? So this is an interactive back and forth. They’re giving you criteria, you’re asking clarifying questions, and then you keep saying, okay, what else? Okay, what else? Another thing that happens during this initial conversation is people start to back away and they start to like already give up on some of their criteria. So the other thing you need to do to make sure that you’re getting the ultimate criteria is say for the next 30 minutes for the next hour, this is our time to dream.
I need to know how high you want to shoot. So, as you’re telling me, criteria that I’m going to put in the three of these three buckets, I need you to tell me, like, what would be most amazing, obviously within reality. So for the next 30 minutes, let’s dream because if we’re going to shoot for the stars, like I want to know which direction we’re heading. So pretend like whatever you really want is attainable. And then you start to see them park up and then they get excited about this criteria. And so this is a really important part of not only the initial consultation, but throughout your transaction with them as you’re showing houses. And this is another way that I explain it as we’re showing houses every single week that we go out and look, our job is to get more closer to alignment.
And so I always say, once we know what these three buckets are, right. Are we looking for, we were looking for these three Buckets to be in alignment. Can you actually, the question we need to ask is, can you get what you want, where you want for what you want to pay? And until we are in alignment, the answer is no. And so the expectation out of this conversation at that initial consultation is that you are just taking notes. And you’re just trying to see where they’re not aligned, where you might need to do some Help and adjusting them and seeing on your outings where, how flexible they are, which, which of those that you want to switch, or which ones they can be most flexible on. The other aspect of this is what you don’t want to change one of the buckets more than one of the buckets at one time.
So for example, you don’t want to have them increase their price, change locations and the number of bedrooms, and they need all in the same week. So you are able to pull them and say, let’s just change one of these buckets at a time. You’re not seeing what you want your criteria, okay, lets start looking at a different size of house or in a different location. It also allows you to say something like Listen, you can get the house you want for the price you want. It’s just that we have to move locations. Are you willing to change locations? If they say no, then you say, okay, well remember we have these three buckets. The all of the things that we could possibly think of when it comes to getting you the house that you want. It comes down to these three buckets, which one of these buckets should we start changing to get what you want?
And sometimes they say budget, you know, but it really puts the control and the power back into their hands because they’re a, to be able to say, I get to push the levers. I get to decide which one I adjust. And so you’re constantly reminding them and creating this clarity showing after the initial consultation. The other thing I tell clients is until we’re in alignment, we are not in the buying mode. So our beginning part of our search, we’re just trying to see like, are we in alignment? Are those three buckets making sense? Or do we need to make some adjustments? And once we actually get an alignment, then sometimes we just have a timing issue.
Right? We know that. And sometimes looking from the past, can I get what I want, where I want for the price I want to pay? And sometimes I have to show them the past and say, yeah, you absolutely can. Here’s an example of six houses that met your criteria in the past. It’s just a timing issue. So it’s a really wonderful way to take the search and all the criteria and all of the factors that can go into a house search and add a level of structure and clarity that again, add so much value to their lives and really makes this easier on them and add a level of clarity that they really can’t get anywhere else and they can’t figure out on their own. So Amy, tell us a little bit more about how you’ve used this concept because people are like, what buckets alignment.
I don’t get it. Like, can you paint a picture of how you’ve used this in your own business and maybe even give examples of clients without using their names, although it’s like the same story, just different names. Yeah. Yeah. I mean everybody, I mean we all face the same challenges. I mean, I’m a realtor, but I’m also a homeowner, so, right. So I know the challenges personally, you know, I think reading these buckets is a really easy way to know what, what we’re willing to compromise on and not right. And, and can we, and it keeps it very simple because it can get overwhelming looking at houses. And like you said, if you’re changing all the criteria at the same time and it’s really overwhelming. And I also think too, when clients do get stuck, when they are either not seeing what they want in the neighborhoods they want, or they are too expensive, it’s not the right house.
It doesn’t have enough bedrooms, bathrooms, what have you. We can go back and use that as a framework for our discussion. Okay, let’s look at what we decided. We decided we wanted to live in this neighborhood or this area. We needed these things to fit our location. We also needed this particular budget and we needed this, you know, the size of the house right now, what we’re seeing is let’s say houses that are over the budget or houses that are too small for what you’re willing to spend or not close enough to the transportation that you need, whether it’s a Metro or a bike or whatever, you know, what are we willing to compromise on? A lot of times you get a very silent answer, you know, on the phone or in person, because especially with couples, I think it’s tough.
I mean, it’s tough to make those hard choices. And then it makes them think about like, which Bucket I need to think about, you know, like it, it’s not just one aspect. It’s like, no, there’s this whole column that I have a choice of things I could pick, you know? And sometimes we have to identify, look, if you just moved three blocks, right. Or if you’re just willing to take the bus instead of Metro or whatever it is, like you can still have your location. Right. So there’s all these factors within that one Bucket but they get to choose from, and that might just be the thing that brings them into alignment. Right, right, right. Yeah. Or, or the opposite. Right. They might say, no, I’m not willing to, you know, it, within that location budget, you know, I don’t want to be three blocks over because it makes my commute 20 minutes longer or I don’t like that.
You know? And so it either way it forces the conversation and it forces yourself and your client to really start to think about what, you know, what, where can we, what can we tweak? How can we make this process? We’re getting closer to what you really want. And sometimes what, you know, things change over time discussion, you know, discussions are had about what, you know, what I’m willing to compromise on and what I’m not willing to compromise on. You know, I always tell clients, there’s almost no one beyond a celebrity that does not compromise when it comes to a home on something. You know, I mean, you will get you as close as we can to almost everything you want. And sometimes we do get a hundred percent, but generally speaking, there’s a, there’s always some sort of compromise, but it has to be a compromise you can live with right now.
It has to be one. That’s not, they choose to let me choose. Yeah. I’m not choosing, you’re choosing you. This is your commute. This is your home. This is your daily life. And, and all of those things. And then I remind them too, when we do veer off course, well, let’s go back and look at this list because when we met or a month ago, we said, this assistance important, you know, maybe these schools are important. Maybe, you know, is this still the case? Or, you know, let’s look at the budget again. Could we go up or no, we can’t. Okay. So this really is solid and has to stay where it is. So then let’s expand to the other two buckets and see what could possibly change, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. It’s a really wonderful tool, especially not only in the initial consult, because it really helps like create clarity there.
But when people are frustrated by their search and being able to like, just say, let’s go back to the drawing board, let’s go back to it. There’s only things that we can talk about. There’s only three things we can change. Which one do you want to start with? And sometimes people will say like, well, I can’t and they get upset. Like, well, I just can’t pay more. And I often will say things like sometimes budget. I mean, if that doesn’t always solve the problem, sometimes it could be, so don’t get upset if your choosing not to, to shift the budget category, then we’re going to say, we’re leaving that one alone. So we only have two other options to talk about, you know, and that’s location or the house. And so often, right. It’s like, that’s the big rub is, you know, I want to, I want to, I want to live in a certain neighborhood or I want a certain type of house.
And it’s like, which one’s most important, which one of those don’t you want to switch? Which one of those are crucially important. And then that sometimes identify as that third bucket where we can start making adjustments. And sometimes it, even if you’re not making an impact at that moment, if you end a search with that conversation, then they could say, look, just think about it between now and next week, you know? And let’s would you be willing to have something like to get the location that you want and keep him with it within your budget? Maybe that’s the question that you’ve got to think about it for the next couple of days, let’s leave it there. And then before our next outing kind of let me know, you know, and it really gives them again some homework.
So you’re not just like leaving them astray. They actually have a very concrete thing and the decision to make between now and your next outing. Yeah. And it eliminates a lot of frustration and, and trying to, you know, sometimes fit something that’s not going to work. You know, you know, that that sometimes people have in their mind what they want and forcing it to work. And I think, you know, after a certain period of time, you can go back to that drawing board in those three buckets and say, okay, what’s what are we missing here? What’s you know, and it could be glaring. It could be, well, the price is, you know, out of our range for this neighborhood or, you know, the style of home that we like is just too small for what we can afford, you know, all of these kinds of things.
But like you said, the bigger, the bigger takeaway here is the conversation. Having them think about what they really want, what they’re, you know, not willing to compromise on, in what they might be willing to compromise on because we can’t make those decisions for our, for our buyers. You know, we don’t live their lives every day when we are not taking, you know, that’s their li their lives, but it’s our, it’s our job. I think, to point out what those decisions are, right. And then be able to isolate what they are so that they can make the right decision. Cause so often it’s not clear, you know, and that’s where clients get stuck. And so if they are continuously seeing houses that are beyond their budget, then you say, look, well, your options, if you want to live in that neighborhood first, let’s look at the past.
Let’s make sure that it’s not a timing issue it’s across that issue off. Right. And if you, if it is the fact that you aren’t going to end up in this neighborhood with a house sized that you want, then you, again, isolate the choice, your choices, change locations, change what you’re looking for in a house, or change your budget. But we can’t keep going down the same rabbit hole. Cause we’re going to keep getting what we’ve already got because we’re seeing from history over a years, time, that is going to be the same. And so that’s what we can predict is going to happen over the next year. And so then it leaves them with like, okay, well I got to make a choice. I want to buy a house. I got to pick one of those things. The other way that I use this is when people are, when I’m kind of frustrated with people’s search, right?
Like if they keep, like, I keep showing them houses that are exactly what they said, that they don’t buy, or they just, for some reason aren’t buying, I’m saying like somethings out of alignment, right. You keep bringing it up, somethings out of alignment. Like we’re seeing houses where you said you wanted to live for the price you want to pay and it fits all of the three buckets. So, and we’re in alignment. So what is it, you know, you can be able to say like, it’s, that kind of conversation is also how else do you use it? Or what, what are the results that you see? I mean, I, I use it, you know, when it is, And I have my initial consultation, obviously, because that’s where I’m, you know, collecting a lot of information to help them find the house that they want to purchase ultimately, and the dream.
And I do the same thing. Like let’s dream big, you know? And then we kind of like go back down a little bit to what the realistic budget is. You know, I do, I use it when people are stuck. I use it when we’re out of alignment. I use it for myself when I’m stuck, I get back to my notes. Is there something I’m missing? You know, as agents, we are the experts. So is there is, is there a street over that’s in the same school district that I haven’t, you know, explored? Is there another neighborhood that would possibly meet those same needs that, you know, you know, I have to do my homework too. I have to be actively helping them with some of these stuck places because I’m out there and I’m looking at homes all the time and I’m in different neighborhoods.
So I have to make sure that I’m giving them good advice, that I am looking back at history and saying, this is what the history is. This is what the data says. The likelihood of you getting this is probably very slow low, or it’s probably a very high, we just need to wait, are you willing to wait those kinds of things, but I’m going to be doing my, you know, why they’re doing their homework. I’m doing mine. I’m making sure that I didn’t miss anything in that, in that list, in those buckets, location, price, you know, I’m going back to the lender, I’m looking at rates, I’m talking about their file. Are they able to do something else? Would they be willing to take an adjustable rate? Would that help them get into their home? You know, those kinds of things that we can then have that discussion, same things with, you know, would you be willing to take a little bit of a smaller kitchen?
What could you live with that? Or absolutely can’t or, you know, those kinds of things, instead of having a third bedroom, what a downstairs basement work, what are you going to use the bedroom for? You know, going back to that list instead of just reading it and saying, okay, well, this is what we have to find, right. That was really saying like, what Bucket can we pull from to start making some adjustments? And which ones should we not touch? And again, that’s a framework that’s so important for them to be like, Oh, I get it. You know, I have to first pick the Bucket then once I pick the Bucket, I can pick the things in the Bucket right. For that matter. Right. I think one thing though, that’s really important for this whole concept to work, is that what you just hit on, which is you as the real estate agent need to know your market.
So one big question that your clients are having and you should have is like, is this, are we in alignment? How do you know when you’re in alignment? And you know, when somebody is in or out of alignment or what they’re saying is that possible or not because you know your market, right. And so how do you get to know your market when you’re, when you’re new, are in a certain new area that your, that you’re working in, you’ve got to be out there looking at houses and saying, can here’s a certain price point. And if you don’t have any clients at this point, like for some new agents who maybe are like, well, how do I get experience? How do I use this concept of alignment? If I’m brand new, this is crucial. And that is be out there every single week, looking at the price point and the location of your most likely buyer.
Right? So for me, it was always a first time home buyers, right? And so it was like, where are the first time, first time home buyers want to live with what do they want to pay? And so the, I just went out and saw every single one of those houses. And so that I was able to understand, even before I had Clients what was possible. So that when a client came to me and said, here’s what I’m looking for. Even though I had no real experience, right. I have, at least I knew what the history said. And so I could say, you know, I think you can definitely get what you’re describing in the location that you want, but it’s going to cost X, are you willing to do that? Right? So you don’t necessarily need a whole boatload of Clients to be able to do this. You just need to be active, understanding what the market will bear in, whatever price point or whatever location is the most likely client tell that you’re going to be working with.
I agree. Yeah. I think it’s so important to do your homework. I think, you know, agents think if I have clients I’m working, you can be working without Clients and Your, and Your what you are working on is becoming an expert. You know, just like you said, and you don’t have to have a client to, to do that. In fact, you want to be the expert. When the client comes to you, you don’t want to be scrambling looking for, you know, Home values or a day’s on the market because you’ve been sitting around waiting for a client and now you have one and they’re asking you everything, and you have no idea. You know, you don’t want to do that. You want, you know, so use those days when you’re frustrated, when someone hasn’t called you back, when your newsletter, no one responded to that a two minutes after you sent it, you know, get out of the house, go see some things, you know, go do your homework and it will pay off.
And here’s the thing. Oftentimes I hear real estate agents complain about how their clients don’t know what they want. Are they want something that’s totally unrealistic. I hear that all the time. Again, this is a moment where you can add value to the search and having that difficulty. This is a perfect way for you to add value and actually answer the question. Why should somebody choose you? Because you’re adding this extra step for them to think about it and this extra way of thinking about their search, and it’s going to get them unstuck. It’s going to get them to actually understand how to go about making the decision to get more in reality or in alignment is the, is the word that we use.
So, anything else you want to add Amy, before we wrap this up and give some takeaways about how other agents can start implementing this in their business? No, I would just say to definitely use it, as I say, start with the initial consultation. Take good notes because you will go back to that at some point, like you said, there’s no, there’s no a client I’ve ever had that came to me and said, these are the three things I want. And I go, great. Here it is. And hand it over. Right. It’s going to do, they don’t want that. Actually. They don’t want that. Right. You know? And so you really want those notes because it might be two months down the road and three months maybe, or a longer. And we still haven’t found the home that we like. And, you know, go back to the notes. We have to do our job to, we can’t just put, we have to say, we have to look at our notes and say, what did I miss?
Anything here? Could we change anything? And then actively ask those questions to our clients, as your saying, to get them to start thinking, and then thinking outside of the box, you know, not just waiting for the right thing to come along for them, you know, opening up options and opportunities. That’s a value add that that’s critical. You know, so many agents, I think, well, there’s no inventory. So I would have money for your clients. If there was inventory, I hear this a lot. And that’s like a client saying I could get a house. If I had more money when sometimes the money doesn’t solve it. Right. You know the same thing. It’s like, no, you actually have to have strategies that help anybody that, you know, get into alignment because they’re either going to buy a house without you.
Or they’re going to buy are like, they’re either going to buy a house without you are, and they’re not going to buy a house at all. So there are clients out there buying houses. Your job is to find those ones, but not just think that they’re going to come in alignment, but it’s your job to actually help them get there, because if they can do it on their own, we as real estate agents, wouldn’t have a job. Right. And reminding them, you know, and I, I wish I had someone like myself to tell me about the things, you know, because I think Clients will say things to me. And then they’ll say completely different things. And I’ll say, well, let’s talk about, you know, how we talked about this was a priority for you, you know, with this being able to take your bike to work every day, 45 minutes or less, like you said, that was like, make or break. This was like your, your mental, this was your time that you must have, you know, and now we’re talking about you can’t do that.
Like, are we really compromising that? Right. And helping them hold true to what they said. They really want and helping to eliminate buyer’s remorse. Because even if they’ve made the decisions, if you don’t stop and say, wait a second, this doesn’t fit the location criteria that it doesn’t fit the location bucket that you said that you want it. Are we changing it? Right. You know? Yeah. And, and, and cause we get, we all get caught up. We get caught up in, in maybe the right house or the, you know, the location is perfect. And it’s like, you know, really reminding them when you see someone who that you think is going to make a mistake, you know, hold on, no, the boat, you know, let’s, let’s talk about this. And they see, they love that. You remember that’s important To them. And then they remember that they remember it’s important to them because sometimes we forget what are, what our core values are and the things that we are looking for, whether it’s our house or anything.
And we need to have people to remind us. So go download the freebie that goes along with this episode, go to agent grad school.com, click on this episode and get the three buckets PDF. So you can start taking notes at your initial consultation and using them throughout the pursuit and start implementing the strategy into your own business. Start talking about the three buckets and being in alignment and how they can’t buy house until they’re in alignment. And also explain how your job in this search is to help them get the best house that, that, that they’ve described for the location that they want for the price that they want to pay and has the characteristics of the house that they’ve described and all along the way throughout the pursuit phase and every house that you show them, the goal of those outings is for you to identify where they are out of alignment and give the option to them about which letter to choose so that they can get closer and closer to the very best possibility that they have described.
So again, this is just another way that you can answer the question that every single client asks, whether they ask it out loud or not, which is why should they choose you among all other agents and how can they make their dreams of buying or selling a home come true with you? So use this as a way to answer that when you actually have a client and throughout the client process, thank you for listening. See you next week. Right here on another Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent the Agent Grad School Podcast Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Remember change happens when you take action. So apply what you learned today to your own real estate business.
If this episode has helped you subscribe, leave a review and share it with all your real estate agent friends, and as always, if you want even more great resources to create the real estate business you’ve always wanted, and to have the life you want outside of your business, too, head over to agent grad school.com and sign up for the free weekly trainings. You’ll get free classes, discounts, and other goodies that only go out to real estate agents on that email list. See you next week right here on Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent the Agent Grad School Podcast.
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about your instructor
Hi, I'm Jennifer!
I'm a real estate agent, creator of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to become one of the top 1% of agents in the US using online marketing and modern, out-of-the-box business strategies.
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