By Alex Pilarski

Salespeople always ask me what they should say when prospecting. I tell them the key is not what to say but what you ask. Figure out the clients’ needs and wants and find them a solution for their real estate problems. Asking questions also helps to qualify them as potential business opportunities.

You will never waste time setting up appointments with poor leads again.

Here are the six questions you need to ask in chronological order. They should be mandatory in your prospecting script.

They identify if the client is in the market to sell their home. Then they set a clear timeline of when they need to move and what they’re looking for in their next home. This script gives you more confidence, since you know what to ask and why you’re doing it.

1. When are you planning to move?

Reason for asking: Figure out if the client is in the market to make a real estate transaction. Move on if the client is not interested in selling. If the client says they’re planning to sell sometime in the future, you can schedule to call them back.

2. How long have you lived at this address?

Reason for asking: Build rapport with the client and determine the level of connection the client has with his or her home.

3. Where did you move from?

Reason for asking: Learn more about their background and the type of neighbourhoods the client is used to living in. You can later use this information when trying to help them find their next home.

4. How did you pick this neighbourhood?

Reason for asking: Find out what makes this neighbourhood special. Learn important features that are special to the residents in the area. This will help you down the road when you’re trying to sell the home to other clients.

5. Where would you want to go next?

Reason for asking: Are they looking to upgrade, retire or downsize? Help them find their next home. This may mean more potential business opportunities for you down the line.

6. And when would that be?

Reason for asking: Figure out if there is a firm deadline and how much time they have to sell their home. Do they need to move because they are starting a new job? Are they expecting a baby and need a larger space? Decide if they’re serious about selling and why you should take a listing appointment with them right away. Only go forward and book a listing appointment if they’re ready to sell!

The key is to properly screen clients and determine if the are worth your time for a listing appointment. This is a wonderful script to help break the ice with clients and you will meet great contacts along the way.

Don’t get discouraged with the calls. Keep in mind that this is prospecting, and you are trying to find the one person in 100 who is considering selling. Prospecting is hard work, but it pays off with listings and sales.

Alex Pilarski was introduced to the world of real estate in 1972. In 1985, he co-founded Re/Max Realtron with his brother Richard. Together they have been awarded many top honours within the Re/Max system, including No. 1 Re/Max in the world in 2012 (most transactions), International Broker/Owners of the Year and the Prestigious Distinguished Service Award. He is also a certified mentor with Buffini and Company and Richard Robbins International. Send him an email or phone 905-944-8800 x302.


  1. Pretty simple, basic process unless you’re licensed in BC and have to provide 4 pages of disclosures to anyone you meet BEFORE you can have these types of conversations. It’s akin to a police officer reading someone their rights “anything you say I can use against you if I represent another party in a transaction”. Add that uncomfortable step into the process, and watch the conversation come to a grinding halt. BC licencees have lost their ability to function and interact in a normal way with clients and potential clients. Getting new business has become extremely difficult. Gotta love it when gov’t regulators who have NO CLUE how business works, makes the rules.

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