Win over objections: How hosting an objection-handling tournament can help you close more deals

March 30, 2023
 min read

Objections can be a stressful, albeit unavoidable, part of your job as a real estate agent. Whether you're working with a long-time client, a first-time home buyer, or a soon-to-be seller, there will always be hesitations you’ll have to work through. Buying or selling a home is a big life decision, so naturally, clients will have questions and concerns.

Objections can come from many sources, from the housing market to personal preferences. The truth is, there’s no way to anticipate every client's hesitation. However, you should know how to handle most common objections effectively and confidently.

So how can you become a more confident agent when faced with client objections? The key is to practice — and there’s no better way to prepare than an objection-handling tournament.

What’s an objection-handling tournament?

Stacey Wyatt, Founder and CEO of Stacey Wyatt Real Estate Group in Atlanta, GA, shared in a recent Homeward webinar why he prepares his agents for client objections through these rapid-fire sessions. “You shouldn’t practice on our clients,” he explains.

Stacey and his team host weekly practice sessions to ensure they can address client concerns. The market changes on a dime; these sessions ensure they have relevant answers when a client has concerns. It’s also, as he explains, a fun and engaging way to connect the team and help his agents gain confidence.

But overcoming client objections is more than just memorizing scripts or talking points. Your clients need to know you’re an expert. And that all comes with time and practice, which is why hosting a regular objection-handling tournament is so important.

Fired up and ready to host one of your own? Here’s how to do it.

How to host an objection-handling tournament

1. Find your participants

To start, you'll want to gather a group of real estate agents to participate in the tournament. You can do this by sourcing participants from your team or brokerage, social media groups, or contacting other network agents. The more agents that participate, the more diverse the objections will be, which will help everyone involved to learn and grow.

2. Write your objections

Next, you'll want to gather a list of common objections real estate agents encounter. These can include objections related to the housing market, such as "I'm waiting for the market to improve before I buy/sell," or objections related to personal preferences, such as "I don't like the layout of the house."

3. Create a bracket

Once you have your list of objections, you can create a bracket-style tournament where agents compete against each other to see who can handle objections the best. You can do this by randomly selecting objections for each round and giving each agent a set amount of time to respond. Judges can then score each response based on how effective it was in overcoming the objection.

The tournament can be a great way for agents to learn from each other and practice their objection-handling skills in a low-stakes environment. It can also be a fun way to build camaraderie and community among each other.

4. Review your answers

After the tournament, debrief with the participants and discuss what they learned from the experience. You can also use this as an opportunity to discuss any particularly challenging objections and brainstorm strategies for handling them in the future.

Become an objection-handling pro

Hosting an objection-handling tournament can be a fun and effective way for real estate agents to prepare for client objections. By practicing their objection-handling skills in a safe and supportive environment, agents can gain confidence and become better equipped to handle objections in the real world. So gather your fellow agents, create your brackets, and start practicing!

The content of this blog post was inspired by a recent Homeward webinar, “Objection Overruled: Creating Client Confidence.” If you’d like to watch a recording of the webinar and see a live objection tournament in action, click here.

How to turn your client database into a lead-gen powerhouse

January 26, 2023
 min read

Are you tired of sifting through your client database, unsure of who to reach out to next? You know there are valuable clients in your database somewhere. But working them? That’s another story.

Many agents find themselves in this predicament. While it may feel daunting, it’s manageable if you focus on a few key actions. You just need organization and a tight plan.

Before you send another client email, text, or DM, take some time to declutter your client database and transition to a well-oiled, lead-gen machine. We’ll show you how in the following article.

In this article, you'll learn:

  1. How to segment your leads
  2. How to create touchpoints that profit
  3. How to measure the effectiveness of your outreach
  4. How to create a path to predictability

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Segment your leads

It all starts with segmentation. By segmenting your database, you’ll be able to identify and target specific groups of people with tailored messages rather than sending the same generic message to everyone. And once you know who you’re talking to, you can craft a relevant message and engage effectively.

Leads generally fit into one of four categories: Icebox, Active Sales Pipeline, SOI/Past Clients, and New Leads.

What are Icebox leads?

Icebox leads are those in your pipeline who know about you but are not hot enough to work. They’ll likely be outside the 12-month mark when buying or selling property.

How do I identify clients in my sphere of influence (SOI)?

Clients in your sphere of influence know your name and what you do. Consider clients who actively engage with your social media posts, clients you’ve worked with in the past, or clients who have referred others to you.

What is my Active Sales Pipeline (ASP)?

If you know someone actively buying, selling, or investing within the next 12 months, they’ll fall into your Active Sales Pipeline. These clients should get your deliberate attention.

Clients within your ASP will be further classified as either “hot,” “warm,” or “cold” leads. 

  • What are “hot” leads? Hot leads are any clients looking to buy, sell, or invest within 90 days.
  • What are “warm” leads? Warm leads are any clients who want to buy, sell, or invest within the next three to six months. Think about new parents who need to upgrade or recent retirees who need to downsize.
  • What are “cold” leads? Cold leads are clients buying, selling, or investing within the next 12 months.

Which clients count as New Leads? 

Did you recently host an open house? Run a marketing campaign? Make a connection at a happy hour? Those are New Leads.

Once you’ve identified which clients in your database fit into which category, label them in your CRM for easy sorting and identification. Additionally, as a general rule, keep your Active Sales Pipeline within 100 leads at a time.

Step 2: Create touchpoints

Now that you’ve segmented your CRM, it’s time to create your touchpoints. Here’s the kicker: every one should get at least one touch (email, text, social post, etc.) from you within the next 30 days. (Yes, even your “Icebox” clients.)

Start with an action plan within your CRM. One study found you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. An action plan will ensure you’re on track and always working towards your next lead. 

Review your current (and previous) efforts. Take a trip down memory lane. Can you host a happy hour like no other? Got a penchant for postcards? Think about your strengths and lean into those as you begin building your action plan.

Here’s a framework for how often you should be reaching out to your leads:

Use this guide to build your action plans within your CRM.

Create a “10-Day Plan” for New Leads. If you’ve ever watched a true crime show, you know the first 48 hours are crucial. It’s like that when working with New Leads, too. 

A “10-Day Plan” is an intense outreach plan for — you guessed it — the first ten days. Making contact with your newest contacts fast is crucial. You need to stay top of mind and begin building a foundation with them. Doing so will build trust and help you better understand your lead’s real estate goals. Invite them to happy hour, take them to lunch, shoot them a text — whatever it takes to make that initial connection.

Step 3: Measure your effectiveness

There’s no time to waste in today’s market. Home prices, buyer and seller sentiment, and interest rates can shift on a dime. That’s why it’s so important to have milestones that can help you predict the success and strength of your database.

Write down your goals. Before you make a call, figure out what you want. Write those down. Is it more transactions? More clients in your “hot” pipeline? Your goals help you stay focused and know when to activate specific leads. 

Track your progress. After 30 days of outreach, review your inputs and outputs. Were clients picking up your phone calls? Were texts going unanswered? Count them up, and use these successes and misses to create an “accuracy percentage.”

Refine your strategy. Once you know how successful your efforts were, you’ll be able to create more predictability in your pipeline. You may discover that open houses lead to more clients or that your phone scripting needs work. Tracking your efforts will give you the most transparent picture and help you pivot.

Create the path to predictability

The goal of segmenting your database, building an outreach plan, and creating an accuracy percentage is to create predictability. You can’t control the market but you can control how you react to it. The more organized and deliberate you are in your outreach, the better you can manage any wave of change within the market and build a strong moat.

Remember, real estate is typically a 90-day cycle, and consistent effort is the key to creating more favorable outcomes.

Consider these questions:

  • If I am to segment my database, what do the next 0-90 days look like if my accuracy percentage is 100%? How often am I 100% right?
  • In the next 90 days, if I did ___ transactions, am I on the path to where I want to be financially?

Keep going — and remember, Homeward is always here to help you win more business with powerful products, marketing campaigns, and client support.

The content of this blog post was inspired by a recent Homeward webinar, “Turn Your Database into a Lead Generation Powerhouse.” If you’d like to watch a recording of the webinar, click here.

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