PODCAST | Ep. 3: Know Your Buyer | Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate
Ranked #1 U.S. housing market in 2018 by Realtor.com

PODCAST | Ep. 3: Know Your Buyer | Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate


In the follow-up to Who Is Your Buyer?, episode three of Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate details the T.I.R.E. method of getting to know your condo buyer.


Learn how condo strategist Uri Vaknin, along with his long-time colleagues Shahn Douglas and Mark Bunton, gather important information about each of these four qualifiers as part of their natural conversations with prospects. They’ll give you the exact tertiary level of questions to ask in order to penetrate your buyer’s mind, get to the heart of what they’re looking for and why, and shorten the sales process.


The T.I.R.E. method is:

  • Timing
  • Investment
  • Requirements
  • Experience


In the next episode, Know Your Buyer:  Part 2, Uri and his team will give real-life examples of buyers with extenuating circumstances and demonstrate how the T.I.R.E. method helped them overcome objections, make personalized offers, and close sales.


This episode is brought to you by Juhl Las Vegas, loft-style condos located in the heart of vibrant, downtown Las Vegas. From the low $200s to $1M. Learn more at JuhlLV.com.


This episode is also brought to you by One Las Vegas, luxury high-rise condos featuring two and three bedroom plus den residences. From the low $400s. Learn more at theonelv.com.


Subscribe to Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.


Uri Vaknin  0:16
Welcome to the third episode of Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate. I’m your host,  Uri Vaknin, a condo sales strategist who is developed and sold out thousands of condos in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Florida, Detroit, Texas, Nashville and all across the United States. Each week I along with my co host and colleague, Shahn Douglas, hey, hey, and Mark Bunton.

Mark Bunton  0:41

Uri Vaknin  0:42
we will bring you the latest insights, best practices and sales techniques to sell out more condos faster, no matter the market. At times, we will delve into architecture design and urban planning as they pertain to condos and condo living. I’m an admitted podcast junkie. But in our search for podcasts about condos, we all realize that there really weren’t any out there, or at least any good ones. Throughout this theory if you will get to know more about me, Shahn, and mark and our 53 years of combined experience in the world of condos. One of the things that has become glaringly obvious to us is that most people, including real estate agents, buyers, architects, and even condo developers, they don’t fully understand condos. This podcast will pull back the curtain on the world of condos. Last week’s episode was Who Is Your Buyer?, but once you figure out who your buyer is, it is just as important to know your buyer. This week’s episode of Condo Artist is therefore called Know Your Buyer. Know your buyer starts from your first contact with them all the way through closing him Shahn at one of our communities, our response rates to web registration replies is much lower than that of our other community. However, the response to phone calls is conversely, much higher. And what we realized is that one community tracks a more mature demographic, while the other is much younger, and therefore probably more tech friendly and savvy. Exactly.

Mark Bunton  2:26
You know, as as we talked about last week, you know, with our web registrations and our current call rail, in one of our sales meetings this week, we were talking about the response that we get from each of these different ways of getting in contact and attracting buyers. And we were talking about web registrations and the amount of success that we have at one of our communities compared to another one of our communities, and the red registrations at the successful community, we were looking at the demographics and seeing we’ve got a much younger set of buyers coming into this community and buying our condos. And we compare that with another one of our sites, where our web registrations aren’t quite as successful. And we’re seeing people that maybe aren’t as tech savvy as the younger set that we’re seeing at jewel. And we looked at the type of response that what people were responding to here, and it was phone calls, they were they were calling us up on the phone, they were getting in touch with our agents, they were setting appointments, and coming into our sales center that

Uri Vaknin  3:32
way, I your what you’re pointing out is exactly the natural progression of who is your buyer, to know your buyer, and primarily how to communicate with your buyer, right,

Shahn Douglas  3:45
knowing where to advertise to that buyer to that

Uri Vaknin  3:50
specific demographic. And to this is the beginning of the whole concept of this podcast, know your buyer, know how to communicate with your buyer. Because if you don’t know that you’re not getting started, right? You know, I love that we’re constantly learning. It’s like every week, I feel like we’re getting new information. And especially in today’s world where things are changing so rapidly and drastically that it’s really key to stay on top of this. So I suppose mark, that’s a great place to start. So to know your buyer know how to even communicate with your buyer, or at this point, your

Mark Bunton  4:30
prospect, you’re absolutely right, you know, ascertain Who is your buyer, and what is the best way to communicate with them and get them into our sales center.

Shahn Douglas  4:40
But what do we do with them once we get them into the sales center?

Uri Vaknin  4:43
Well, Shahn, even before that, you brought up another great point. And one of the sales meetings this week was that you said don’t wait until you meet the person in person or nowadays virtually because we’re doing virtual presentations,

Mark Bunton  4:57
but I think they call it in real life.

Uri Vaknin  5:00
Real exactly in real life, now, it’s a new term in real life. But even when you get them on the phone for the first time, get to know them, get to know your buyer develop that rapport, it is so important to start getting to know your buyer and

Shahn Douglas  5:17
qualifying your buyer,

Uri Vaknin  5:19
and qualifying your buyer. And now more than ever, is paramount that we know our buyers. But with that said, you know, back to what you just said, john, I suggest we get back to the basics.

Mark Bunton  5:32
Like like you’re saying, you’ll get to know your buyer get to qualify your buyer, because our face to face time these days is so limited, that now more than ever, it’s important to get this stuff going

Uri Vaknin  5:45
as possible. Mark, that’s so true. Because you are so right. You know, people, I mean, one, our sales centers are only open by appointment. So people aren’t just walking in off the street. And so these initial forms of communication are so key to getting to know your buyer. But we got to go back to basics. You know, I always say, let’s go back to basics. What is the what are the four letter acronym that was a first thing we all learned when it came to knowing your buyer?

Shahn Douglas  6:18
T.I.R.E. And I

Uri Vaknin  6:19
think people are still buyer, tire rod with buyer. And I think everyone is tired of me saying higher and every single sales meeting, but I feel like you know, no matter how great an agent is, no matter how many years they’ve been selling, you have to always bring them back to tire. Well, maybe D

Shahn Douglas  6:39
on tired stands for the four DS or

Uri Vaknin  6:44
add that to the that’s a whole nother segment, which we’ll talk about, which are the four DS of condo selling, which we are not going to give you a preview to that because that will be its own separate podcast, and one of the more interesting podcasts. And not something you won’t hear anywhere else. The four DS of condo selling, but tire, let’s talk about what tire is. tire is timing, investment requirements and experience. And people say what is what? So it’s really basic, let’s break it down timing, what’s the timeframe that the buyer says they’re looking to buy in? You know, I love to start, you know, with the first question when you meet with a buyer is, why are you looking to move, make a move today. And that today and so important, because without the today, they’re going to give you some crazy timeframe, because they’re going to be fearful of you selling to them. So timing is what is their stated timeframe. But what’s more important than their stated timeframe,

Shahn Douglas  7:52
their real time frame,

Uri Vaknin  7:54
your real timeframe. And when you get to know your buyer, you get to really learn the real timeframe. You know, what do we hear buyers always say when we say, oh, when are you looking to make a move?

Shahn Douglas  8:07
Oh, I’m just looking right now.

Mark Bunton  8:09
I know No.

Uri Vaknin  8:11
Or about maybe two to three years from now. So I always say if someone’s going to take the time to come into your sales center or today’s world, you know, respond and communicate via email or a phone call or attend a zoom open house or zoom presentation nowadays, you know, there is real interest there. So you can’t just ask the initial question when you’re looking for, you know, when you’re looking to move, because they’re always going to give you a response that is probably not fully accurate. I don’t want to use the old adage buyers are liars. But our job as you know, condo specialists and real estate agents is to really extract the real information. Because, you know, we’re all scared. You know, people are scared to be sold to and they’re scared to be sold to now. But so, you know, what’s the follow up question when someone says, oh, in two years from now or six months from now, you know, the follow up question is, well, what if we found the perfect home for you today? You know what will hold you back from making a move today? I like to use today a lot, because it really sets that moment in time to that they understand that today is today. And so timing is really key. You cannot sell something to someone unless you know that the timeframe in which they want it. Right now I’m looking for a new car because my lease is up in November. And I clearly tell everyone, when I’m going to call about a car I go to a car dealership. My lease is up in November. You know part of why I’m saying that is so don’t expect me to walk out of here. You know, with the new car, but interestingly enough, the last time I, when I bought my current car, my lease was up wasn’t up for three months. And guess what they did that day, they bought me out of my lease. And I walked out of that sales car sales center with a car that day. So, you know, timing can be, you know, manipulated, and people sometimes don’t understand the timing, especially in today’s world over, you know, the market is on fire and mortgage brokers are, you know, you need two months to close alone. And, you know, appraisers are taking twice as long to get appraisals done. If you’re looking to live somewhere in three months from now, you better be under contract today. So timing is key, you can’t even move forward with timing. And there’s a reason why tire is in the order that it thin t IR II, because you really, while you can skip around, if you take it in order, you can have a more productive sales presentation. And you can actually shorten the sales process. And the whole key to selling is to shorten the sales process. So there’s timing, and there’s so many questions you can ask around timing, you know, and sometimes they’ll just give you the answer before you even ask, they’ll say, Oh, I’m relocating here for a new job. And my job starts, you know, in four weeks from now, and I like to be in my new place, you know, their timing, right? Yeah. You know, we’re moving to town, and I want my kids to be in school, you know, August 1, well, nowadays, school is virtual. So, but back in the day when kids actually went to school, you know, it was you then understood what their timing wise, right? timing is key,

Mark Bunton  11:55
Mark, I think tiny is a great, great way to start off because because not only does it serve its purpose of finding out where, what the timing of this particular buyer is, but it also gives you an insight to, you know, where they are in the buying experience and how us or we, as condo experts, and real estate agents can help this buyer move this process along, and to help them get to their goal, quicker than they might might have thought possible.

Uri Vaknin  12:24
Exactly. Well, you know, we could talk about timing all day long. And that could be a whole podcast in itself, but we got to move on, because we have a lot of ground to cover. So now, so I investment. What that basically means is, you know, how much are they willing to pay? how much they’ve been pre approved for what they’re comfortable paying, and so forth. Without that number. You can’t sell it to anyone. And you know, what’s the worst response? When you say, Oh, you know, what, what’s your what’s your budget? I don’t have a budget. I have a budget? Yeah. You know, that usually means

Shahn Douglas  12:58
cash buyer.

Uri Vaknin  13:01
I don’t have a job, I got bad credit. You know, I don’t have any Yeah, I don’t

Shahn Douglas  13:07
have spoken to a lender, I have no idea what I can order.

Uri Vaknin  13:11
You know, and so, you know, people who are really serious, do have some sort of idea of what their their budget is, if they’re a cash buyer, they know how much cash they have. If, you know, they, if one of the things you could ask them is, you know, how much are you paying currently? And you know, for rent monthly right now, or are you comfortable? This ranges range, you know, again, we could go into this topic for days to understand about, you know, investment, but you can’t sell it to someone, unless, you know, you know how much they can pay. And typically, you know, in today’s world, any real buyer is either going to have proof of funds, or they’ve been pre approved, because they know the market is hot, and no one’s gonna take them seriously, if they’re not pre approved. You know, I recently made an offer on a home. And before they would even show me the house, I had to just send them a pre approval letter, which I fully understood, you know, I want I’m a serious buyer, and lets them know that I’m a serious buyer. So knowing is the investment is so key. If you don’t know how much they are they want to spend, they can spend, they’re comfortable spending, whatever it is, you can’t move forward with them.

Mark Bunton  14:31
Right. And it’s all about buying power. That’s what we tell our agents is, is figure out what the buying power of these buyers are

Uri Vaknin  14:39
exactly marketing, you know, you’re bringing up a great point because agents are always uncomfortable in the beginning, asking people about money. But you know, when you’re talking about real estate, and you’re talking about buying, you know, typically people’s largest investment in their life, you can’t shy away from money, you just can’t. But the term you just use You want to empower people. And so you know, what we say to people is, you know, it’s really important for you to speak to a lender, so you understand your buying power, because that is a powerful statement. And it’s an empowering statement. And it does, it makes people feel better, because people, a lot of people have a lot of issues, talking about money, whether it’s the buyer or the agent. And so let’s use terminology that empowers people, as opposed to making people feel, you know, belittled or whatever it may be. So, you know, investment is really key. And there are 1000 great questions you can ask to kind of help discover what investment you know, they’re looking for, and I mentioned a few of them, but you know, there are some really good questions, and we’ll cover all that in an upcoming podcast as well.

Shahn Douglas  16:00
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Uri Vaknin  16:50
requirements, requirements is really key. So a lot of times buyers have sort of this inflated idea of what they need, or they have this sort of aspirational idea of what they need, but requirements really goes back to, you know, how are they going to live? You know, what are they looking for amenity wise, you know, spatially wise, finish wise, whatever that may be, because you have to really fully understand this. And this goes a lot to their hot buttons of what they’re looking for in real estate. So I think, you know, you can’t move forward without understanding the requirements. But it doesn’t always mean you have to accept the requirements, right? You know, a lot of times when people are coming from a home, and they are right sizing, they’re not downsizing, they are right sizing, they’re moving into a space that makes sense for them. You know, typically, if they’re coming from a big house, they almost always say I need three bedrooms. While we’ve been fortunate to have a lot of properties that do actually have three bedroom condos, most condominium buildings aren’t built with three bedrooms, you know, and what you really need to do is, you know, not just asked the primary question of, Oh, well, how many bedrooms do you need? because inevitably, they say, three bedrooms. And, you know, either you don’t have three bedrooms, or the three bedrooms you have, you know, are more expensive than what they told you. They were comfortable spending. So I don’t like to ask primary questions. I think primary questions are Elementary. And I think secondary questions are good. You know, tell me about the different types of spaces that you’re going to need for your new home. And they might say something like, well, we need a master bedroom. We would like an open concept. You know, kitchen, living room dining room, we’d like a guest bedroom, and we need a home office. And in their mind, their home office is a third bedroom. But we know that the home office doesn’t necessarily need to be a third bedroom, because you can approach it in different ways. So the second bedroom? Is it? Do you have guests every weekend? No. I know, how often do you have guests? Oh, well, usually around the holidays. So that home off that second bedroom could also double as a home office, right? Or they’re looking for a den that can be you know, close off. And in today’s world, you know, home offices are really important. And so, this has become interesting. You know, recent studies have said the two main things that people are looking for and houses today, you know, due to COVID are while they still want an open concept floorplan are also a home office. So what I like to do is really take it to a tertiary level of questioning. You know, tell me how you live in your home. And they’ll tell you how they live in their home and then tell and then you ask them, you know, tell them tell me how you want to live in your new home. Or even ask questions. What don’t you like about your current home? What do you like about your current home? If you can change Anything in your current home? What would you change? And those questions really get you to the heart of what their requirements are. And so requirements are really key. But don’t ask the basic questions, asked the secondary, and the tertiary questions that really go into the buyers mind to really understand what they’re really looking for. So you have a full understanding of what their requirements truly are. So, again, some there’s a lot of questions that you could ask around that. The point of this is to really kind of give you a highlight of understanding tire timing, investment requirements. And lastly, experience. I don’t know why. But, you know, every agent always leaves this one off, even the best agents, they always forget to ask experience, if the photos May, because experience goes into what else have they seen? And this is so important, how can you sell it to someone if you don’t know what you’re selling against? And so the key here is to really understand what else they have seen. And sometimes even more importantly, what else will they go to see? And this is even more important if you are selling condos? Because oftentimes, what else are they seeing? are they seeing other condos?

Shahn Douglas  21:37
Wow, let’s let’s take that a step further. I mean, if you know what other properties condominiums they’ve seen in you know, those as you should know your competition. It only helps you sell against those places, whether it’s finished levels, amenities, services, pricing, we could go on and on and on location of how you could sell against the competition. But you have to ask the question to your point.

Uri Vaknin  22:08
Oftentimes, we’re not just selling against condos, we’re selling against single family homes, or townhouses, because a lot of times, you know, there are a lot of agents who don’t understand selling condos. And so they prefer to show houses and townhomes or the buyer, while they they, in their heart, want to make the move to a condo and have that fabulous lock and leave lifestyle, the simplicity of condo living, all these great amenities all that, you know, they don’t they know what they know, which are typically houses. So oftentimes, you’re selling against, you’re selling a lifestyle, is what you’re selling. And if you don’t know that experience of what else they’re seeing, you don’t know how to sell it to them. Because you’re right, Shahn, if you know what other condos, you can really drill it down to, you know, their hot buttons understand what their amenities are, or views, or floor plans or pricing, or what’s the most important thing that people say is when they buy a condo that they’re looking at, which is Yep, HOA fees. And so if you don’t know all that stuff, you can’t, to me, sometimes we’ll all have tire is, is important. The TV, the experience, is the way to feel the deal, if you don’t know that you cannot feel the deal, and

Shahn Douglas  23:36
have to go in this order? Or can you just ask the questions randomly?

Uri Vaknin  23:42
No, I think you really do have to go. I mean, you know, what, if you are a master salesperson, you can kind of work through it. But truthfully, I really think from my experience is if you, you know, methodically, but comfortably like not, you know, what’s your timing, you know, how much money can you spend, you know, what are your requirements? I don’t like that, you know, if that’s not how to do it, it’s supposed to be a free flowing conversation. But I really think that they naturally go into one another. And the order is part of the key to making tire work. And it’s not just for the agent, it also helps the buyer think through methodically about what they want. And so tire, you know, the fallacy of tire it’s so that the agent can better sell to the buyer. Yes, it is part of it. But a major part of it is how the buyer thinks through the process so the buyer can understand what they want, what their timing is, because a lot of times they haven’t methodically thought about their timing their interest assessment, their requirements and their experience in a methodical manner. And so, if the fallacy is that it’s not just for the agent to do their work, it’s for the buyer to help them bring them along to understand what condo they really want.

Shahn Douglas  25:23
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Uri Vaknin  26:19
Now that we we we hopefully fully understand the tire of the buyer, I like that Shahn, I never really rocked it before. Not only do you unlikely to even get them to contract, right? Knowing your buyer in today’s world is and especially in today’s world, you have to take it to the next step. You have to financially I mean fully financially understand your buyer. And I believe that buyers, you know, if you’ve developed a rapport with them, we’ll be open to you about this. Because with this things changing so drastically, and so much uncertainty in the world. If we don’t financially understand the buyer, who we’ve now gotten under under contract because of the tire, you know, we could lose the the contract if we don’t fully understand the buyer. So while we could speak for on this for hours, what we’d like to do is on our next segment, which is also going to be called know your buyer, part two, where we’re going to give real life examples of real buyers with extenuating circumstances that really illustrate and illuminate what knowing your buyer from tire all the way to their deepest darkest financial secrets, which they shared with us. And we’re going to give those examples in part two. Stay tuned. And as always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at condoartist@gmail.com until next time, when we pull back, the curtain of the condo world just a little bit more