The End Game

Published: August 4, 2020

When a problem occurs, our initial instinct is to seek out the easiest place to start and work towards a solution, knocking out the various pieces of the problem along the way. We are conditioned to think, solve problems, and make decisions from beginning to end. We take the first available or the simplest route hoping that it will lead to a solution or success. 

While this ‘beginning to end’ perspective can be effective, it is not the optimal way to come up with solutions or make important decisions to promote long-term success. Rather, let’s flip this thinking process around and look at it from end to beginning.

In last week’s Metrix Newsletter, I shared a book entitled ‘The Art of Learning’ by Josh Waitzkin. In this book he talks around the idea of the ‘end-game’. When Josh was younger, he played chess competitively and used this ‘end-game’ approach as his competitive edge. While most of his competitors were repeatedly trained to make strategic opening moves at the game’s start, Waitzkin was trained differently. Rather, his coach began Josh’s training by focusing on a chess board with only a few pieces set up to mimic a game’s closing; by doing so, Josh was able to look at the game with less complexity and thus gain more clarity. It also allowed Josh to focus on what was most important…closing out the game in victory.  When it came time to play against his opponents, Waitzkin was calm and collected as the game unfolded. On the other hand, his opponents would become nervous and start to crumble if the game took an unexpected or unpredictable turn; they were not prepared for the end-game.

Let’s take this ‘end-game’ concept and apply it to a real estate business.

Imagine possible scenarios that could happen as you near the conclusion of a transaction — the buyer has financing issues, a current HOA violation cannot be rectified and may cloud title, or not all repair issues can be solved.  Strategize around solutions to these various scenarios BEFORE they occur, and build out a playbook of sorts so as to not have to think of a solution out of the blue. What could you do differently throughout the transaction to avoid these problems arising? What have you done in the past to overcome such obstacles?

Another good example of playing the “end-game” exists in how you script practice and role play with your team members.  Are you focusing more attention on the script’s opening than you are on the actual closing?  Are you more concerned with objection handling than driving to the face to face appointment?  Take a step back and do the analysis.  You’ll likely find that your attention is not where it needs to be, and there are some solid improvements to make and opportunities to seize.   


Here are some closing scripts that our team has found useful:

Close for face to face appointment

Great.  Based on what we discussed, I think we need to get together.  Does next Tuesday at 2pm work for you, or is 5pm a better time?

Close for virtual appointment

Totally understand.  Let’s do this.  Now that I have an understanding around what you’d like to accomplish, let’s jump on a Zoom call in the coming days, or Facetime if that is easier for you, and I can present a more specific plan and details to achieving your goals.  Next Tuesday at 2pm?  Or does 5pm that day work better for you?

Close for follow up call in the immediate future

Totally understand.  Let’s do this.  Now that I have an understanding around what you’d like to accomplish I am going to spend some time and come up with a more specific and comprehensive plan.  Then I will call you to discuss it. Next Tuesday at 2pm?  Or does 5pm that day work better for you?

Close for Nurture or future longer term follow up

This has been great.  Thank you for your time.  Based on what you’ve shared, I think we should touch base again in _______ and revisit some of the things we discussed today.  So I will call you then.  Sound good?  Just out of curiosity, before our next call, what real estate topic will be top of mind for you?  Values, interest rates, something else?  When we reconnect I’ll be prepared to share the latest detail around ________.

How can we supplement and support the scripts/closings above?

Text, Text Video, Email, Voicemail


In a market with incredibly low supply and equally as strong demand, we must do things that our peers in the industry are unwilling to attempt or implement.  This end-game mentality can be your competitive advantage. 

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