One of the most engaging topics at Inman Connect was how to cope with the low-inventory market. Jeff Lobb and Stacie Staub discussed three strategies for finding listings in a low-inventory market. Here are 10 additional ways Bernice Ross suggests to proactively persuade potential sellers to put their properties on the market now.
Strategy 1: Listings hiding in plain sight
How many buyer leads did you ignore last year? According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), about half of those buyer leads had a property they needed to sell to purchase. If you’re not following up on every buyer lead you receive and asking if they need to sell their current property to purchase their next home, you’re losing one listing for every two buyers you ignore.
Strategy 2: Overcome the contingent sale problem
Knock’s Home Swap program has a powerful solution for those owners who need to sell their current home to purchase their next property. Home Swap establishes a value on the homeowners’ current home and also qualifies them for a new mortgage on their next home.
This enables the homeowners to purchase their next property as an all-cash buyer. Knock provides up to $25,000 in repairs. If the property sells for more than the price Knock placed on the owner’s home originally, the owner receives the overage.
This type of alternative lending program has become extremely popular with new-build homebuyers. Buyers can stay in their current home until their new home is ready rather than having to rent or obtain a bridge loan. Because these programs profit from the mortgage, escrow and title fees, the costs are significantly less than most other programs.
To illustrate how this approach can work in your business, take a look at how Realty Austin is marketing its “Buy Before Your Sell Program” and their “Cash Bridge Program.”
Strategy 3: Referrals are still the name of the game
Regardless of the “threat” from iBuyers and Zillow, the 2020 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers reports that 67% of sellers either rehired their previous agent or obtained a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative.
Consequently, you should spend at least two-thirds of your time and marketing dollars on converting leads from past clients and your sphere of influence.
Strategy 4: The first one who gets face-to-face wins
The 2020 profile also reported 77% of recent sellers only interviewed one agent before listing their house. Previous NAR profiles have consistently found the agent who gets the listing is the first one who sees the sellers when they decide to sell, which is why it’s critical to be in face-to-face contact at least once a month with your top 150 contacts who are most likely to refer or do business with you.
Strategy 5: Mind the ‘loyalty gap’
According to the 2020 NAR Profile, 89% of the sellers said they would rehire their agent for future services. Only 26% actually did because their agents failed to stay in touch with them. To avoid having a “loyalty gap” in your business, here’s a quick get-back-in-contact script:
Hi John, it’s Sally Agent. It’s been way too long since we caught up in person. I would love to buy you a cup of coffee. Does Friday morning or Saturday afternoon work for you?
People are more likely to move when they go through a major milestone life event such as a wedding, birth, divorce, death, job promotion, etc. At Inman Connect, Lobb suggested using Facebook lists to track these events for your past clients and those in your sphere who are most likely to refer business to you.
When someone is undergoing a difficult life change such as a death or divorce, reach out and ask how you can help. Be caring and supportive. This is not the time to discuss selling. Remember, the agent who is there face-to-face when they decide to sell has a 77% of getting the listing.
Strategy 7: The boomer migration is on
Although many boomers are choosing to age in place, a substantial portion of homeowners are selling their current home to right-size into something smaller or to move closer to their children. To identify who these owners are (or create any list you would like to prospect), you can use REISource. Here are three categories to consider searching:
The prime time to buy a second home between ages 50-60. Prospect past clients in your database and homeowners in this age bracket who make at least $100,000 per year.
Look for homeowners age 60 or older who have two-story homes or homes that are over 2,500 square feet. Due to mobility problems related to aging, many are searching for one-story homes, while others are interested in a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle in retirement.
Look for older single homeowners, especially women who own single-family residences. Many cannot adequately maintain their properties due to financial or other constraints and may opt for a condo or a lock-and-leave property.