3 ways to help a buyer find a home when inventory is tight
When inventory is tight, finding the right home for your real estate buyer leads can be a challenge. Here are 3 ways to find a home for your buyers in a tight market.
Wasn’t the near-nationwide shortage of homes for sale supposed to have ended by now? That’s what the media has been telling us, but inventory is still tighter than a pair of too-small shoes.
Think back to 2013 when real estate buyer leads were complaining about super-low inventories when the nationwide supply average was 5.1 months.
Today, it’s 2.5 months, according to a late-August Redfin analysis. As you know, that’s a clear indication of an imbalance between supply and demand in the real estate market.
Frustrated real estate buyer leads and their equally-frustrated agents can take heart in the fact that bidding wars seem to be a waning aspect of the current real estate market – at least in a large swath of the country, according to Redfin.
Buyers in San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Diego may still face competition, but, nationwide, “just 10.4 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their homebuying customers faced a bidding war in August, down from more than 42 percent a year earlier.”
When asked how they are handling the current low inventory situation, however, real estate agents mention that they “counsel buyers to be patient and not get discouraged.”
Aside from being an obvious part of the buyer consultation, what value does it add to the service offered to real estate buyer leads?
This is a market in which agents hoping to actually prove their mettle and make some money need to be proactive.
Instead of scrolling through the MLS every few hours, hoping for new listings, it’s time to pound the pavement.
It’s time to get creative.
Even if you lack a ton of followers on social media, reach out. Talk about what your real estate buyer leads are seeking in a home, talk about how tight the inventory is and how awesome the market is for home sellers.
Seems simple, doesn’t it?
Sam DeBord, managing broker at SeattleHome.com, used this method years ago when inventory in his market was at critical levels. He was blogging like a maniac and sharing the blog posts across his social media pages.
In an article he wrote at Inman he explains how he got a call from someone who saw him on Facebook, someone he barely knew, expressing surprise that the market was so hot for sellers. DeBord took the listing.
For many homeowners who have experienced an expired listing, the words “there is little competition for home sellers right now,” or “homes are selling within X days and at Y percent over list price” sound like manna from heaven.
Whether you use direct mail or phone, get those words out to them. A reach-out campaign just may lure you a listing that is the ideal fit for one of your buyers.
Start with the most recently expired listings and work your way back in time.
This may also be a good time to contact homeowners who withdrew their listings.
Unless another agent sold the home, that is.
Dig out all your old listing presentations, check to see if the homes were ever sold and, if not, reach out to the homeowner.
New to listing presentations? Here are some tips to help you get started on your first.
Sure, a phone call might work, but a concentrated drip campaign, whether via email or snail mail, with consistent reminders about how easy it is to sell a home right now, may just be the key to securing listings for your buying clients.
It worked years ago in a similar market for Teresa Boardman, broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul, Minn.
If you’re truly interested in one of your old listings simply as a possibility for one of your buyers, let your former client know this. It will help set them at ease if they understand that you aren’t stalking them for the listing.
And, do point out the benefits to them of allowing you to show the home to your buyer:
Taking these three steps has benefits beyond finding homes for your real estate buyer leads. In the process, you’re reaching out to former clients, putting you back on the top of their minds. You’re also exposing yourself to folks who don’t know about you (via social media).
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