Agents can expect more home sales in the next year, making now a critical time to get reacquainted with the people in your contact database.
There’s no denying the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many lives and livelihoods, and it’s not over yet. Uncertainty still renders defunct what used to be our routines.
But a statistically representative online survey of 1,006 home buyers published this month by LendingTree1 reports that for one corner of the economy, real estate, there may be reason for optimism. The brighter horizon real estate agents have been looking toward may be moving closer.
You could say it’s about time.
Amidst the bad news, reason for optimism
In the U.S. we’ve seen more than two million COVID-19 infections and mourned 117,000 lost lives. The unemployment rate hit levels not seen since the Great Depression. The stock market has been jumping around like a silver pinball in an arcade game. And retirement savings have been used to buy groceries.
So, it’s been no surprise that the many indicators reporting the health of the real estate market have been delivering bad news.
But among the plethora of bad numbers, LendingTree provides some good news in the form of results from a survey conducted in April.
The biggest takeaway is more than half of the 1,006 people surveyed (53%) are likely to buy a home in the next year, and their reasons are largely based in the effects of the pandemic. This is especially true among first-time home buyers and millennials.
Digging a little deeper, researchers discovered interest among potential home buyers is driven by two primary factors.
One is their desire to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.
The other is their being able to save a larger down payment because potential buyers reduced their spending while quarantined.
A smaller percentage, but still worth noting, are the 28% who are done being stuck in their currently small space and want a larger place to call home.
Other key findings include:
- 44% plan to buy a less expensive home and the remaining 21% want a more expensive home.
- 61% of home buyers have toured a house virtually over the last two months.
- 30% said they’d buy a home without physically touring it in person.
All these statistics, even the ones that aren’t quite as rosy—like 44% of those surveyed being concerned about qualifying for a mortgage—are all good reasons and provide excellent opportunities for real estate agents to take action and reach out to the people in their sphere of influence.
It’s time for a deep dive into your contact database
You likely know that home buyers begin their home buying process at least six months in advance of making a purchase. That makes right now the prime moment for you to be reaching out to your clients, nurturing those relationships, and asking for referrals.
If you’ve been continuously nurturing relationships with your clients from the beginning, providing value, and winning their trust, then you get a gold star. You deserve all the repeat business and referrals that will be coming your way.
Just remember you need to continue to stay in touch, and don’t be afraid to ask for those referrals, especially now when people are thinking about buying homes.
Relationship marketing is a never-ending strategy.
If keeping in touch with your clients hasn’t been a priority, don’t panic … but don’t wait another day before you start.
If you haven’t heard about relationship marketing, or you have but aren’t quite sure where to start, then Getting Started with Relationship Marketing, a short but potent e-book, may be what you need. It explains that it takes time to develop relationships but also examines why looking beyond an individual transaction to the longer-term will garner more repeat business and more referrals than chasing new clients ever will.
It also explains why the best way to start building relationships with clients is to begin providing them with value; that is, content and information your clients will find useful.
There is a myriad of ways you can and should engage in relationship marketing. The key, of course, is to provide the right information, to the right people, at the right time. At ReminderMedia, it’s our specialty.
What to share with your clients now
There are several timely topics with potential information you can share with the people in your database who you know or expect will be looking to buy or sell in the upcoming months.
For example, many homeowners have taken their time in quarantine to improve their homes. Newly painted rooms, a beautified garden, and making repairs make homes more attractive, but if everyone’s been doing it, how do you help your clients stand out?
You could share these 7 Steps to Take Now to Prepare to Sell Post-Quarantine with your clients and help them outshine other listings.
Another timely topic is mortgages. Rates have dropped, but taking advantage of the lower rates is more difficult with lenders demanding higher credit scores and larger down payments.
You can help your clients prepare to apply for a mortgage or complete a refinance application by sharing the information in this article, How COVID-19 Is Changing the Mortgage Market.
Adapting to COVID-19 has meant in-person home tours have largely been replaced by virtual tours and flying drones. Help your clients prepare for the uniqueness of virtual reality by reading and sharing the information you’ll find in 7 Home Staging Tips for Virtual Tours.
At the same time, virtual tours do have their limitations. Educate your clients by discussing The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Home Tour.
Make providing value easy
Your time is one of your most precious resources. While spending time nurturing your relationships is important, it’s also important that you spend your time living the life you want.
At ReminderMedia we devote ourselves to empowering our clients to close more deals and retain more business. We do this by providing high-quality products that make it easy for real estate agents and other service professionals to automate their marketing because we do the work for you. Visit our website and request a free PDF sample copy of our magazine.
 Crissinda Ponder, “Despite COVID-19 Crisis, More Than Half of Homebuyers More Likely to Purchase a Home Soon,” LendingTree, updated June 1, 2020, https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/more-than-half-of-homebuyers-plan-to-buy-despite-coronavirus-pandemic/.