Every real estate agent has the difficult task of finding a cure for one of the most common dilemmas homeowners face today: “I have to sell in order to buy” or “I don’t know where I will go if my house sells quickly.”
The fear and concern are very real, and traditional methods like submitting offer after offer with a contingency to sell, place our clients at a disadvantage. Even if our housing inventory shifts to relieve the intense competition, what will never be the same is how we help homeowners sell and buy their next home.
So let’s talk about what this looks like and the steps every agent, team and brokerage should be taking to ensure their business adapts and flourishes through the coming years.
Build your arsenal of home-buying solutions.
Whether it’s a third-party company, a contract strategy, or developing a connection with temporary housing, agents have to be the one-stop shop for transitioning sellers into their new home. Companies like Homeward, Knock, Homelight, zavvie and Easyknock (to name a few) allow homeowners to access their equity and make non-contingent (and in some cases cash) offers on the home of their dreams.
Don’t know where to start? Talk with producing agents in your area to discover what’s available to you. Beyond releasing equity, also develop your solutions for homeowners who need to make repairs but don’t have the cash until they sell.
Be the expert.
As you learn more about the resources you provide your clients, the next step is to perfect how you present them. It’s likely these solutions sound foreign to your clients, and it will take time and practice for you to clearly articulate how they work and what the benefits are.
Your ability to explain your solutions is vital. If it’s a third party you’re presenting, attend the training they provide. Join the mailing list and stay up to date with the way their service is improving. Practice yields progress, so look for opportunities in your everyday conversations to talk about your new solutions.
“How’s real estate?” is a question we hear frequently, and as you answer, it’s an opportunity to let your expertise shine. As Workman Success Systems Master Coach Sarah Michelle Bliss says, “Stop saying the real estate market is crazy!” Instead, return with a positive tone: “Well several folks are having a hard time figuring out the timing of their move. I’m excited because I just introduced a new solution for my clients and it’s working like a charm!”
Don’t wait! Seek out the obstacles.
The more solutions you discover, the keener your senses are to the obstacles homeowners face in any market. In other words, being a student of real estate resources shifts the way you think from a reactionary problem-solver to a proactive solution master. Our industry will never stop evolving. New obstacles present themselves each year. If you’re keeping up with trends and projections from experts, you can anticipate the obstacles and be an early adopter of new solutions in your marketplace.
Tie the cost to the benefit.
“But won’t that cost more?” Service fees, short-term rent, higher interest rates, and selling short are typical costs to many of the modern solutions. Sales agents who are masters of their craft know the best maneuver here is to tie the cost back to the desired outcome—a positive emotion or experience. “Yes, it will cost more than the traditional methods. If it helps you get into the home/neighborhood/schools you want, would you be willing to try that avenue?” While handling this minor objection, we can also test the homeowner’s motivation to move and plan accordingly.
Be a storyteller.
What are your clients’ experiences with the solutions you’ve provided? They are most likely positive ones if they’re still on your list of recommendations. After explaining how your method works, tie in real stories of other homeowners who had the same fears and concerns about moving and how the solution you provided helped them reach the ideal outcome. As world-renowned author, JK Rowling says, “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” Why not transport your clients to their new reality by leaning on the experiences of others?
Kat Rockwell is a team leader and listing specialist, a Houston Area REALTORS® Instructor, and a Workman Success Systems Senior Coach. Talk to a WSS business analyst to learn more about how real estate coaching can help you.