For most agents, the current “new normal” lifestyle of staying home and only venturing out for essentials has been a totally radical change. Agents and Brokers are some of the most well-connected members of the community and the sudden halt of drop-bys, coffee meetings, open houses, and networking events has been a shock to the system personally and professionally. Our team has curated 6 ways you can connect with your clients, today, for free.
1. Call Old Clients & Sphere of Influence
Call your contacts and be honest with them. Instead of trying to get them to sell in a self-isolating world, connect them with mortgage professionals who can help them take advantage of a stalled market. Try this:
“This is a bad time to sell, but I do expect things to get better later this year. By the way, I wanted to make sure you saw the silver lining in this pandemic: interest rates are unbelievably low! Were you thinking about refinancing? Do you have a mortgage broker that you like or would you like me to introduce you to one that I trust? Some other clients are pulling out some of their equity and using it as a downpayment on an investment / vacation property. If most buyers are scared, it's a great time to buy.”
2. Host a Virtual Caravan
Many people are bored or anxious at home. Especially the crowd that had been looking forward to plenty of open houses to walk through this Spring! In many regions, open houses are discouraged if not outright banned. Spend a little time and energy to create a weekly video to share with your clients and on your social media channels.
Option 1: Create your own episode of your favorite HGTV home search show! Schedule a live tour around town. Lots of people are bored and/or anxious at home. Give them a sneak peak inside some of the inventory on the market (following your local organization’s best practices). Choose three homes at three different price points in the same neighborhood. Share the best features of each home and share your perspective of the price differences.
Option 2: Another interesting comparison would be to show your viewers three different homes at the same price point, in different parts of town. Does a 1 or 2-bedroom condo downtown go for the same price as a 3 or 4-bedroom detached suburban home? This can get your future clients’ wheels turning as they evaluate their wants and needs. You can also help clients understand the opportunity cost of HOA dues on their purchasing power.
3. Be radically candid on social
Consumers prefer working with agents they can trust and relate to. Some popular thought leaders have been trading in self-promotional posts for candid glimpses of current struggles. This can be especially effective in a climate where illness can be seen as an equalizing force. How better to communicate, "I'm also human," by sharing your concerns for an older family member, or that you miss seeing friends and colleagues? I’m sure many people can relate to your frustration with becoming a stay-at-home parent overnight. Consider adding a cute picture of your kids or pets to balance the tone.
4. Check in with active buyers
Active buyers are looking around the new landscape and could be paralyzed with indecision. Discuss how recent mortgage rate fluctuations have affected their purchasing power, and see if they would like to update their search parameters. Inventory is artificially constrained right now—go the extra mile by searching your MLS for withdrawn listings. Some clients have pulled their homes off the market, but their listing agents will know if the sellers would entertain a strong off-market offer. Your clients will see the value of your local network and creative solution-finding.
5. Check in with former buyers that didn't transact
Buyers are scared. If you had a client who wasn’t successful during multiple offer scenarios, this is your time to shine (and hopefully theirs too!). Show them that those who have faith in the local economy's resilience can nab a home now, with less competition, before the market comes roaring back when “safer-at-home” restrictions are relaxed. And remember, their requirements may have changed! Spending weeks or months at home may have shifted your clients’ must-have vs nice-to-have home features.
6. Host a call with a mortgage broker and an investment advisor
Recent internet traffic has shown a hunger for information to make sense of current events and attempt to plan for the rest of 2020. If your preferred mortgage broker (or someone within their organization) has an economics background or a particularly strong perspective on the market, schedule a 30 minute call and invite all your clients and SOI. Recommended agenda:
- Local market update (led by you). Focus on available inventory today compared with last month and this time last year. Share market supply considerations, and how more sellers will list this summer, while many buyers have additional purchasing power (if they weren't invested in stocks). We may see a well balanced market this summer.
- Perspective of the financial markets and volatility (led by an investment advisor). COVID-19 is new and different, but historical markets are still worth considering. Ask the financial advisor to discuss what causes market volatility (disagreements among market participants about the risk vs. cash return of companies in the long-term), what causes long bull markets, how markets have performed during and following previous recessions and/or health scares. Lastly, everyone should come away with a clear takeaway of what they can/should be doing in their portfolio (including rebalancing, tax optimization, and making long term, diverse investments).
- Perspective of interest rates (led by the mortgage broker), including why the spread between purchase and refi rates are so much higher than traditionally and what homebuyers and homeowners should be considering now. To drive the conversation a level deeper, ask the broker to discuss lending industry capacity (underwriters and loan processors are shattering previous records, by volume) and how those supply constraints result in higher refi rates. And if they’re willing, inquire about compensation clawbacks and why mortgage brokers and loan originators aren’t exactly eager to refi clients who just purchased in the last 6-12 months.
These are some fabulous ways to check in with your sphere and let them know you are still available to help them in uncertain times. Don’t forget to help yourself out: Clozio’s tools create a streamlined success system so you can wow your clients by creating transparent transactions with clear checkpoints. Our basic model is always free, but right now you can upgrade to pro for $5 each month for the first two months. Make a demo appointment or upgrade now!
Reading recommendation: 7 ways to bolster your community while supporting “Safer-at-Home” practices