How Smart Agents Keep their Clients Happy in a Shifting Real Estate Market
Leveraging Market Stats to Ace Communication with Real Estate Clients
Keeping Buyers and Sellers Happy in a Shifting Real Estate Market
Keeping Clients Happy in a Shifting Real Estate Market
Recently, Brett Jennings of Real Estate Experts, Vikki Bartholomae of Side Real Estate, and Deanna Whipp of Stroyke Properties got together at the California Association of Realtors' Reimagine conference to discuss how the real estate market is changing and how market shifts and trends are impacting your business today. They shared some actionable advice including ways to drive urgency with buyers and how to focus your communication with sellers for quick sales.
Ideas to manage your sellers’ expectations
When considering sellers and their grand expectations, the biggest point to remember is consistent communication. It used to be that real estate agents could rely on marketing to do most of the work for them. Now sellers need to be counseled and advised. Agents who are the most skilled at this will gain the most market share, because sellers will grow to trust their judgement.
Know the language
It is more important than ever for agents to understand the language their clients need to hear. Use your resources such as a broker, team lead, and office manager to know what language to expect and the best language to use with nervous clients in your local market niche. A market shift is not necessarily a “recession”, rather it is a return to normal.
Be an expert about the market
Perform a detailed market trend analysis to help set expectations regardless of home value. The market dips in San Francisco every 5-7 years, so give clients a 30-year perspective on the market. By going into deep data analysis, you will position yourself as the expert and get ahead of trends to set prices directionally, not based on recent comps. Look at pending sales and competing properties rather than past sold data to help get sellers on board with your plan.
Be flexible with your communication
Communication with your sellers will look different over different markets. In the local high-end market, frequent market updates are valuable. Show those sellers weekly what is getting sold, what’s not selling, and why. They are feeling the downward shift, so give them consistent communication to reassure them that you have their best interests in mind. In the entry level market, it’s important to be realistic when setting a price point. With more houses for buyers to choose from, keep your sellers away from reaching for record price points with a price based on trends. Set prices fairly and let the market decide the final sale price.
Keep sellers informed
One way to manage seller expectations is to set them up for automated home search alerts for properties just listed at and below their list price. Add a second alert for pending homes. The benefit of this is to prepare your sellers in case price reductions are needed. Knowing the trends on a regular basis will keep them informed and you won’t be surprising them with a big financial hit.
Sellers often get frustrated with their agent when the home isn’t selling. Your ability to get them on your side about marketing adjustments is directly related to the frequency and quality of communications with them. Schedule market updates every Tuesday to share traffic, number of times favorited on Zillow or Redfin, Facebook ad views, and any other targeted marketing strategies in play. Don’t avoid those calls because the sellers may assume you’re doing nothing if you’re not communicating. If you are nervous about updates or getting stuck on the phone, use the SlyDial app to pre-record a voicemail and then send it to them without their phone ringing.
Provide buyers with sound advice
As agents we often underestimate how much buyers value realtors’ market interpretations. 10 years ago agents were information providers. Today, we are information interpreters. One key tactic to working with buyers is using current statistics to create a sense of urgency.
Be ready to educate
In order to be ready to address your buyers’ fears, you must know the current state of your market. In your sales meetings, discuss correction magnitudes, interest rates, and inventory so you can have a compelling script for buyers. For example, if your buyers are savvy enough to ask about correction, knowing those details allows you to respond with “we’re 8% down in what’s typically a 10% correction, with record low rates and increasing inventory.” You can educate them so that it makes sense for them to buy today to get the home they want with a payment they can afford.
Knowing the market statistics and trends will keep you prepared to respond to discerning buyers. Compare it to investing. What do smart investors do in market corrections? They buy on the slide, because they don’t know when the bottom is until prices have climbed and it’s too late. Buying today gets them in before the market starts to climb again.
Think like a buyer
Many buyers are aware of the current opportunities but are taking their time. Coach them back out on the track by focusing on the emotional aspects. Show them how they can take advantage of softening prices in desirable neighborhoods. Communicating with buyers is all about proving that you are listening to them and that you are helping to balance their concerns with action.
With the market shift in full swing, it’s important to accept the new normal. Stable markets are actually better, we just need to communicate that to both buyers and sellers. Savvy, focused agents will emerge from a market swing stronger and ahead of the game.