15 Tips for Buyers’ Agents in a Tight Housing Market

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March 23, 2020 | comments

Guide and Team Up With Your Clients to Win the Deal

Improve your buying power with these 15 expert tips for real estate agents and strengthen the position of your clients to get a great deal with this free downloadable buyers’ tip sheet.

1. Use Your CRM to Target Buyers.

Integrate your CRM with your transaction management system to segment your database, identify buyers of interest and turn your tech into a working source of business. Some CRMs allow you to search properties in a specific zip code, target prospects for a 4BD, 2 BA and assign them a hot, nurture or qualified status. You can then tag your transactions in your transaction management system to identify the lead source and to lend visibility into the status of a deal at any time.

2. Be the First to Submit.

Jeff Payne of Five Doors Real Estate Network finds a teams-oriented transaction management system a key means of keeping his team centralized while giving the admin team access to every transaction. “In my opinion, that’s our biggest advantage,” says Payne. “Agents can literally put a contract on a hood of a car and have it sent off in a matter of minutes.”

3. Streamline Communication Via Text.

With fewer entry-level houses available, agents need to be quick on the take. Some real estate SMS platforms let you share, edit, eSign and auto-archive documents from your mobile devices for faster response times and transacting.

Millennials, who represent one in two of new homebuyers, particularly respond well to texted transactions. They’ve grown up with smartphones and are more comfortable communicating through text. So if you can enhance and speed the transaction by sharing documents directly through the medium they’re most familiar with, you’ll help encourage smoother, faster communication.

4. Look Outside Your Market.

If your market is more expensive than it is expansive (see “Top 5 Client Trends Today”), it’s helpful to forge relationships with both clients and colleagues across geographic lines. Buyers who can’t come up with the pricey down payments in California, for instance, are shopping for more affordable options in Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Northeasterners are looking to the sunny south in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, while Midwesterners are buying in Ohio, Indiana and Kansas.

Guide: 10 Tips for Homebuyers

10 Tips to Help Homebuyers Improve their Position

Download this guide for your clients to help them improve their buying position using 10 top home-buying strategies.

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5. Appeal to Investors.

Extend the boundaries of your sphere by nurturing your relationships with a wide assortment of investors far and near. Today’s low interest rates and dip in the market makes investors a captive audience. Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the community then communicate that to your database often.

6. Encourage Homeowners to List.

When inventory is tight, encourage more sellers to list by getting them pre-approved, send them comps and listings, and then work both sides of the deal. You can help allay fears of attending or hosting open houses by informing them of the many virtual and remote options available to show their house via a “live house” tour. See “Overcoming the Challenges of Social Distancing” for more ideas.

7. Include an Offer Letter.

Including a personal note or even a family photo can help set your offer apart from the pack. Tell the seller why your client fell in love with the house and appeal to their emotions in a genuine way.

8. Put More Earnest Money Upfront.

Posting more money upfront can help your client stand out from the competition. Sites like Earnnest.com can provide a fully digital, remote transfer of funds using banking-level security and encryption.

9. Use Trusted Service Providers.

Customers rely on your referrals for third-party contractors, lenders, insurance reps and more. Referrals help enhance collaboration and establish positive, long-term rapport all around.

10. Empower Admins to Support Agents.

In a market with low inventory and low interest rates, agents want to prioritize time-sensitive tasks, especially if those tasks can put the deal in jeopardy. Admins and transaction coordinators can help lessen the workload for agents by setting up offer packages for upcoming showings, completing the compliance process as quickly as possible and sending documents back to clients.

This is where tech tools can make the difference between closing on a home or losing the deal. Dotloop for Teams, for example, lets your admin take care of the transactions details while you stay focused on the client by allowing them to “act on behalf” of the agent to collect eSignatures and share documents.

11. Communicate Directly with Agent to Counter.

Rather than wait for a listing agent to prepare a counteroffer and potentially lose the deal, try to speak directly to the listing agent or get the MLS details that may provide clues to hitting the optimum price point.

12. Remove Contingencies.

Buyers can expedite the close and reduce friction by removing contingencies from the offer. The caveat, of course, is to exercise caution and gain some assurance — perhaps obtaining a previously completed inspection report — to ensure that the house is structurally sound and the buyer is aware of any work-related repairs and costs.

13. Remember: Price Doesn’t Always Win.

Sometimes, sellers are more interested in a longer close if they don’t know where their next home is going to be, while others just want a quick, clean close free of contingencies. Look at the terms and conditions and identify any potential factors that could sweeten your offers, such as pre-approval from lenders or a 30-day rent back option for those in a tight inventory market. You might save the customer only $5,000 on the sale price but win back $10,000 in value through your negotiations.

14. Make a Backup Offer.

Just in case the pending contract falls through, it never hurts to have a backup plan with a backup offer on another house.

15. Partner With New Construction.

While social distancing has put the brakes on new construction for now, it can’t hurt to get clients thinking of this option once the air clears.

In January 2020, new home sales rose 7.9% from December and 18.6% from a year ago to 764,000 (SAAR), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There are the upsides — warranties, no contingency haggling, choice of finishes or maybe free granite — and few downsides.

Many expect the trend to pick up where it left off once the barriers of social distancing are behind us. Keeping clients informed and engaged for future opportunities will only strengthen your long-term relationships and increase word-of-mouth referrals.

Sources: Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report, Realtor.com 2020 Forecast

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With dotloop Business+ and dotloop for Teams you can easily tag transactions with the lead source to create reports that tell you which channels are generating quality leads.

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