Will you be ready for the real estate surge when this crisis ends?
When this crisis has finally passed, we should see a huge real estate surge. That hopefully means that you’ll be busy beyond belief.
It also means that now is the time to take care of tasks you won’t have time for later.
We’ve discussed cleaning up your lists, re-connecting with past clients and everyone in your sphere, and ramping up your prospecting activities.
But of course, there’s always more to do.
First, if you haven’t already done so – research virtual tour options.
I’m hearing that there’s some disparity both in pricing and in the features offered, so taking time to check out the options should be beneficial. If you’re an expert photographer, it might even be worth the investment to purchase your own equipment and software.
I do think virtual tours could turn out to be the wave of the future, as potential buyers take advantage of the opportunity to view homes and narrow their choices without leaving their living rooms.
If so, it will save you a considerable amount of time (and gasoline). You (hopefully) won’t be touring homes that will be rejected the minute the buyers walk in the door.
I do see a drawback, as you won’t be spending as much time in the company of buyers. You won’t be able to watch their reactions to see what features they love – or dislike. Perhaps you can set up phone conferences in which you view the virtual tour together. Then you can gather any questions they have while tuning in to their feelings.
Then, since you have extra time, why not use it to explore new niche opportunities?
Choose based on your interests and your liking for the people, homes, land, or businesses you will deal with. Remember that enjoying your work is a big part of being successful, so steer clear of niches where you don’t enjoy the people, the circumstances, or the properties.
If you think new homes have no charm, steer clear of new construction. If you think 100 year-old houses should be torn down, stay away from historic homes.
If you think “old people talk too much,” don’t go for senior relocation. If you love hearing the stories, go for it!
Once you’ve chosen your niche, become the expert – now, while you have the time to study and research.
If you’ve chosen a geographic area, study it until you can answer any question a buyer might ask.
Get the map and learn where the streets are. If there are bus routes, mark them on your map. Learn the quickest paths to major arterials for getting to work, school, shopping, recreation, and health care.
Study the nearby shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities. Check out the parks – and the dog parks!
Next, learn all about the services available – and what they cost. If the area has neighborhoods with homeowners associations, learn their regulations and restrictions. Find out which neighborhoods or condominiums do and don’t allow pets – and which are seniors only.
Become familiar with everything related to government – like the taxes, the zoning, and any restrictions that apply to homes and residents.
Specialized niches present other learning opportunities.
For instance, if you want to list homes in probate, you need to learn all the rules that govern selling a house in probate. Be able to give them the kind of advice offered in my Probate Advice letter set – and to explain why it’s important.
If you want to help people with 1031 exchanges, you must know the rules, the timelines, the options, and the people who are necessarily involved with such transactions. Get acquainted with attorneys, financial advisors, and qualified intermediaries who handle 1031 exchanges.
If you want to list and sell fixer properties, learn the ins and outs of the loan programs that will allow buyers to finance those houses. Then learn which lenders offer those programs. It wouldn’t hurt for you to also learn enough about construction to be able to point out issues that warrant closer inspection.
If you want to sell waterfront homes or lots, learn the regulations that govern setback requirements, docks, building size, etc.
Every specialized niche offers an opportunity for you to become the expert – and the go-to person in your marketplace. Choose a niche that you’ll love and get educated before the real estate surge hits.
Even if you are strictly a listing agent, knowing the answers to questions buyers ask will make you a star.
Buyers will be the other side of the real estate surge…
You’d benefit from becoming an expert on loans that are available. Does your State or County offer help to first time buyers? What is it and where do they apply? How about special programs for teachers and first responders?
Are there lenders in your community that offer better rates for “Jumbo Loan” borrowers? Find out!
You shouldn’t offer lending advice, but you CAN make buyers aware of the opportunities and point them toward the people who can guide and help them.
The good news is, you can get all that education by using your computer and your telephone.
Once you’ve chosen your niche, start prospecting!
While it’s true that many buyers and sellers won’t take action just yet, you’ll benefit from being the agent they think of first when that day comes.
Come to my prospecting letters page to choose letters that will help you fill your pipeline. (I don’t have letters for every niche, but the selection does keep growing.) While we’re still dealing with the restrictions of social distancing, you might want to incorporate my “This too shall pass” letters or the COVID postcard sized letters in with your other mailings.
Surge Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net