Can you determine home buyer loyalty?
Earlier this month I asked readers for topic ideas for future newsletters. One response was “How to determine if a buyer will be loyal” and another was “Your best and worst client stories.”
This week I’ll combine the two….
Determining buyer loyalty:
The true answer regarding buyers is that I don’t believe there IS a way to be absolutely sure of a buyer’s loyalty – or to determine which buyers will be loyal.
You can, of course, ask them to sign a buyer broker agreement. For some, that will be a guarantee. Others will ignore it, leaving you in a position to either let it go or take legal action should they decide to buy through another agent.
Taking legal action might be an OK idea if the commission is high enough AND if you live in a large enough town. Because I practiced real estate in a very small town, I would not have considered it. Even though I would have been in the right, the gossip network wouldn’t have seen it that way. The damage to my reputation would have been severe.
You can encourage buyer loyalty by…
Aside from the buyer broker agreement, I think the best way to encourage buyer loyalty is to stay in constant communication with those buyers. Don’t let them think for a minute that you’ve forgotten them.
If you check new listings every morning, let them know about anything that sounds close to what they want (because buyers do change their minds sometimes), and if you see nothing of interest, send a quick email or text to tell them so. They’ll know that you were thinking of them and that you’re working for them every day.
If there’s been nothing new to report for a few days, pick up the phone. Check in to ask how they’re doing, whether they’ve seen anything that looked interesting from the outside, whether they’d like to change the search parameters, etc.
Be sure you’re providing all the information, advice, and guidance those buyers need, so they don’t have to go searching and possibly connect with some other agent.
If your potential buyers are considering new construction…
If they’ve had thoughts about new construction, warn them about dealing directly with the builder and impress upon them the idea that you can and will save them money. Remind them not to tour open houses without you – or at the very least to hand the builder’s representative your card and let them know they have representation before looking at the house.
If you know they want new construction, start a drip campaign with my “New Construction Buyer” letters: https://copybymarte.com/new-construction-buyers-letters/
For buyers who are still merely prospects…
When you want to hold on to potential buyers who have visited your website, use the “Nurturing Internet Buyer Leads” letter set: https://copybymarte.com/nurturing-buyer-leads/
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Jimmy John Liautaud
So – now for a worst client story about buyer loyalty…
Once upon a time I had a friend whose son had a wife and 2 little boys. They were living in a rental that didn’t suit them and they wanted to buy a house. They had some specific wants: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a basement, and a detached 2-car garage. He wanted the garage in which to set up a small appliance repair business.
They were only available on Saturdays, so for about 2 months I spent every Saturday showing them everything that was remotely close to what they wanted. And those showings were something else. There was the couple and their 2 children; his sister, her husband, and their 2 small children; plus his mom and her husband.
I nearly had heart failure one day when the toddler tumbled down the steps because none of the six adults was paying attention to him. Thankfully, it was winter and he was well padded with outdoor clothing.
One day I got a new listing – and it fit their want list perfectly! I called immediately, and the wife put me off, saying she’d tell her husband. The next day I called again. I forget how many days it took before they told the truth – they had signed a purchase agreement to buy the rental they were living in. It had only 1 bath, no basement, and an attached 1-car garage.
I was angry, but most of all, my feelings were hurt. Friends are supposed to have some loyalty – or at least I thought so. It was not easy to paste on a smile and be friendly when I ran into one of them in the grocery store.
On the flip side: a best client story of buyer loyalty:
Many years ago I had an out-of-state buyer who was interested in a home out of town, but wanted to wait to make an offer until the next Spring, when his wife could accompany him and help make the decision.
He and the agent/seller were both Labrador Retriever enthusiasts, and they got friendly. As a result, they stayed in contact over the winter. When he came back to town in the Spring, the home was still available. (Because real estate stayed on the market a LONG time back in those days.)
The agent/seller offered him a discount if he’d cut me out of the transaction.
He said no. I was his agent and I would stay his agent.
The lesson: You can’t tell which buyer will be loyal, but it is wise to feel grateful for every one who is.
Couple taking keys Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Stressed agent Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thumbs up Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net