How to Work with Potential Home Sellers

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You know the feeling—your phone gets pinged with a referral, and you have every intention of getting back to them ASAP. But you’re in a meeting, or you’re driving, or you’re just about to walk into a meeting with a client and that potential referral ends up added to your database for follow up via “monthly newsletter.”

Well, this type of follow up won’t get you listings. In fact, this scenario is all too real for both agents and home sellers. According to our internal statistics at Flipt, 48% of real estate agents don’t follow up with their referrals at all. And if they do, it takes an average of almost 18 hours to do so.

However, if you attempt a phone call within five minutes after the first online contact or offline introduction, the odds that the seller will end up listing with you is 100 times higher than if you wait even 30 minutes. As a recent home seller myself, I can tell you that we are not good at waiting, and we definitely favor the agent who responds immediately.

 

Highly Motivated Sellers

Motivation makes a difference when converting potential home sellers to listing. For example, people who are going through a divorce need to go ahead and sell their home now, in order to move on to the next step of settlement. Similarly, a couple who are marrying and combining households are probably counting on the equity in one of their properties to pay for the wedding, moving costs, and other expenses. They too will be more motivated because of their circumstances.

Clients who are selling an inherited property often fall into this category. Sometimes they do not have the time or money for carrying costs on an inherited property, or they already have a home and do not need another house, so they are somewhat more motivated to get their family home sold. In addition, because the distribution of assets is often heavily dependent on the sale of the home, a quick sale is often vital. That means sellers are looking for a quick follow up by an agent who is ready to help them get to the closing table.

 

Key to working with Highly Motivated Sellers

  • Your referrals are only as good as your follow-up. With younger homeowners, it is crucial to follow up quickly and in a way that assures potential home sellers that you are an expert in their local market.
  • If you know the property address, get a CMA out right away and ask to schedule a meeting. Connect on social media. Maybe even stop by and drop off that CMA in person. Let them know that you’ll go the extra mile to be responsive. This reassures them that you’ll work just as hard on their behalf after they sign with you.

 

Sellers dealing with an Empty Nest

One underserved market that you might want to consider gearing part of your marketing to is Baby Boomers dealing with an Empty Nest. With kids going off to college, these potential clients are not motivated to move as quickly as those experiencing transformative life events like divorce. However, unlike previous generations who inevitably downsized, these Empty Nesters have big dreams and you may be able to help them buy their dream home after you help them sell their family home.

Empty Nesters tend to be emotional about the home in which they raised their family, but they are also driven by their dreams of an active and interesting retirement. You will need to use your sensitivity skill set to show compassion as they make decisions. Because they have more money and savings, you might be able to advise them regarding more expansive staging and more lucrative upgrades to increase their sale price.

While you want to be quick to respond to this group, expect to wait six to 24 months to get to the actual listing. Then, if they are looking for a dream home in your market, you should be able to help on that side as well. If not, tap into your network of contacts and find a great referral for them in the market they are moving to.

 

Key to working with Empty Nesters

  • As of 2017, homeowners over the age of 55 control almost two-thirds of the nation’s home equity. Yet only 5-10 percent of marketers are speaking to this group. That gives you a great opportunity to reach out and meet their needs.
  • Remember, helping them focus on their dreams and goals is an essential motivator for these home sellers. The more they can envision their dream home or dream neighborhood, the more they will be ready to sell their current home.
  • Over 51,000,000 men and women who live in USA are entering an empty stage status right now. They are actively use mobile & social media, and that’s where you should be advertising. Don’t underestimate the power of social media when working with this group.

 

Sellers moving into retirement

Another underserved demographic is the retirement sector, generally those who are 65 or older. Also, frequently encompassing older veterans and sometimes referred to as The Silent Generation, these experienced home sellers are often overlooked in marketing real estate services, even though they often have the most expensive and well-maintained homes on offer. Getting a foothold in this segment may mean dominating an entire neighborhood on the strength of word-of-mouth or smart farming.

Homeowners in this segment sell for a variety of reasons, from a desire to live closer to family members, mobility issues creating a preference for single-story homes or condos, or a move to a care facility. Generally, these clients are not quick to convert or to make decisions, but steady, regular communication through market reports, postcards, and other traditional forms of marketing can pay dividends in keeping you top of mind.

One of the ways in which you may need to adjust your follow up for this market is to listen more than you speak. This group does not like to be pitched or sold—listening to their stories, their concerns, their needs, and then helping to reassure them with thoughtful strategies and expertise will go a long way with this group.

 

Key to working with Retirees

  • Remember to make it easy for your retired clients to access your material. Don’t depend on online stats, testimonials, or listing presentations. Bring a folder with a paper version of your marketing materials. And be sure to use a larger font for promotional materials.
  • 62% of this group uses Facebook. Surprised? Remember, they want to see the grandkids’ photos and accomplishments, and Facebook is the place. While you’ll want to use more traditional marketing with this demographic, connect with them on Facebook to stay in touch.

 

Whether you are marketing to motivated sellers, people dealing with an Empty Nest, or retirees in transition, ensure that your marketing and follow-up is fast, but also targeted to their particular situation. Creating a plan for each of these demographics will ensure that your interested home owners will turn into listings.

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