It may seem like buyers are buyers, from one year to the next. Buyers’ agents understand, however, that no two clients are alike, and that “buyers,” as a group, hold certain commonalities.
We’ve already officially entered the decade of the first-time buyers, as millennials aged into the housing market. Classifying “buyers” became immensely easier. We know a whole lot about the largest group of them in the market.
Of course, whether buying or selling real estate, who reaches out to you for help depends on the types of consumers you’ve been stuffing into your pipeline this year and last.
And, how consistently you’ve kept in touch with these real estate leads.
In a perfect world, your CRM is impeccably organized, your leads segmented, your follow-up spot on and you perform multiple touches throughout the year.
Since the world isn’t perfect (nor are most agents’ CRMs), 2020 may be feast or famine time (as usual, right?).
Here’s what the “experts” are saying
Don’t you love reading the year-end prognostications about next year’s real estate market? While in late 2018 the experts were far more committed to their guesstimates of the 2019 market, this year, they are all hedging their bets.
Nobody is really sure what the real estate market will be like in 2020. Except for Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller.
In September, he stated “that the U.S. housing market could start to see a fall,” according to Harsh Chauhan at CCN.com. Chauhan bases his predictions largely on the fact that existing home sales fell 2.2 percent in September.
Hey, isn’t that the time the market slows every year?
The truth is, Americans, by and large, are optimistic about the economy. NAR’s latest quarterly survey finds that 63 percent of buyers “feel optimistic” and 52 percent are happy with the way the economy is humming along.
So, will 2020 be a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market?
I really wish that the media would survey the country’s real estate agents when putting together their year-end roundup of expert opinions.
What are the chances that an economist or other “expert” sitting behind a desk, set in front of a wall of framed college degrees, has actually worked with real estate clients? Day in, day out, over the past year?
It’s agents who are closest to the market’s pulse, who feel the changes as they happen. It often takes a month or more for the media to catch on.
Agents across the country have told us they agree with Freddie Mac’s forecast of “a projected upward tick in housing supply” next year. While it may not be upward enough to balance the market, it will bring relief to many buyers.
Speaking of which, look for demand to remain high for homes in the lower price ranges. In Chicago, for instance, this includes anything priced lower than $325,000
Who are these buyers and what do they want?
“If you’re selling a house next year, expect to see a lot of young couples walking through your doors during open houses,” claims an unnamed writer at AZBigMedia.com.
Oops. Millennials, by and large, don’t like open houses. Members of Generation X, on the other hand, love them. According to NAR studies, 63 percent of Gen X homebuyers claim to have visited open houses before buying.
Which is great news for open-house holders
Unlike Millennials, Gen Z clients are more likely to have a home to sell before buying, giving their lucky agents a twofer.
They’re buying more expensive homes as well. They require less hand-holding. Hopefully, you’ve been pursuing this cohort because they and baby boomers will be the clients who bring you the best commission checks.
Yes, Millennial first-time buyers are expected to still loom large in the 2020 real estate market, so if the cohort is among your target clientele, relax.
If, on the other hand, you’re pursuing the more-bang-for-the-buck type of Gen X transaction, get to know the master-planned communities in your market. Specifically, those that offer homes with:
- Three to four bedrooms in a minimum of 2,300 square feet
- Single-story homes for the older members of the cohort (many hope to age in place)
- Plenty of nearby amenities, such as parks and good schools
- Quick commutes to the nearest city
Baby boomer homebuyers, on the other hand, are typically looking to downsize, so they’re competing with Millennials for those low-priced smaller homes.
Many in the cohort have decided to rent while others are aging out of the housing market entirely.
Boomers’ hot buttons?
- Efficient floorplans with lots of storage options
- A laundry room is a must
- Energy-efficient appliances and windows
- Homes that offer smart-home technology
- Home office
- Lots of natural light
- Single-story homes with no stairway access
- Homes in walkable neighborhoods near shops and eateries
The cohort’s cold buttons are just as important, so don’t show them:
- Homes in golf course communities (unless they voice a preference for them)
- Homes with an elevator or wine cellar
- Anything with more than one story
Fortunate is the agent who steadfastly targeted the older demographics this year and last. Next year may just be your most prosperous yet.
Send the Perfect Timing postcard from the First Time Buyer Series to a targeted list of renters.
Need help targeting the perfect list of renters? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
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