Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How to respond to client fears

Your clients and potential clients are getting an earful from the media about the housing market. “Pending home sales stumble as housing market momentum wanes.” “NAR Sees Overheated Housing Market Starting to Cool.” And, from our favorite Debbie Downer, Market Watch’s Diana Olick: “Housing market is showing signs of cracking.”

Then there were the reports recently about a brewing recession. Zillow teamed up with Pulsenomics to survey various economists and real estate professionals and concluded that we’ll see a recession by 2020.

So, is it any wonder that the “how’s the market” questions are coming on faster and more furious?

It’s easy for real estate consumers to buy into all this pessimism and to be confused about what it means for them as individuals. The first thing you want to remind them is that these stories are coming from those who don’t fill the “boots on the ground.”

Journalists and economists don’t actually sell real estate, which is why they are typically the last ones to know when a market is truly changing.

Agents are the first to know. Let your clients know that and it will go a long way in dispelling some of the fantasies they are reading.

Now, not all the news is wrong. We’ve been hearing from our agent clients across the country about changes in days on the market, less traffic at open houses, price drops and far less competition for desirable properties.

Whether these conditions are merely indications of the typical after-summer slowdown or a change in the housing market remains to be seen.

Your buyers have little to worry about

Home prices are falling across the globe, from Sydney to Vancouver, Hong Kong, and London. In fact, the latter has seen its “biggest monthly fall for six years,” according to The Guardian.

While there are signs of a slowdown here in the U.S., home prices are still rising. Yes, they’re rising at a slower rate, but rising is rising when you long to buy a home, right?

Many homebuyers are so discouraged, they’re either dropping out of the market completely or taking a break. Interviewed by Jeff Collins with the Orange County Register, one of these buyers bemoaned the high prices and stated that “I don’t ever see them coming down.”

When met with this type of pessimism from your buying clients, point out that prices are beginning to soften and conditions will get better for them. As more buyers drop out of the hunt for a reasonably-priced home, prices will begin falling.

Urge those who are on the cusp of affordability to buy now. Conditions in certain parts of the country are turning in their favor with price drops and increased inventory becoming more common.

For instance, Collins claims that “Southern California listings increased to nearly 46,000 homes by Aug. 23, up by nearly 7,100 — or 18 percent — from the same period last year.”

So, while we aren’t yet in a buyers’ market, conditions right now are much better, at least for some buyers.

Calm potential home sellers

Homeowners are more concerned about a possible recession than a softening real estate market. Those who are considering selling, however, should be paying closer attention to the market because it may not be this good for very much longer.

Sure, they’re sick of hearing that “now is the best time to sell,” but this time you have some stats to back up the claim. Any homeowner who is thinking of selling but waiting for prices to peak is crazy – and you should let them know that (in a nice way).

As for recession concerns, they have little to worry about. The experts predicting a recession seem to all agree that this time around it won’t be prompted by the housing market. In fact, according to Zillow research, “the most likely trigger for the next recession is monetary policy.”

Remember, the Great Recession was a bit of an anomaly; home prices actually increased during the previous five.

“The housing sector should be one of the leading sources to come out of the recession,” forecasts Mark Fleming, First American Financial Corporation’s chief economist at usnews.com.

Yes, there are signs that the housing market may be changing. And, as stated earlier, we all know that it’s a wait-and-see thing at this point. We rather like curbed.com’s Jeff Andrews’ take on the situation:

“The economy is booming. The stock market regularly hits new all-time highs. Unemployment is at record lows. Aside from a small recent downturn, the housing market is as hot as ever.”

Get your buyers out of fear mode and back to inspired seller by sending out at least 100 Free List of Homes postcard from the Free Offer Series.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

 

Client predictions in real estate 2018

Meet your future clients

ProspectsPLUS! has dusted off the crystal ball and made your predictions for your 2018 listing clients.

Once you know your audience it’s a lot easier to target your marketing, so read on to get to know these homeowners.

The oh-so-reluctant homeowner

If inventories remain as constrained as they were last year, finding listings is going to be like finding that elusive white rabbit in a snowstorm.

However, a recent survey by Value Insured has found that homeowners understand that they’ve built up considerable equity.  And, with interest rates so low, they now know it’s truly a great time to sell.

But, many of these sellers will also be buyers.

They read and watch the news, and have heard the horror stories of bidding wars over too few homes on the market and home prices rising at alarming rates.

In fact, more than 60 percent of the homeowners surveyed said that despite the great timing to sell, they are going to wait until buying becomes easier.

Freddie Mac is optimistic that the wait won’t be so long.

They’re predicting that new construction will ramp up and, combined with higher interest rates, prices should moderate.

Homeowners that will jump into the market

Generation X – the 62 million folks who will be between the ages of 42 to 53 this year – comprised the largest listing pool last year.

The Value Insured study we referenced earlier found that more than 60 percent of them will be looking for a larger home in 2018.

A National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey finds that the average Gen X homeowner currently lives in a home with 1,880 square feet of living space.

And, what will they buy?

Gen X has more children still at home than any other generation. But, look at the age span and you’ll agree that this group of real estate consumers has a diverse array of lifestyles.

Aside from the large group of families with children, the generation includes empty nesters, singles, and couples.

That said, studies show us a number of generalizations that can be made about Gen X housing preferences.

  • Lifestyle and neighborhood are more important than home amenities, according to the NAHB study.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Gen X homebuyers want a detached, single-family home with three or four bedrooms and at least 2,300 square feet of living space.
  • The older among them hope to age in place, so are demanding single-story homes.Listing Inventory Series of postcards
Don’t write off baby boomers

The media loves to vilify baby boomers – those who will be between the ages of 54 and 72 in 2018 – for the low housing inventory.

It isn’t that simple, claims Trulia’s Ralph McLaughlin. “Surprisingly, we find the share of owner-occupied homes owned by boomers is actually positively correlated with inventory.”

He goes on to point out the real reason behind the inventory crunch is homebuilders.

“Homebuilding’s impact – or a lack of it in some places – is by far and away the biggest influence when it comes to inventory woes.” Ralph states. “This outweighs other explanations by a large margin.”

Many industry experts expect that 2018 may be the year boomers finally decide to sell.

And, if you sell real estate in Maine, New Hampshire, Montana or Vermont (the states with the largest populations of boomers), you may want to specifically target this generation.

 

But, some won’t be buying another home

While Gen X home sellers will most likely be buyers as well, don’t automatically expect two transactions from your boomer clients. “Baby boomers are the fastest-growing group of renters,” according to Amy Zimmer at cnbc.com.

And, this group of would-be tenants state, overwhelmingly, that they will be renting so that they can ditch the maintenance headaches of homeownership.

“For many years I was responsible for a house, a family, corporation, and employees,” says a forum poster at aarp.com.

“I don’t have to worry about painting the house; the roof leaking; mowing the lawn; replacing the water heater.” “I don’t have to worry about a thing now,” he says of his decision to sell his home and rent a condo.

Life Event Downsizing

Those boomers who do plan on buying another home after they sell the current home will be looking for the following features, according to an NAHB survey:

    • Home office – Remember, many boomers plan on putting off retirement. A home office offers flexibility in transitioning from the brick-and-mortar, 9-to5 routine.
    • Tech and media centers, specifically wireless home networks that offer remote control of the home’s features.
    • Good lighting and lots of natural light
    • Wider doorways and hallways – For boomers who hope to age in place.
    • Either one-story homes or homes with the master suite on the first floor. For some reason, our knees seem to be the first place on our bodies in which we begin to feel our age. Stairs are uncomfortable.

Listing Inventory Series of postcards

Listing agents have a lot to be optimistic about in 2018.

A healthy job market, rising home values and, hopefully, an ease in the housing shortage.

Target marketing to Gen X and baby boomers may just be your key to a prosperous year.

Send I Have a BUYER from the Listing Inventory Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area where you want more listings.

Create a Lifestyle Targeted mailing list here.

Need assistance taking your marketing to the next level?  Call our support team at 866.405.3638 today!  

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan – Click Here

2. The Online Sphere of Influence Calculator

Top real estate professionals state 66% of their business comes from their sphere of influence. So how many people do you need in your SOI? Check out our Sphere of Influence Calculator (from your desktop) to find out the answer – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand