Some good news that’s come out of this tricky time in 2020 is that demand has not significantly gone down, even with the unemployment and financial insecurity concerns due to COVID-19. The flip side? Inventory is still much lower than it needs to be.
The inventory shortage isn’t new. It’s been a top concern of agents for several years. In fact, a recent Homelight study showed that 59% of real estate professionals cite “lack of inventory” as their number one challenge they’re facing in 2020.
We’re here to tell you that it’s not impossible to stay productive, even when supply is low. It’s all about optimizing your time and channeling your energy into the most dollar-productive activities. So, here are a few tips for getting those listings.
1. Talk to Rental Property Owners
The pandemic caused thousands of rental property owners to take a major hit when domestic travel came to a standstill in the spring. Since then, travel has gradually increased, however, many of these property owners are likely still recovering.
There is a serious opportunity to educate rental property owners on why now is a great time to sell. Come prepared with local market insights and nearby sold data. This is your chance to be not just an agent but also an educator.
2. Search For Expired Listings
Check your MLS for any properties that may have been withdrawn or were on the market but never ended up selling. If you can track down some of these listings, now is the perfect time to encourage the owners to let you help them sell their property.
Explain that there is demand in the market and, because inventory is low, they’re likely to get multiple offers. Especially with the constraints and challenges of the pandemic, many homeowners are reconsidering their current situation. They may have realized they need more space for their kids or are now able to work fully remote and want to relocate to the suburbs or a coastal town.
3. Find the Downsizers (Before They Even Know They Want To)
Here’s the thing about downsizing… no one is really jumping at the first opportunity to do it. Whether they’re empty nesters or retired couples, they’ve likely been in their home for quite some time. They know “eventually” they’ll settle into something a bit smaller or move closer to family members as they age.
A lot of these folks might make that move sooner if they had someone to plant the seed or get the ball rolling. (That’s your cue!) Do some research in your sphere and within your geographic farm and try to connect with these folks to share some information that might steer them towards selling.
4. Be the Best Buyers Agent
Just because you’re a buyer’s agent, doesn’t mean you can’t turn leads into seller opportunities. It’s totally possible if you position yourself as the “problem-solver” and the best possible buyer’s agent.
Think about it… people usually start looking at homes before they’ve committed to selling theirs. During that process, if you provide superior service, who do you think they’ll want to list their home with? That’s right – you!
Consider these numbers. In 2017, 76% of all home sellers were married couples who moved the median distance of only 12 miles from their old home. The #1 reason why they moved, was because their house was too small. This shows that the majority of sellers are in a classic upgrade scenario.
It’s a low-inventory market right now, which means it’s tough to be a buyer. Which is where you come in. Instead of doing the “hard-sell,” to get their listings, show them that you can solve their problems.
- • Give them advice on competing with multiple offers
• Educate them on more financing options
• Introduce them to a totally new neighborhood
5. Prospect Smarter
You likely have some viable seller leads in your database that you’ve written off as “trash leads.”
• “I’m just looking right now.”
• “We haven’t found the right house yet.”
• “We’re thinking about selling, but it’s just not the right time.”
Sound familiar? These leads that have the potential to convert down the road tend to pile up. Without a system in place, they tend to fall by the wayside. You don’t have time to play cat and mouse, and that’s where smart prospecting comes in. The idea is to keep every lead properly tagged and plugged into plans that will keep them engaged while giving you the freedom to focus on the hottest leads that are most likely to convert.
You can break down Smart Prospecting into 3 steps. Organize, Optimize, and Automate.
Ever heard the saying, “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today”? Smart prospecting streamlines your process so you can work smarter (not harder), and improve your ROI over time. Being intentional with how you categorize and contact your leads, paired with technology that automates the grunt work – now that is a formula for success.