As a real estate professional in today’s low-inventory market, searching for a home can prove incredibly frustrating for both us and our buyers. You may want to throw up your hands and try to ride out this difficult time. However, the key to getting past this issue is to discover new ways to find inventory — in the form of listings.
Real estate agents with listings typically have a far easier time getting transactions to close than those working with buyers, who might not be able to find what they are looking for and may even be outbid. An increase in inventory helps everyone.
Listings can be found everywhere, but learning to successfully locate these listings is another story. Not only does the contact need to be consistent but the message also needs to be compelling — you can’t rely on generic, sporadic messages anymore. You need to complete in-depth research that tells the story of the sellers’ situation and how they can benefit from these current market conditions. Here are some ways to tell that story:
- Use examples of your notable sold properties, when appropriate. Be sure to reference the listing’s days on market and the sales price to list price ratio. Another statistic to cite is the amount sold over list price in a certain neighborhood — this factoid will get potential sellers thinking.
- Consider looking at price appreciation per neighborhood or area. Showing a change in median home prices could also prove helpful.
- Indicate the number of homes listed versus under contract or sold. Displaying this data on a graph could hit home for some sellers.
- Show how days on market is declining via a graph. A graphical representation of overall market trends is another way to help sellers understand the current market.
And, of course, your work isn’t done when you secure that coveted listing! Keep every neighbor up-to-date on each phase of the listing and sale. Send a letter out to all the neighbors to announce the listing and all applicable upcoming activities, like open houses or broker opens. This consistent contact is crucial for gaining additional listings.
The market is not going to miraculously create inventory anytime soon, so prepare yourself to strategically find new inventory. Although this search requires a consistent pursuit of listings, the payoff will be monumental. Whoever masters the listing search now will see referrals pour in when the market slows.