Though the current housing market is heating up and prices are continuing to rise, existing home sales are at chillingly low levels.
Rising home prices can mean higher commissions for real estate professionals, a low inventory housing market means that competition will be fierce. It is likely that you will have to compete against other real estate professionals to be a particular property’s listing agent or to secure a sought after home. Read on for five tips on how to be successful as a real estate professional in a low inventory market.
1) Keep an Eye Out for Expired Listings
Do you search for listings that are outdated or expired? Investigating homes that were listed in the past but never sold is one of the best ways to boost your inventory. Often, a home failed to sell because it was initially overpriced; however, that price may be considered reasonable on the current market. Contact the seller to see if the home is still for sale. It’s best to approach the seller with questions that are specific to your client, so that they know your interest in the home is sincere. Approaching an expired listing in this way will help to set you and your client apart from others who may be inquiring about the home.
2) Explore Rental Listings
Have you noticed rental properties on the market? Many homebuyers are not renting their properties by choice. In some cases the homeowner is simply unable to sell because the market didn’t support their asking price at the time, they were suffering from financial trouble, or they were undergoing a significant life change such a adjusting to a new job or experiencing difficulties in their personal relationships. Whatever the reason, rental properties can provide you with a valuable opportunity to expand your inventory. Go visit the rental home. If you like it and it appears sellable, approach the homeowner ask if they’re interesting in selling it.
3) Focus on For Sale by Owner
Have you seen signs that say “For Sale by Owner” in your area? Making inquiries with sellers about their For Sale by Owner home can demonstrate the value of having a real estate professional handle the sale. There are a number of questions you can ask the seller about their home, for example: “How are you advertising your home?,” “How are you going about showing the property?,” or “Do you need help handling any paperwork?”.
4) Get Personal
Do you remember buyer clients or fellow professionals from recent years? Did you feel as though you built strong, personal relationships with them? If so, nurturing these relationships can be one of the best ways to potentially expand your inventory. In the case of past clients, don’t be shy about letting them know you are thinking about them. Send them an anniversary card and ask them how they’re doing. With any luck, they may be in a stage in their lives where they are ready to upgrade to a new home. In the case of fellow professionals, organizing a mixer or networking event can be a great way to strengthen past connections, or perhaps create new ones. Sharing your home buying and selling experiences may allow you to discover new ways to increase your business.
5) Offer a free market analysis
Reach out to past clients or send direct mail to potential clients in key neighborhoods offering a free market analysis of their home. You may find a few of them have been considering selling, but aren’t sure what their home is worth. Bonus: Partner with a local real estate appraiser who could offer an appraisal package for the potential client for a reduced package cost.
What other strategies do you use when the market is slow? Share in the comments below.