Nearly 30 percent of families with children under the age of 18 say their main reason for moving is to find a larger home and a good neighborhood, according to a recent National Association of Realtors report.
Half of those families cited the quality of the school district as a reason for buying their home, and 43 percent selected their home because of its convenience to schools.
As such, it’s crucial that real estate agents know how to work with families with kids.
Below, agents and brokers share their ideas for success. The tips below come from the experts at JK Realty and members of the Facebook group Real Estate Agents Who Want Real Results.
1. Kid listing agreement
Knowing how to involve the kids while working with the adults takes some planning and preparation. Jason and Kala Laos, owners of JK Realty in Gilbert, Arizona, along with JK Realtor Cat Goldman, have created a brilliant solution.
“The anxiety and stress of the sales cycle is a pain point for adults, yet often it’s just as hard on the children,” Kala Laos said. “Although not the decision makers, kids lives are affected tremendously by the real estate transaction.
“We want kids to know they’re important, too. To show how much we care, we created the JK Cool Kidz brand. This brand focuses on serving the children of JK clients across the spectrum of agent, seller and buyer.”
By giving the kids VIP treatment, JK Realty shows clients what matters most to them.
“Nearly every person that walks into our office space notices and immediately comments on how ‘cool’ it is that we have the Da Club. And, our sellers are always surprised that JK created an incentive for their kids to help with the selling process,” Kala Laos said.
“We hope that by leading the industry in a culture change, many other brokerages will adopt and promote positive change alongside us.”
“Once I started working with clients that had children, I quickly realized those parents had the same struggles I was going through. Kids are mini tornadoes, and a home can get cluttered and ruined for a showing in a second,” Goldman said.
Goldman came up with the idea for the kid listing agreement. The basic idea: get kids excited about cleaning their rooms, and then reward them.
“But once you give them responsibility that includes a reward, they seem to really buckle down in order to earn that reward. This was how the kid listing agreement was born,” Goldman said.
2. Assistant for the day
Kids love to help, so get them involved in the process like Vanessa Diaz, agent at Keller Williams Town Life, New Jersey. “I make them my assistants. They love it. Multiple siblings take turns and also act as Realtors and help tell the parents the cool things about the house.”
Have some props in your car, and give them to the kids when appropriate.
“I make any children my assistant with a clipboard and pencil ask them to take pictures of things they like and write feedback if 7-years-old plus,” added Candace Wells Summerall, Realtor at Keller Williams Realty, Savannah, Georgia.
Wendy Anderton Foreman, broker with eXp Realty, Oklahoma, also puts the kids to work. “When showing homes, I always ask the kids to help me by getting all the lights turned on; they can also assist in a really meaningful way by showing the parents around the house, too!”
3. Available tech
There’s a variety of options to employ tech with kids, and most will have a gadget with them, but having something on hand in case they don’t is a wise move.
“I have heard some of my agents bringing a ‘kiddie’ tablet with them for kids to watch a TV episode on Netflix or YouTube,” said Brianna Kruger, communications and sales director at West USA Realty in Phoenix.
4. Snack time
Who doesn’t love a little pick-me-up when out touring homes?
“I keep bottles of water and a Costco box of snack packs in the back of my SUV,” said Jeff Reyes, agent with Keller Williams Modesto.
5. Coloring books
Buyer’s agent with Keller Williams Portland Real Estate Group, Chelsea Wright added, “For in office appointments, I have coloring books.
“For showings, a couple educational games on my tablet usually suffice. Or I like to do a game of hide-and-go-seek in the backyard while parents are looking around, if that’s an option. Depends on how wiggly the kids are.”
Always have your buyers with kids take their own car and meet you at the homes.
It gives the family a chance to check in with one another, it’s easier if they have car seats, and it gives everyone a little time out if needed.
7. Toys from home
Remind your clients to have the kids bring something from home that will keep them occupied. Also, don’t schedule too many homes if the kids are going to be in tow.
Involving the kids doesn’t take a lot effort. They want to help. They want to be part of the process. After all, it’s their house, too.
“Moving might seem like something that is a decision made just by adults, but it’s a decision that affects the whole family,” Cat Goldman said.