For Realtors across the country, summer means more than just nice weather.
Traditionally, we see 40 percent of total home sales occur in the spring and summer months, and last year proved no different: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported the top 10 dates for home listings in 2016 all fell in April, May or June.
As we head into 2017’s hottest months, the forecast reveals much of the same.
It’s critical to have everything prepared in order to be as competitive as possible this summer.
Whether you’ll be helping an old client or working on a new opportunity, show off your best skills and strategies, and keep these four tips in mind.
1. Buddy-up with a builder
Lack of inventory was a major hindrance to market success in 2016. As news of the shortage percolated over the year, many potential buyers became hesitant to go through with a home search.
As a result, Realtors had a harder time getting buy-in from potential clients.
While the problem will take over a year to remedy, 2017 could be the year we see builders hit their stride.
According to a recent Deloitte report, homebuilders’ confidence continues to rise, and housing starts are predicted to reach 1.5 million in 2017. This is up from 1.3 million last year.
Because inventory is still on the low end, it’s important to connect with contractors to stay abreast of new listing opportunities.
Building these relationships will ensure a steady stream of properties on the market, and allow you to avoid the seasonal wrestling match.
2. Be mindful of previous clients
Another important tool Realtors neglect to utilize: their past clients.
With the chaos of 2007 far behind us, consumer confidence is back, creating new potential homebuyers for the market.
Agents shouldn’t let the influx of new prospects distract them from tending to their old clients. It’s always important to contact them, share valuable information and remind them why they loved working with you in the first place.
Treating these past clients right is the key to drawing new business; referrals and word-of-mouth are the secret to success for many top producers.
If you can get your customers to spread a good word, you’ve already got proof of production on your side.
3. Brush up on technology
Some Realtors may show resistance to technology, but doing so keeps their business from evolving.
Technology has so many benefits, and you’d be missing a massive opportunity to increase your business if you don’t hop on the bandwagon.
From 3-D home tours and paperless systems to rapid digital transactions like e-signing services, technology can truly help set you apart.
Today’s client is an educated one. Thanks to the wealth of data at their fingertips, more and more interested homebuyers are contacting a Realtor only after they’ve done their own research.
4. Remember your worth
While clients are taking the reigns early on, agents still play an essential role; technology can’t completely replace a caring, invested Realtor, and something as simple as an open house still works wonders.
Buying a home is a huge financial undertaking that still unnerves many clients.
According to NAR, 87 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker just last year. NAR reports this number has steadily increased by 69 percent since 2001.
As the summer season kicks-off, let these words of wisdom stick with you: In real estate, you don’t have to build it for them to come — you just have to sell it for those that do.
Kris Miller is president of NexTitle, a full service title and escrow company operating in 40 states nationwide. Kris spent the last 20 years refining his sales and leadership skills, including formerly operating as state manager of NexTitle’s Idaho offices. As president, Kris encourages overall company growth and maintains the NexTitle standard for exceptional service and fast turnaround times that make consumers’ lives and real estate agents’ jobs easier.