What’s hot and what’s not? Who’s most likely to list their home? When’s the best time to ask for a price reduction? Which day of the week and what time of day will get the most opens on your email? Here’s what you need to know to hit the sweet spot for your business in 2020.
Your No. 1 priority in 2020: Get face-to-face!
If you want to take more listings in 2020, arrange a face-to-face meeting the moment you receive a lead. The 2019 National Association of Realtor Profile of Buyers and Sellers once again reports that 75 percent of the sellers and buyers hire the first agent they see face-to-face.
The best way to make the conversion is to use a “give-to-get” marketing strategy. My favorite approach is to offer the lead an Equity Checkup for Sellers or an “Annual Report” for buyers about the area. If you meet them face-to-face when you’re networking, you can get their contact information by offering to send it to them. If they’re a phone or internet lead, offer to drop it off in person. Include the following:
- Your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
- Property reports from NARRPR.com, a free member benefit for all NAR members.
- Property data and risks from HomeDisclosure.com.
- To obtain housing statistics and useful articles about your states, the data sorting software company Tableau aggregates this data from multiple sources for all 50 states.
What’s hot and what’s not?
Referrals and past clients have always been the primary source of listings. On the other hand, direct mail, floor duty, crowd-sourcing, newspaper, Yellow pages, home book ads, calendars, magnets and social media pages without a personal connection all had a return of one percent or less. These strategies are pretty much dead in the water — put your marketing dollars elsewhere.
Identify high probability sellers based upon their age and time lived in their home.
There’s a wealth of useful data in this year’s Profile, but one of the most fascinating finds was “Tenure in previous home, by Age of Seller.” There are two major sweet spots that have a 40 percent conversion rate based upon the seller’s age and how long they have lived in their home.
Based upon this table, the biggest sweet spot for getting listings is prospecting people who are 75 or older and who have been in the homes 21 years or more. Coming a close second are those who are 18 to 34 years old and who have been in their home for four to five years. Two out of every five of these homeowners will be listing their homes for sale during these time periods.
Use REI Source to obtain the contact information for homeowners that meet these criteria. The cost is typically less than ten cents per name.
Three additional sweet spots to consider that you can target through REI Source include:
- People who live in a two-bedroom condo who are expecting their second or third child.
- Parents whose youngest child is graduating high school, especially if that child is off to college out of state.
- Boomers who have lost their spouse, especially if they own a large multi-story home.
When is the best time to ask for a price reduction?
Due to the inventory shortage, especially in the entry level home market, homes are still selling at a brisk rate. No matter how strong the market is, however, there are always properties that are overpriced and that need price reductions. The chart above from the Profile provides some important clues about exactly when that best time is.
Based upon the data above, 43 percent of the sellers will reduce their price between three and four weeks after taking the listing. This coincides with the so-called “Honeymoon Chart” that shows listings have the maximum number of showings within the first two to three weeks after the listing goes on the market. This due to the pent-up demand from those buyers who have been looking, but have been unable to find a property. After this initial surge, showings drop dramatically.
Where to locate FSBOs
In 1981, 15 percent of the homes sold without the aid of an agent. Today, that number has dropped to eight percent, the lowest point since NAR started tracking it. What’s surprising is the median age of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers. If you prospect FSBOs and want to maximize results, pursue the senior citizen. The median age of FSBOS is 60!
For the first time I can remember, FSBO homes sold more quickly that agent-assisted homes (a median of two versus three weeks). This is probably a result of the high percentage of situations where the seller already knew the buyer.
Email experiences a renaissance
Since the beginning of 2019, I’ve seen several articles citing statistics that email marketing is having a renaissance. It’s ad free, it allows you to be in contact with those who may be purchasing in the future, and potential leads have the choice of opting in to your communications. To maximize response to your email, take these tips from the CRM software provider SuperOffice.com:
- Use six to 10 words in your subject lines to get the best open rate.
- Personalize subject lines with the reader’s name.
- Use a recognizable sender name.
- Optimize your email campaigns for mobile.
- Send your email campaigns during the workday, after lunch. The best open rates are during the week around 3:00 p.m.
The corporate video hosting platform Vidyard.com makes the following recommendations to get a greater return on your email marketing and communications by using video.
- Increase opens: The word “video” can increase opens 19 percent
- Increase clicks: Video thumbnails can increase clicks 50 percent
- Increase revenue: 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy after seeing a video.
- Cut costs: Videos can lower your cost per lead 19 percent
- Improve Search Engine Optimization: Video in email increases site traffic, which can have an impact on SEO, and clicks — video users get 41 percent more search traffic than non-users.
To hit the sweet spot in your business in 2020, decide which of these strategies work for you. Now go out and implement at least one of them this week to start your year off right!
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.
Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.
Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.