Most real estate agents start out selling existing homes. This is because they are the most accessible places to list, show, visit, and sell. But there are certainly reasons to focus on selling new construction projects in your area to first-time and more seasoned buyers.
For first-time homebuyers and empty nesters, construction projects such as subdivisions, townhouse complexes and condominiums are often the perfect mix of convenience and ease.
In September of 2019, 701,000 new homes were sold in the U.S. For many up-and-coming Realtors, becoming an agent specializing in new construction adds another specialty and an income stream. But, of course, it requires gaining knowledge in this specialized real estate market area.
Read on to learn 5 things real estate agents should know before they start working with buyers of new construction projects.
Strategic use of open house events
One place where construction companies and real estate agents offer overlapping services is open houses. The building company often holds an open house when a new construction (or simply the display unit) is ready to kick off the sales period.
As a Realtor, it’s a great idea to stop by these events and meet the builders, contractors, and any internal sales staff they have.
You can use these events to network and build relationships with the local property developers in your area. Ask questions that might help you to sell some of their units, and make sure to exchange contact details. Touring the property and showing interest might be the catalyst they need when they are asked to recommend a local Realtor.
Follow any co-op policy rules
Rules set by the builder for how they partner with real estate agents are always essential to follow to protect your relationship with the construction company. These policies are often quite simple, laying out details including pre-notification when buyers have a tour appointment and laying out a few details about them.
Henry Goudreau, Founder of HG Associates and Golden Hard Hat Mentoring Program, has mentored over 100 contractors to increase their incomes tenfold. He said, “Read the builder’s co-op policy to the letter and follow it exactly. This way, the builder knows you are professional and is happy to work with you again or even recommend you. It also ensures a problem-free sale and shows your respect for the construction company, their work, and their time,” he said.
Let the builder lead onsite
Further to the point made above, show the builder respect when they or their site sales team are presenting their property or leading a walkthrough with a potential client. Assume that they know the property far better than they do and simply stand back and let them show their work without ever interrupting them.
If you have a Type-A personality that notices other features you’d like to point out to the customer, make notes during the walkthrough and point the additional details out later.
To get even more points with builders during their presentations, ask pertinent questions that provide clarity or allow the property developer to speak about a part of the project that places them in a positive light.
Step into your buyer’s shoes
When purchasing a new build, your client needs you more than ever to guide them to a great decision. When buying a brand new home, buyers need their agents to advise them about the neighborhood and the builder’s track record and help them to separate a good deal from a strong marketing spiel.
They may also be confused between your job and that of the builder’s real estate agent. Make sure that they know that you are there to look out for them and that the builder’s agent protects the builder’s interests.
Familiarize yourself with upgrades
Every new build — especially in a complex or subdivision — offers its own host of extras and upgrades. From 24/7 work centers to on-site country clubs and faucet enhancements to energy-saving windows, your buyer depends on you to separate the wheat from the chaff and tell them what is a great deal, a good choice, or a waste of money.
Go into any negotiation or walkthrough fully armed with a list of the client’s desires and the upgrades available. Also, consider if this is a home your buyer plans to hang onto and build a life in or sell in a few years. If it’s the latter, be sure to keep them abreast of which upgrades make no difference in price when they go to re-sell the home.
Keep these tips in mind when selling new construction and your business, relationships, and profits will be better than ever.