If your agents are looking to broaden their business, advise them of the fact that investors are a lucrative client base. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, total investment home purchases increased 7 percent between 2014 and 2015, and median sales prices rose 15.3 percent over the same period. Not only does the investment market present the opportunity for an immediate boost to your agents’ business, but developing relationships with investor clients can also lead to long-term benefits for their careers and financial future. Keep in mind that agents who typically work with primary homebuyers will find that working with investors requires a different approach to buyer representation.
Rather than searching for the perfect place to call home, investors are more concerned with whether a property will meet their particular investment goals. Agents who work with investors must have the ability to quickly determine a property’s potential to generate income and appreciate in value. Investors expect their agents to have an advanced level of knowledge on topics like cash flow analysis, cap rates and special tax implications. It’s also important for agents to create a network of professionals, such as tax advisors, property managers and contractors, to assist investors in all aspects of the transaction.
While the skills necessary for representing investors are demanding, the benefits of establishing a good working relationship with investors are numerous. Compared to primary homebuyers, investors purchase property with much greater frequency. Agents who have proven themselves knowledgeable and shown an understanding of their clients’ investment goals can expect to receive repeat business. This means less time and money spent marketing to new customers and more time on transactions with existing clients.
Favorable circumstances for investing exist across diverse market conditions, depending on the client’s investment strategy. Since investors tend to be interested in a variety of property types, agents will find prospects for everything from multi-unit buildings to single-family homes.
Last, but not least, a significant benefit to representing investors is the opportunity for your agents to gain in-depth knowledge and experience that can lead to them becoming investors themselves. In fact, Bill Brown, NAR 2017 president, has made financial independence for all members one of his four priorities, urging all REALTORS® to consider real estate investments as a means to ensure their financial solvency. Not only are investor agents eligible for special tax benefits, but also long-term assets necessary to enjoy a secure and prosperous retirement.
Start down this potentially lucrative path by encouraging your agents to enroll in the course “Real Estate Investing: Build Wealth Representing Investors and Becoming One Yourself.” The one-day course covers all the fundamentals of getting started on working with investors, planning the final purchase, and beyond. It also includes information that’ll help agents build their own investment portfolios. As an investment strategy, developing the unique set of skills required in representing investors can provide your agents with benefits for years to come. More information on the course can be found at www.REBAC.net/content/real-estate-investing.
Marc Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for NAR and executive director of REBAC. A wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients.
For more information, please visit REBAC.net.
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