As a real estate agent, you’re constantly reminded that leads are the lifeblood of your success. Even knowing this, many agents shy away from rental leads because they believe they aren’t worth their time or investment. However, there’s a major untapped potential to turn renters into buyers now and in the future. Here are five tips to begin working with this underworked audience.
- Start taking rentals seriously.
If you’ve looked through your leads recently, you may have noticed that a large number of them are requests for rental properties. While millennials (the top buying age group) are moving towards homeownership, many can only afford to rent. This means that there is a large portion of potential homeowners at your fingertips. If you can work with these clients now to help them find the perfect rental property, you’ll know exactly when their lease will expire. This puts you in prime position to contact them about buying a home as their rental period comes to a close.
- Build the relationship.
Before you start working with rental leads, set a price point (e.g., $2,000/month). This means you’ll only work with clients who are looking for a rental priced at $2,000 and above. If you don’t plan to personally assist in the rental search and are handing it off to another agent in your group, make the introduction, but make sure to stay in touch with the $2,000 and above renter throughout the process. After they’ve found their dream rental property and moved in, send a small gift basket to congratulate them. This sets up a warm relationship between you and them and will give you something to build on in the future.
- Prepare for the future.
After your clients have moved in, add them to a drip email campaign so you can stay in touch. Invite them to follow you on your social media pages and send periodic emails with tips like “How to Save for a Down Payment” or “Top Ways to Prepare for Buying a Home.” Begin leading them down the path to homeownership. After they’ve been renting for nine months, contact them directly to ask if they’re interested in buying, since their rental contract will be ending shortly. Since you were the one who helped them find a rental, you know exactly what they’re paying, where they live, and what they were looking for in a property. This gives you a great advantage in helping them in their home search. If they seem a little wary, provide them with some properties you’ve selected and show them how much they could be saving by owning instead of renting.
- Sell the leads you can’t use.
If you’ve set your price point for $2,000 and have a number of leads that don’t meet this mark, farm them out to other agents. Many agents who specialize in rentals or those who are new to the real estate industry would be more apt to work with these kinds of clients. Offer to sell these leads for a nominal fee ($5 each). Over time, they’ll begin paying for themselves. If you’d rather keep the leads in-house, these can be great for new agents who are still building their experience.
Rental leads can provide a great way for you to increase your client list in the long run. The best part is most agents are not focusing on these leads, so it opens up a new, untapped market. If you put these tips to the test and find your business thriving, you may have just found your niche!
- Many renters can qualify to buy now.
Just because someone inquires about renting a home doesn’t mean they can’t buy one now. Many renters have great credit scores and savings, but since they have always rented, they don’t know that they may be able to afford a home. Turning away a potential buyer because they have indicated they want to rent is a critical mistake. If it turns out a rental client really does want to rent, you can always refer them to another agent—but what if you can show them that it is actually less expensive to purchase a home instead? You’ve probably done it before, and you know it works! Don’t dismiss leads simply because they are rental leads. You never know who you may be speaking with. There is a lot of opportunity in qualifying rental leads.
Ready to start building your client database? Homes.com can connect you with quality rental leads in your area. Don’t let any more rental leads slip away from you; start connecting with them today.
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