Thirty-three percent of all home sales are to first-time homebuyers. Research tells us who is likely to be a first-time homebuyer—most are 32 years old, recently married, with an annual income of $72,500.
New homebuyers recognize the need for an agent to show them the ropes on the real estate market and guide informed decisions. However, how can you get to these clients and help them find the right home? Rental Beast is here to give you some strategies to locate first-time homebuyers and make them a dependable part of your business.
1. Build Rentals Into Your Business
Building rentals into your business plan is a great way to access new homebuyers. You will need to familiarize yourself with rentals, but it’s an investment worth making. Renters don’t want to be renting forever; they want a way to transition to home-buying. In the meantime, building rentals into your business has some great benefits for you and your business. More Americans than ever are renting. Rentals take place in days or months rather than years, and because rental clients move every 2-3 years, you’ll be working with them more often. By building your rental book, you’ll simultaneously be getting commission and developing a pipeline of future homebuyers who will come to you when they decide to make the transition to homeownership.
2. Know When to Ask a Past Client
Try to keep in contact with your rental clients and clients that you’ve previously helped find a home. Friend them on Facebook and keep an eye out for their posts. Yes, old clients might inundate you with pet photos and posts about their lousy customer service experiences, but, more importantly, you’ll be one of the first to know when a significant life change happens. Look out for signs that your past client is moving to a new area, having a baby or having a grown child move out of their home. Reach out with a friendly message that congratulates them on their latest life development and let them know that you’re there to help should they want to buy a home. Most business happens through referrals, so if your client has a child, they likely know another person who is, and might send them your way, as well.
3. Connect With Banks and Mortgage Lenders
Forty-six percent of homebuyers use FHA mortgages. What that means is that banks and mortgage lenders work closely with first-time homebuyers to help them finance their next moves. Take advantage of this relationship by reaching out to local banks, credit unions and even other mortgage lenders and offering your partnership. Build a book of trusted local banks that you can share information and a client database with.
4. Work Local Events
Offer your knowledge of the real estate market. First-time homebuyers want to work with real estate agents—after all, why wouldn’t they? You save them money and time and can offer unparalleled knowledge of the market that they want to buy in. Make sure that homebuyers know the value that you add. Get out and offer to lead a first-time homebuyers Q&A at your local library. Alternatively, take to the internet, join a few area Facebook groups and post a one-page write-up of resources that first-time homeowners can use. Become a known educational resource for first-time homebuyers and the first port of call for those ready to make a move.
5. Go Beyond the Averages
We’ve given you some stats about who the average homeowner is, but be aware that people become first-time homebuyers at various times. As millennials—and even some members of Generation Z—continue to make up the marketplace, the rental market will shift. Also, precisely what area that you work in will do a great deal in determining what sort of client becomes a first-time homeowner. Perhaps the first-time homebuyers in your area are a bit older? Maybe they don’t own cars? Do your research to know who the average first-time homeowner is in your area, what they have, and start to anticipate their needs and wants.