Tuesday
July 29, 2014

Get Your Listings in Shape

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Get Your Listings in Shape

Make this year your best year yet in real estate by outlisting the competition. Here’s some advice on how from a new Tom Ferry-Bank of America partnership.

In everything from home prices to sales volume to consumer confidence, 2013 showed many signs of sustained recovery. For real estate professionals, however, many challenges still exist, and the big question on practitioners’ minds is how to succeed in 2014 and beyond.

Just like staying fit, many people seek guidance from a trainer. It shouldn’t be any different for real estate professionals. During the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Bank of America announced a strategic partnership with Tom Ferry and his coaching organization that will support real estate professionals throughout the year. Already underway, a sample of this guidance is Ferry’s advice on outlisting the competition.

Look at Expired Listings

Fewer foreclosures and rising home prices have combined to reduce inventory to an estimated 1.3 million fewer homes on the market than two years ago, according to YCharts, a leading provider of investment research tools. When coupled with sellers who may be holding out for better days and real estate agents and investors returning to the market, the competition for listings is very intense.

Fortunately, there’s a simple twist practitioners can put on their real estate marketing strategy to generate more appointments and listings — look at old, expired listings. It may be obvious, but few actually do it.

Real estate agents can dig into the MLS and pull listings — every expired, cancelled, and withdrawn listing should be considered. The next step is to reach out to the owners of those homes. They may still want to sell their property but may not know that the market is improving or the value of their house has rebounded. From there, it’s all about relationship development, including understanding the seller’s needs: helping them establish a listing price, for example, or assisting with relocation and financing, and so forth.

Develop Relationships With Homebuilders

Today we’re also seeing more real estate professionals and homebuilders come together as new construction presents renewed opportunities for listings. The sale of newly built single-family homes rose 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 units in January, up from 427,000 units in December, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the strongest level of sales in six years.

These trends suggest that new-home construction is rebounding and is motivating many real estate professionals to develop relationships with homebuilders to help educate and prepare their clients. With 57 percent of builders, according to the National Association of Home Builders, saying they have lost a sale because the buyer could not qualify for a mortgage, more are relying on real estate professionals to informconsumers about what to consider when purchasing a new home.

Educate Home Buyers

From anticipating lender expectations to determining the right mortgage option to selecting a new or existing home, consumers need relevant, up-to-date insights and advice to make informed buying decisions. Real estate professionals that want to have the latest educational tools and information relevant to today’s housing market are also turning to lenders for resources that help educate their clients.

Bank of America, for example, partners with hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout the United States to offer Connect to Own, an alliance for home ownership, which delivers prepurchase home buyer education and training, including budget and credit counseling for first-time home buyers.

Through these types of programs and alliances, more real estate professionals have access to the most up-to-date resources, tools and trainings needed to manage and grow business.

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