Turning first-time home buyers into lifelong clients

— Weichert Franchise

No matter market conditions, first-time home buyers have lots of new territory to navigate. In the current climate of skyrocketing home prices, low inventory, and bidding wars, buyers fresh on the scene can feel like the dream of home ownership may be out of reach.

Now, more than ever, agent expertise can make the difference.

The good news is, the majority of buyers already understand your value. With 88 percent of buyers now using an agent or broker — up from 69 percent in 2001 –– it’s mainly a matter of being found first, catering to their specific needs, and staying in touch throughout the years.

Being found first

First-time buyers, with a median age of 33, naturally begin their property searches online. If they don’t have an agent referral, they may also look for one online, so it’s critical that they find you first. If you don’t show up at the top of Google searches, someone else may win their business.

Back in April, we talked about Google Local Services ads, an increasingly popular way of finding top-rated local pros. If you’re not listed there, you’re missing out on potential business. The process is simple, but can take a few weeks to complete –– so get started today.

From there, your robust website and social media profiles should complete the picture of who you are, how you can help, and why first-time home buyers can put their trust in you.

Making first-time ownership smooth and seamless

All first-time home buyers are stressed out about something. Whether it’s finding the right loan or a great inspector, your knowledge and connections can make a lasting impression throughout the whole process. Here are a few reminders of how you can bring some peace of mind to the picture.

Highlight the perks

First-time ownership comes with plenty of challenges, from simple inexperience to a lack of equity to leverage. But there are advantages as well, including government programs such as federally-backed loans, tax incentives, and down payment assistance. Even clients who haven’t owned a home in three years may qualify for first-time home buyer programs. Helping clients understand the differences between USDA, VA, and FHA loans –– and how each might align with their long-term real estate goals –– will ensure they’re set up to succeed as property owners.

Go to bat

Negotiating offers, overseeing inspections, and deciphering contracts are times when your experience can bring clients a huge sense of relief. As a first-time buyer, it’s hard to know when to speak up, make certain demands, or just let things go. What starts out as a search for the “perfect home” becomes much more of a compromise. With you at the helm, making sure concessions are fair and ultimately beneficial, first-time buyers will know they’re well protected.

Stay cool as a cucumber

Over the summer, the median U.S. home price rose to $350,300, according to NAR. That’s up 24 percent from last May. Pair this competitive market with emotions that can run high during real estate transactions and clients will value your ability to stay calm and diplomatic during the ups and downs.

Becoming a trusted advisor

Because most first-time home buyers can use help with just about everything –– finding a lender, learning about neighborhoods, understanding market trends –– this is the perfect opportunity to become a trusted source of data, local knowledge, and insider tips.

Making introductions and connections can establish relationships that pay off long into the future through referrals and sales.

Whether clients are just starting out, upsizing, or heading for retirement, it’s an honor to play such an important role in their lives.

Need more inspiration on building your referral network? Excelling at local marketing? Weichert is always here to help. Reach out today!

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