Home buyer sentiment is low right now—as you know. You’re up close and personal with clients every day. You see the struggle. People are being shut out. They are feeling like they won’t win bids. They are accepting defeat before the process even begins. We hate to see low morale among home buyers. Sure, we can’t fix the circumstances, but we can focus on what we can control.
The good news is, it’s probably not as dismal as they think. For example, if a client comes to one of your agents and says, “I’ve been looking for homes for months. No luck. Nothing is in my budget. It’s all in the wrong spot. I can’t win.” Your agent has a huge opportunity here. They should follow up with questions like, “What don’t you like about the homes you’ve seen?” “Where do you feel like you need more support?” “Where have your bids been relative to the sales price?” “How flexible is your budget?” “What must-haves are you willing to sacrifice to get your ideal property?”
The more information gathered about client must-haves and why they feel like they’re missing out, the better your agents can support them.
Support improves buyer sentiment
Lack of support actually appears to be one of the largest issues surrounding low buyer sentiment. According to a first-time buyers survey, 84% felt slightly unprepared, and
33% said they felt somewhat unprepared for homeownership.
Being “prepared” is a mindset. As real estate professionals, we are here to help people understand the ins and outs of the business. Just like you wouldn’t expect someone with no medical experience to diagnose their health concerns, they can’t be expected to be real estate experts.
Help your agents understand how to offer personalized support. They should approach their clients with a people-first mindset.
- First, discover why the customer feels a lack of confidence around the home buying experience. Ask questions about their wants and needs. Learn about their previous experiences. Dive deep to build a relationship.Next, be an industry expert. This is the type of market that really puts your real estate knowledge to the test, and your agents need to know their stuff. As the broker-owner, you need to be supplying your team with the right support and information. Help them understand the state of the market and how that impacts their clients. Make sure agents understand tactics and strategies—as well as the dialogue–they should use to guide their clients on things like pre-approvals, offers and flexibility of terms, to ensure they are as competitive as possible. The more you empower agents through knowledge, the better they can service their buyers.Finally, get creative. Our job is to give clients a list of homes that make them excited and optimistic about their future. It’s frustrating to get beat to the punch with every offer, or priced out of every neighborhood. Work with your team and your network to create unique solutions for your agents’ clients struggling to find the right property.
At Weichert, we have a formal system for working with Buyers, which starts with our Buyer Consultation and Needs Assessment, which focuses on identifying the Buyer’s “why” and their motivations for buying before the agent begins showing them properties. This historically has led to greater satisfaction in the overall process, both for the Buyer and Agent.
Navigating the low inventory and price challenges
Prices continue to rise because there is still so little supply on the market. That’s all the more reason for a customer to team up with someone who knows the ins and outs of real estate. At Weichert, we prepare our agents to help their clients navigate rough waters.
One way we offer up support is by providing knowledge and insights. For example, where is there more inventory right now? Maybe it’s time to look closer to city centers. Why? According to the latest MLS data, for the first time since the Great Recession, home values in suburban zip codes have been growing faster than those in urban areas. One way we offer up support is by providing knowledge and insights. For example, where is there more inventory right now? Maybe it’s time to look closer to city centers. Why? According to the latest MLS data, for the first time since the Great Recession, home values in suburban zip codes have been growing faster than those in urban areas. And yet, even as home values increase at an unprecedented rate, demand in the suburbs continues to grow.
Research from the National Bureau of Economic Research found the shift to remote work is responsible for more than half of the gain in U.S. home prices even before the pandemic. It’s likely to continue impacting the cost of homes for years to come.
What does this mean for home buyers? Shifting your search radius closer to the city may increase options in their budget. Options that meet their must-have list, even if they have to sacrifice a bit in their location.
At Weichert, our Coaching team and network of owners routinely discuss what is happening in the industry, so everyone is informed, as well as share solutions for what is working—as well as what is not working—to help make everyone better at how they approach the market.
How to approach rising mortgage rates
According to the latest reports, the volume of mortgage applications is 14% lower than this time in 2021. Experts are linking the decline to rising mortgage rates, high prices, and low inventory. We know that we can get creative with inventory and price. There’s not much we can do about rising mortgage rates, but we can control the narrative.
Let’s look at people’s current reactions. We see both sides. There are buyers who aren’t put off by the borrowing costs and are locking rates as fast as they can. On the same note, we see homeowners who are holding on to their ultra-low rates and putting off their refinancing plans for another day.
Most experts believe that interest rates will continue to rise. Right now, they’re at just over 6%. If you have buyers ready to purchase a property, the time to buy is still now. Rates are going up, so the best advice to consumers? Lock them in while they are still relatively low compared to historical numbers.
Lean on solutions to create better buying experiences
“Our belief is that you need to fix the system, not the people. Make it easy for agents to do the activities that lead to transactions.”
Bill Scavone, President, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
We know we can’t control the market. That’s why at Weichert, we offer up world-class solutions that help our affiliates provide positive experiences. We care about creating the best possible outcomes for everyone, with tools, technology, and support that no one but Weichert can offer.
For example, we offer our brokers personalized coaching to help them improve their leadership skills and understand market trends, which in turn, increases results. One of the topics that has the biggest impact is improving problem-solving skills. Developing creative solutions is key to having an agile, competitive business – especially when you’re in an industry as competitive as real estate. Positive thinkers have been shown to have a greater ability to absorb new information, leading to a more rounded perspective and better-informed decision-making.
Improving buyer sentiment takes teamwork. When you empower your agents to take an empathetic approach to their client relationships, you can start to offer better support as a brokerage. You’ll be known as the go-to place for people to find their dream home, and have fun in the process.
Are you looking for ways to improve your client experiences? Get in touch with our team today to see what kind of support we have for your brokerage.
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Let’s talk about it. We promise no pressure, just useful information.