According to RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report & Survey, 71 percent of Power Brokers are being challenged the most by inventory shortages. This month’s National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable discusses how to address the issue, and offers up steps and solutions.
Christina Pappas, District Sales Manager, The Keyes Company, Miami, Fla.; Liaison for Large Firms & Industry Relations, NAR
Matt Deuitch, Designated Broker, DPR Realty, Phoenix, Ariz.
Joe Clement, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Properties, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Linda Sherrer, President/CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, Jacksonville, Fla.
Christina Pappas: The good news, according to recent statistics from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is that existing-home sales are on the rise. The challenge, especially for first-time buyers and others who didn’t move fast enough, is that 46 percent of the homes sold in February, for example, were on the market for less than 30 days. We’re clearly in the grip of a “He who hesitates is lost” housing market, with brokers and agents everywhere focused on strategies for increasing listings. After all, $4 billion in listings can generate $4 billion in closed transactions.
Today, we welcome three innovative industry veterans to find out about their strategies for bringing more homes into the marketplace. Matt, what’s happening in Phoenix?
Matt Deuitch: With four months of inventory or less at the moment, our focus is on listing presentations. Sure, we’re recruiting agents who specialize in listings, but in-house, we’ve added new e-branding tools and premium online platforms to help our people register and track leads. We’re also providing in-house instruction on marketing for listings, creating more effective presentations, and converting opportunity into action. Sellers today know they’re in the driver’s seat. We need new ways to attract their business.
Joe Clement: Amen to that. Too many potential sellers are nervous about putting their home on the market for fear they won’t be able to find the home they want to move into. With a customer database of some 93,000 names, we’re addressing that with what we call a “matchmaker” program. We don’t try to sign people to a six-month listing; we ask for a one-showing agreement. Then we find the one right buyer—maybe the buyer who’s okay with a longer escrow to give the seller more chance to find the right house, or whatever accommodates the seller’s agenda. In essence, we’re offering sellers a safer way to sell—and it’s working.
Linda Sherrer: I like that. For us, at this point, the emphasis is on helping customers keep up with their home’s value. Too many have no idea how much equity they have. One thing that’s been effective is a quarter-page advertorial column we run each month in the local paper—a bylined housing advice column that gives readers food for thought, including a look at rising home values. It’s an idea our agent advisory group came up with, and the response rate has been very positive. We also believe that high touch is important. We use an auto-flow plan that sends everyone in an agent’s database three “touches” per month: an ecard, a market report, and a “value” postcard offering a discount or other perk at local venues and events, so when those people want to buy or sell, our agents come to mind.
CP: There’s an old adage in this business that more of your past clients would call you again if they could only remember your name.
LS: Too true. And something else is motivating our agents these days. Nearly half are using Larry Kendall’s Ninja Selling approach, focused on living a life of abundance rather than scarcity, and making the shift from chasing clients to attracting clients. That involves a lot of listening—knowing what their needs are, and supporting them.
MD: Anything that keeps us in tune with client needs is key—so much so that we’re asking our agents to write offers contingent on what the seller wants, whether it’s a longer escrow, as Joe suggested, or a chance to rent back from the buyer until they find the home they want. In a multiple-offer market, offers that give the sellers what they want are pure gold. In some ways, it’s a little like Joe’s matchmaker program—putting together the right seller and buyer.
JC: We’ve only had that program in place a short time, but it definitely seems to be adding value. If it gets us 100 more transactions than we had last year, we’re more than okay with that—and we have happy customers, to boot.
CP: In our offices, we theorize that four appointments equal two listings, so the more appointments you make, the better your odds—and, of course, the better you are at staying in touch with people, the more you improve those odds.
LS: Think, “We’re not with you just through the sale. We’re with you for the long haul”—so when there’s news that might be helpful, or a change in home values, clients tend to take your calls.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.
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