Why You Should Be Pushing Homes Now More Than Ever
This week, the NY Times published an article titled New Yorkers are Fleeing to the Suburbs: ‘The Demand Is Insane’. The article talks about the crazy demand for suburban homes around New York City has skyrocketed, as the pandemic has led people to leave New York for a variety of reasons now that many are working remotely. People are seeking more space (especially with everyone at home), and without the need to commute and without kids able to attend their (private) schools in-person, the suburbs are more desirable. Of course, the low mortgage rates and prices of homes that did take a hit when COVID was at its peak, didn’t hurt.
Other websites have followed suit, publishing articles about the so-called “Pandemic Economy” which discuss a range of topics, but ultimately, that millennials have altered their mindset about owning a home in the suburbs as a result of coronavirus and all the changes that have followed.
So, what does this mean for agents—especially those that live in the suburbs of New Jersey, New York, Long Island, and Connecticut? For so long, there have been articles discussing how the pandemic will destroy the housing market, but now agents are overwhelmed with buyers and bids.
What to do?
Cold Calling and “Door-Knocking”
In markets that are experiencing the exodus of New Yorkers, now is the time to stay vigilant. The clients will come, but the listings will be competitive and hard to get. You want to make sure you’re in a position to snag as many listings as possible. This may require you to do some cold calling and “door-knocking”—which in this case, may be just dropping flyers. It may be old-fashioned, but works. (Though, be sure you’re keeping your community safe).
Invest in Bringing in Leads
Prospective clients will be coming to your area in droves, but are you ready for them? Inbound and outbound marketing are a lot easier when you know that the leads are already there; they just need to be brought to you, instead of another agent.
To do this, you should, of course, invest in ads, but also consider amping up neighborhoods through marketing that normally don’t have interest from the likes of millennial New Yorkers. What makes your market unique? Why should people shop there instead of other places? And, if your market is already overloaded with people, why should they work with you instead of another agent?
Referrals, Referrals, Referrals (and Connections!)
When many agents want to be “one for all” and “in it to win it” they usually stay away from other agents, which is understandable. But, not every agent is going to be able to take every buyer that comes their way. If you’re open to accepting referrals, make sure that people know. Additionally, if you have friends of friends who live in New York City and are thinking of moving out, get in touch!
Efficiency is the Name of the Game
When a market is so competitive, it’s not just the house that people want—it’s the agent that can help them get the house. If you’re slow with your communication and paperwork processing, guess what? If your client is still able to, they’re going to jump ship and go with another agent.
Of course, there will be times where the hold up is not your fault at all—it could be the seller, the bank, other buyers bidding, etc.—so, just make sure that your clients are aware of the process from the get-go and that you’re doing everything in YOUR power to help them close the deal. Additionally, having connections to people (for instance, other lenders) that can help if your clients’ current lender is taking too long, will help move things along.
Brush Up on Your Negotiation Skills
The bids on some of these homes are at least a dozen, and people are getting out-bid one home after the next. As a real estate agent representing your buyers, now is not the time to feel shy. You need to be confident about your bid, and about your clients. Sellers are more likely than not always going to go for the highest bid, but they may take pity on a couple who are about to start a family and can’t quite afford to get up there with the tech guy who will go right back to New York when things settle down. So, preach your case, but stay firm and confident!
Keep an Eye on Your Market
Perhaps you don’t operate in one of these markets, so you feel this isn’t relevant to you. But, changes are likely going to happen everywhere, especially if you’re near another large city. Because New York was one of the first places to be impacted by the pandemic—and, one of the first to work towards recovery—other cities around the country may follow suit. So, pay attention and see what you can learn, so that you’re ready to hit the ground running if and when similar changes happen in your market.
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