Using your site they way it should be
There are so many agents who have a webpage or blog and don’t use it to it’s full capacity. Regardless if you’re “Green” or not, we can all agree that the reduction of paper is a healthy and cost effective way of doing business. Therefore, to increase the services your website can provide, as well as to cut costs and be more socially conscious, I recommend online Buyer Packets.
The Interview Process
I’ve always performed, and recommended that Buyer Agents do a thorough interview of their potential client. Agents should spend about an hour with prospects and customers seeing what they are looking for and establishing guidelines for how you plan on working with them. There are no end to the questions that should be discussed in this interview, but of course the Buyer’s motivation, desires, ability, ideology and expectations are all reasonable starts. Most States and Commonwealths require certain disclosures be made to the client. Among those are Agency Disclosures and Material Real Property Disclosures. I would think it wise that agents write a webpage or blog post regarding how their state and company handles Agency issues. Also, you’re policies on handling showings should be outlined in a format that the Buyer can understand and refer to. There are examples of things that agents routinely have to disclosure and should have readily available somewhere.
Enter the Online Buyer Packet
Taking the company specific and state specific articles and adding to a list of routine resources and disclosures will help you to better prepare the Buyer for the Buying Process and not forget something potentially important. I recommend that the Buyer Client page should be password protected. This will help keep your competitors from snagging your ideas and will also make your client feel a bit more special, in that they have been given this information. That being said, many of the following resources should be readily available throughout your blog / website in order to encourage clients to return.
I recommend the following items be on this buyer page:
- Your IDX Site Link
- HomeBuying Guide (In Virginia the BAR Assocation has developed this resource)
- State and Federal Fair Housing Guidelines
- Your Post about your states Agency Disclosures
- Regional Information (Here is an example or my local market – most Chambers have this)
- Required Property Disclosure Document (Here is Virginia’s)
- EPA Lead Based Paint Disclosure (This is the one required by Federal Law)
- EPA Radon Consumer Information
- EPA Mold Information and Disclosures for Consumers
- Green Remodeling Values and Guidelines
- Walkability Score for a given neighborhood
- School Information and Evaluation
- Free Credit Information
- Consumer Explanation and Information Regarding Shortsales
- Crime Statistics
- Weather Information and Patterns
- Workforce and Labor Statistics
- Tract and Block Information
- Locally Issued Permits according to HUD
- Census Information
- Renting Versus Buying Calculator
- Local Marketing Information
- Remodeling Cost versus Value
- CLUE Insurance Reporting Information
- Your Local Planning Commission
- Your Local Master Plan for the Community
- Local County / City Website
- List of Lender / Home Inspector / Termite providers
- Local School board and school districts
Be the Source of the Source,
but not the Source
One of the first and most lasting lessons I learned early on in my career, was that reducing liability was a primary concern. It’s important for consumers to have information and for the practitioner to be instrumental in getting them that information. However, there is great liability in providing information and perhaps being wrong. Being able to refer the consumer to the source of information (such as five year plan or county / city zoning regulations) can ensure that they have access to information and you were the vehicle to get there, but not as liable for the information.
Do you have any favorite client sites?