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Build better relationships through homeowner check-ups

Realtors know that a great deal of business comes through referrals from clients or repeat clients, but it is an often overlooked source of money that goes untended.

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The truly low hanging fruit

Ongoing relationship-building with your sphere of influence (SOI) is vital in real estate sales. It’s how you build that coveted referral and repeat business. It’s how you get clients coming to you and seeking out your services.

Now, there are many ways to build relationships. At the very least, you have to keep in touch.

But many REALTORS® simply don’t do a great job at this.

If your clients are happy with the services you’ve provided to them and you fail to keep in touch, you’re missing out on thousands of dollars worth of potential repeat business and referrals (the truly low-hanging fruit).

Don’t assume a happy client will remember you, refer you, and use you again years later. You need to keep in touch and continue to build the relationship.

How often should you check up on clients?

It’s advisable to personally visit your best clients once a year. And one great way to add value to client relationships is through a Homeowner’s Check-Up.

A Homeowner’s Check-Up is when you meet with a client to provide services and information to them about their home. This may involve a local housing market update, a simple inspection of the house, a review of their current mortgage, discussion of their home goals, and more.

When you contact your clients to arrange for a Homeowner’s Check-Up, position it as a service that you provide to all your clients. Mention that it’s one way you go above and beyond for your clients and something that you enjoy doing. No strings attached!

There will be some clients who will be hesitant about agreeing to a Homeowner’s Check-Up because they’ll feel it may be a ploy to “try to sell you something.” Why? Because few agents actually offer this kind of value-added service.

Simple tips for pitching your service

If you encounter any resistance, here’s a script you can use:
“Jim, I want to do all I can to make sure that my clients fully enjoy their new home. And I feel it’s my job to do so. The Homeowner’s Check-Up is one way I’m able to do that.”

“You take your car into the garage for scheduled maintenance, right? Think of my Homeowner’s Check-Up in the same way, with one difference – it’s free!”

“It’ll just take an half an hour. Will Wednesday at seven work?”

Most clients will really like the fact that you’ve taken the initiative to meet with them and provide this value-added service. It’ll be clear that you really want to help your clients maximize the enjoyment of their homes and they will appreciate that.

A Homeowner’s Check-Up is a fantastic relationship-building tool and one way to keep in touch with past clients. Give it a try!

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. KirkEisele

    June 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I haven’t meant any agents that do this but it could be a good strategy. I could see a similar concept around celebrating their homeowning “birthday” or anniversary as a good way to frame it.

  2. dougzwinton

    June 13, 2012 at 6:16 am

    When You plan to move from your home in the next few years dont refinance your mortgage, use tools from 123 Refinance they make it easy to check your current loan and provide you the solution

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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