Connect with us

Homeownership

Many homebuyers don’t have a go-to real estate agent [survey]

(HOMEOWNERSHIP NEWS) A staggering 70 percent of homebuyers indicated that they had done “very little” or only “some” research prior to making their agent selection.

Published

on

sentiment analysis

The market is up for grabs

Happy Grasshopper, an email marketing firm for professionals in real estate, conducted an annual survey through Survey Monkey to identify the ways that current homeowners find a real estate agent and maintain a relationship with them. The respondents ranged in age from 18-65, with a slight edge in female respondents versus male (53 percent-47 percent).

bar
Surprisingly, 49 percent of respondents stated they didn’t have a “go-to” real estate agent. “The study shows a large percentage of the market is up for grabs,” said Dan Stewart, CEO and co-founder of Happy Grasshopper, the company behind the research.

“Not only because many homeowners do not have a preferred agent, but also the fact that most homeowners aren’t doing heavy research before hiring one.”

A surprising missed opportunity

In fact, 70 percent of homebuyers indicated that they had done “very little” or only “some” research prior to making their selection. When it came time for a potential homebuyer to find a real estate agent, word of mouth referrals were the top-ranked source. 51 percent of homebuyers said they found their agent through a referral. Direct agent contacts were uncommon, with only 10 percent of potential homebuyers indicating that they had been contacted by an agent to become a client.

Once a homeowner selected an agent, a desire for increased communication between agent and homebuyer was a key finding. 36 percent of respondents said they wanted information about open houses and listings in their neighborhoods, even when they weren’t particularly looking to buy or sell. A similar number of respondents, at 40 percent, wanted their agent to provide knowledge about how to be a homeowner and a neighbor.

Respondents valued information about home repairs and neighborhood happenings from their agents.

Cultivating your lead

However, slightly under 20 percent say that they actually ever receive that communication. “This suggests communication initiated by an agent might be enough to turn a lead into a sale, even if it takes years before the client is ready to buy or sell,” said Stewart.

“Agents are missing opportunities to cultivate relationships with past and potential clients so when it is time to move, they know who to call.”

When it comes time for agents to call on potential clients, it’s also important to note the study found that homebuyers preferred to receive communication from the agent in the form of email. Surpassing text messages, phone, or social media communications, homebuyers favored the convenience and timeliness of emails with their desired information.

More about the survey

Nearly 5.8 million homes sold in 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, only 300 U.S. homeowners were included in Happy Grasshopper’s survey. One might have expected a larger number of respondents sought out for the survey. With such a small sample size, one must hope that it is fully representative, and wonders if it is. This sample size significantly limits widespread implications of these results, but respondents still provided valuable information.

Beyond the sample size, an important fact remains: the art of prospecting is vital for an agent, and is one that must be cultivated. Reaching out to your potential clients with information that’s important to them in a way that is resonant may just win the sale for you.

#GoToAgent

Roger is a Staff Writer at The Real Daily and holds two Master's degrees, one in Education Leadership and another in Leadership Studies. In his spare time away from researching leadership retention and communication styles, he loves to watch baseball, especially the Red Sox!

Homeownership

As Boomers downsize, heirlooms are being rejected

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) As baby boomers downsize and capitalize on senior management, heirlooms and antiques are falling to the wayside (they just don’t spark joy).

Published

on

baby boomers senior management

There’s nothing quite like moving to make you realize how much stuff you have. When every single item in your household has to be boxed up and carted elsewhere, it’s easy to be startled by the sheer volume of material possessions you own.

Often, when we move, we end up taking an opportunity to purge our belongings. Bags and boxes are donated to thrift stores. Hand-me-down clothes are passed to the neighbors. Keepsakes are re-gifted to friends.

This can be a painstaking process at any age, but a particularly emotional one for aging retirees.

The numbers show that, between the ages of 18 and 54, we tend to move into ever bigger houses. It makes sense – you start out with an affordable one bedroom place. You get married, have kids, and need to move into something bigger.

Retirees are on the opposite tip.

Their grown children have moved out, they are getting older and would like to lighten their load of housework and maintenance. After age 55, people typically move from larger dwellings into smaller ones.

A growing “senior move management” industry has arisen to fulfill the particular needs of the older set. The trade group, the National Association of Senior Move Managers boasts 950 member companies.

These companies handle everything from hiring the moving trucks to changing your address to renegotiating your cable contract for your new home.

Industry insiders say that one of the trickier aspects of their job is managing those precious items that won’t fit in the new home, but that the mover would like to keep “in the family.” Parents and grandparents often hope that their children and grandchildren will adopt their treasured heirlooms and collections. But the younger set isn’t having it.

The adult Millennial children of the Baby Boomer generation have their own style and taste that may not match their parents’. Many are living in small dwellings themselves with minimalistic aesthetics. An antique oak hutch simply isn’t going to mesh with a twenty-something’s Ikea-inspired bachelor pad.

The younger set also doesn’t entertain in the same formal style as the older generation, making silver flatware and fancy china obsolete. It’s not about being ungrateful, it’s about wildly different styles between generations.

What it boils down to is: just because mom thought it was precious, doesn’t mean that daughter gives a damn.

Says Kate Grondin of the senior move management company Home Transition Resource, “We can help soften the blow if the kids don’t want anything but are afraid to tell their parents.” Sometimes the kids flatly refuse to inherit items like furniture, art, or dishware that their parents have held onto for decades, or even generations.

Other times, in order to avoid hard feelings, the kids might take items, only to turn around and throw or give them away.

When moving elders ask senior move manager Anne Lucas of Ducks in a Row, “‘What do I do with my crystal and china?’” she tells them “‘Drink your OJ out of it. Who cares if the gold comes off? The kids don’t want it.’”

Continue Reading

Homeownership

How to fight scams that continue to victimize homebuyers

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) Real estate scams continue to victimize people, but Realtors are in a position to better protect homebuyers.

Published

on

wire fraud scams

Despite warning after warning and news story after news story, homebuyers keep getting their money stolen in real estate wire transfer schemes. Some blame the mortgage and real estate industries for not doing enough to educate and protect their clients. Others say the people committing these crimes are getting more and more sophisticated. No matter who’s to blame, there’s no arguing that this crime is on the rise.

What exactly do these real estate scams look like? These criminals usually hack into a business’s emails, often a title company, and get all the pertinent information they need. They then steal and copy that company’s letterhead, and the email addresses, signature blocks and any other relevant information they will need to fool the homebuyer. The homebuyer then gets an email that appears to be from the title company, asking them to wire money, often tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, you’re probably wondering right now: What can I do? You want to know how to warn and protect your clients and keep your reputation intact (and avoid costly lawsuits). The following safeguarding tips can help keep cash out of cyberthieves’ hands:

1. Pick up the phone. If you’re closing on a home and receive an email with instructions on how to transfer money to your closing company or lender, take a few minutes to call your agent or broker to make sure it’s legit. Yes, this might be a bit annoying, but not as annoying as losing thousands of dollars in an email scam.

2. Be aware. These scammers usually send emails that look like the real thing. If you’re a homebuyer, look for weirdly timed emails (sent in the middle of the night) or spelling and punctuation errors. Is there a sense of urgency to the email?

3. Educate your clients. If you’re a real estate professional, make sure your clients know about this scheme. Not everyone is aware they could be a target (which is why it keeps happening). Set up a specific passcode for each client.

4. Consider using BuyerDocs and asking your title company to use this technology for all of their transactions.. What’s BuyerDocs, you ask? This tech startup provides secure document delivery for closing companies and homebuyers. The company says it has protected more than $5 billion in wire transfers in 2018 and works with big and small businesses across the country.

Scams will never be eradicated, but it is part of your job to know the current scams and how to protect transactions against shady folks.

Continue Reading

Homeownership

Are home renovations necessary, or has HGTV artificially adjusted our thinking?

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) Home renovations are as American as apple pie — but how necessary are the *really*?

Published

on

home renovations

Home renovations after a certain amount of time may seem like a no-brainer — but is doing so really necessary, or has a culture of constant change created an artificial need to evolve despite situational requirements?

Here’s a hint: it’s the second one.

Much like replacing your phone or laptop after a couple of years, renovating one’s home has become a time-stamped activity.

Unlike replacing your phone or laptop, renovations can be incredibly expensive, and — unless someone is flipping a house — they’re also inherently self-serving.

Unfortunately, due to countless house-flipping shows and successful alarmist marketing, it can be easy to begin to view your house’s appearance as a chore rather than a hobby or investment.

The reality of the situation is much simpler than it appears. Conditions under which you absolutely should renovate your home include circumstances involving things such as non-compliant materials (get rid of the asbestos, Gary), outdated or hazardous construction, a Realtor says it won’t sell without them, and other quality of life updates — not because five years have passed and your neighbor sighed at your outdated shiplap.

In other words: if your house is objectively okay, it doesn’t need “fixing.”

That isn’t to say that renovations are unintelligent; if you’re looking for a way to increase both your property value and your home’s livability, updating the décor is a sure way to do so.

Residents with specific design tastes and money to spare shouldn’t refrain from adjusting as wanted, but the bottom line is that your house — despite its invariable quirks — doesn’t need a face lift if you don’t actually want to do the lifting.

There are other alternatives to consider as well. If renovations are extensive, they can easily reach six figures for a small home. In many cases, simply selling the house you own and putting that money toward one which fits your needs may be a better option. Ask your local Realtor.

Unless you’re simply touching up a room’s paint color or installing smart home technology in your ‘60s ranch, renovations are expensive, time-intensive, and generally unnecessary. If you’re hesitantly considering renovating your home, focus instead on the positive – for now, your house is intact, functional, and enough for you.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Parnters

Get The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox!

Still Trending

Get The American Genius
in your inbox

subscribe and get news and exclusive content to your email inbox