There are times when the real estate market slows down, but there could still be ways to keep in touch with clients and provide them with valuable property data software for when business cranks back up. Those slowdowns could be seasonal. Or, caused by a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or forest fire. Or they could be totally unexpected, like the situation we find ourselves in today. Even still, there is quite a bit of chatter out there on preparing for when the real estate market reopens.
Real estate transactions are a way of life in the United States. With a vibrant economic system and the freedom to move about any city, state and country, change will occur. People need to sell homes. They need to relocate. Workers get a new job and need to buy a home. Renters want to own property. Seniors need to downsize or move for retirement. Etc. Etc.
There is so much activity that takes place in the real estate industry, for example, that experts say it contributes to a significant 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. Every real estate transaction touches an estimated 13 people.
In other words, this business does not stand still.
Some experts predict that when markets do re-open, there is going to be a flurry of activity. But since our current situation is so unique, forecasts differ on what type of activity. Some people say there will be a surge of homes for sale. People looking to relocate. Maybe rental property investors looking to let go of some properties.
On the other hand, will there be a surge of buyers? Before the crisis, in most towns, inventory for homes in the $300,000 range was low. Will those buyers now be back? Will many of them be able to go back to work?
There are quite a few unanswered questions out there.
And as agents know, every market is different. It’s not so much the national real estate market that matters, as much as the local marketplace they service. With that in mind, some agents are sharing suggestions with their clients on how to get ready when the real estate market is back in full swing again.
Provide Tips and Use Property Data Software
To prepare homeowners who plan to sell when the real estate market reopens, this break is an opportunity to:
- Declutter that house (there always seems to be more that can be done to get rid of those personal items that distract buyers).
- Make repairs (e.g. fix that squeaky door, replace those cracked tiles, etc).
- Paint and liven up some rooms and add neutral colors that most buyers prefer.
- Improve curb appeal (plant flowers, trim hedges, etc).
- Find a storage area for things they can remove from the house now. And for after closing when the needs to move, and needs a place to store additional items.
- Make major repairs (many contractors might not be as busy as earlier in the year, so they might be eager to take on some home improvement projects such as replacing kitchen cabinets, etc.)
- Use property data software. This is also an opportunity when homeowners can do some of their own research into local market conditions.
Agents can advise them to check out charts on trends for home sales and prices in their neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. (The agent can provide this information with a property data API that feeds this data directly onto their website). If home prices are going up, that gives owners some valuable information on pricing their own property.
Also look at available inventory. If there aren’t many homes for sale that are similar to theirs in terms of square footage, location, price range, etc., then they also know they are in a stronger position as far as value.
Offers Suggestions and Real Estate Data to Help Buyers Decide
To prepare home buyers for when the real estate market reopens, some agents suggest to:
- Keep searching online and narrow down a few properties buyers want to review.
- If they are considering a specific property, perhaps get an estimate on some of the improvements they might want to make such as upgrading those kitchen cabinets, etc.
- Shop for appliances that buyers might need or perhaps doors, ceiling fans, etc. Go through the process of finding the style and model they want, the colors, etc. Getting all of that done during these slow times can save quite a bit of time later.
- Start the search for contractors. If a buyer anticipates needing one, take this free time to vet them and find the one that can make the improvements they are planning to do.
- Research property data software. Now is also a good time to do further research into the neighborhoods on the buyer’s checklist. Review school data, school attendance zones, municipal boundaries, crime ratings, neighborhood demographics, and cost of living indices.
Performing this research now will give buyers a better and more detailed overview of the areas they are considering.
Compare neighborhoods. Check out charts for recent home sales and sales price trends. Perhaps during this search, they will find another neighborhood that comes close to matching one of the original neighborhoods where they wanted to move. But that neighborhood has lower home prices on average. That’s a good thing to know. Gives them more options.
Also check out home value estimator software. These tools are super popular with consumers. Naturally, they are not as detailed as a CMA or Appraisal, but they will help buyers get a sense of the home values in each neighborhood and also the trends for those values. If those quick estimates start dropping, it might be a time for them to make a move.
They might also find that attractive 3/2 homes in Neighborhood B, are estimated to cost less than a similar property for a home they wanted in Neighborhood A. A home they did not get because they were outbid by another buyer.
Sending advice to clients and prospects and keeping them informed of property data and local market conditions will help them be prepared when markets do re-open and recover. Also, contacting local residents, homeowners and renters, and offering to provide this valuable advice and property data, is a good way to start a dialogue with new customers.
Sure, during a slow down it might seem like nothing much is happening. But savvy agents can keep things moving and build up momentum for when their local area recovers and the real estate market reopens. By providing expert advice and hyper-local property data software, that agent shows their true value with in-depth knowledge that will keep clients engaged.