In a hot market, finding buyers isn’t hard. What’s difficult is finding buyers their dream home and getting their offer accepted. That’s why CEO of Holt Homes Group at Keller Williams, and KW MAPS Coach Jen Davis of Springfield, Missouri, suggests reframing a seller’s market as a skillset market for agents who are ready to lean in and learn how to help their buyers win.
“In this market, how do we become those agents that are consistently winning the offer so that our buyers get to fulfill their dream of homeownership?” Davis asks.
KW agent Nick Waldner of Columbia, Maryland, believes that a big step toward winning with buyers is leveraging KW itself and the ancillary tools it offers them, such as Keller Mortgage and its ZeroPlus program, which includes zero cost, no lender fees and a $1,000 credit at closing for all homes above $150,000.
“You’ve got to have a product that’s bringing buyers to you, and this is that product that can help,” Waldner says about Keller Mortgage.
Here are seven skills that Davis and Waldner recommend for helping buyers win in today’s market.
1. Create a bigger lead pool.
Instead of waiting for buyers to come to you, go proactive when it comes to lead generation. “We’re lead generating every day, and it’s consistent and concise, and we have a message that we’re getting across so we can make sure we’re working with buyers that are ready, willing, and able to purchase in this market,” Davis says. In addition to time blocking lead-generation time, leverage tools like Keller Mortgage’s ZeroPlus loan program and its readily available Facebook ad in Command.
2. Focus on the A’s.
To get offers accepted, you need to drill down deep with your buyers before the house hunt begins so you know what makes them tick. From there, top-grade your buyers so you know who’s ready to buy right now. “The perfect offer starts in the first meeting with the buyer,” Davis says. “Some people call it a buyer consultation; we call that a strategy session. 20% of your time is on criteria, and 80% is on timeline and motivation. I think a lot of agents get that mixed up.” A suite of buyers’ presentations and consults is available in Designs at no cost to Keller Williams agents.
3. Arm your buyers for success.
When you know what’s driving your buyer, it’s easier to plan out in advance how far they’ll go to get the home that’s right for them, so get a jump on sharing that plan with them before it’s time to put in the offer so they’re ready at go time. “When we get to the home that actually is the right fit for them, they’re excited; they’re ready to pull the trigger,” Davis says. “It’s then taking that next step and being their advocate and explaining to them, ‘Hey, guys, this is what it’s going to take to win. We’ve got it. But we’re not going to get a second chance. We’re not going to get a counteroffer. Those days are gone.’”
4. Showings are for selling.
Before you act, think like a listing agent: A buyer’s agent calls to detail why it’s the perfect home for their clients and how they’re willing to go above and beyond in their offer. “You’re going to move toward the client who you feel is the perfect fit, so you’ve got to convey that to your listing agent,” Waldner says. “And if you don’t know the listing agent, there’s social media. You can learn everything about a person in three to five minutes.”
5. Write offers that win.
Researching the listing agent also comes in handy when it’s time to draft the offer itself. Get to know their preferred communication style – bullet points, text, email, or video message. “My job as a buyer’s agent is to make your job as the listing agent easier,” Davis says. “That’s the market we’re in. And when we talk about our offer, we’re going to sell these three things – we’re going to sell the offer to the listing agent; we’re going to sell our buyer to the listing agent; and we’re going to sell our ability to get it to closing.” For the latter, use supporting statistics, such as how many transactions you closed last year and how few fell through compared to the national average.
6. Stand out from the crowd.
The buyer is your client, but how would you treat the sellers and the listing agent if they were your clients as well? Those little extra touches you offer clients can go a big way toward getting you and your buyers in good stead with the seller and listing agent. This covers anything from flexibility in scheduling repairs after closing to prioritizing open and honest communication to grand – and memorable – gestures. “For example, if I go to a house and my clients love it, we’ll send pizza to the house and say, ‘Your house is absolutely gorgeous. We’re sending an offer,’” Waldner suggests. “How much does that set you apart from every other offer when you’ve done something like that specifically for the seller?”
7. Keep your buyers in the game.
When buyers see their offers lose out again and again, it’s hard not to get discouraged. “We’ve got to breathe the excitement back into the process,” Davis says. “It should be fun. They are looking for a home for their family or an investment property. It’s still an exciting time for them. They’re building wealth. So we need to sit down with them and say, ‘What do you think happened? How do you think we could do this differently?’ And then I tell them my opinion.”