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How’s 2022 Shaping Up for You?

Oct 28, 2015

Posted by

Charles Dahlheimer

Recognized as one of the industrys leading visionaries, Dahlheimer is publisher of The Real Estate Professional magazine and The Real Estate Executive Summary.  He co-authored Real Es Read more

Many brokers and agents are laying out their business plans for 2016 right now, analyzing where their business came from during 2015 and adjusting their efforts and budgets for 2016 accordingly--new ways of advertising, new personal marketing campaigns, better time management and new prospecting techniques.  And that’s good. That's what pays the bills! But while you’re at it, take a few minutes to look even further down the road. It could make you wealthy!

If you’ve been in business for seven years or more, look back to 2008. How many buyers and sellers did you work with that year? And how many of them have come back to you to buy or sell again? If your marketplace is near the average, nearly half of them sold and purchased another home since 2008. (The NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers indicates that 40 percent of all buyers spend less than seven years between transactions, and 80 percent of sellers age 34 and under had purchased their home in the past seven years. And 44 percent of all sellers moved less than 20 miles to their new home.)

 

So how many of your 2008 clients came back to you this year? How many of them went elsewhere? Or do you even know? That’s why I’ve entitled this article “How’s 2022 Shaping Up for You?”  If 2015 was a good year for you, you’ve added quite a number of clients and customers to your contact list. And close to half of them will be selling and buying again by 2022. How many of them will you still be in touch with when they are getting ready to move again, or when they are thinking about a vacation home or an investment property? 

The NAR Profile also indicates that 84 percent of buyers interviewed shortly after move-in say they would recommend their agent or use the same agent’s services again in the future.  Yet the current Profile shows that last year, only 9 percent of all buyers had used their agent previously. Why do you suppose that happens? In some cases, the agent just doesn’t follow up, spending his or her time, efforts and dollars seeking new buyers and sellers—you know, the ones who will put food on the table right now—and letting all the previous contacts (the ones who will put even more food on the table at some distant time) slip into oblivion. 

Unfortunately, many agents spend a lot of time and money on follow up and still don’t get the results. Going on the “out of sight, out of mind” theory, they make sure they’re never far out of sight: full-color postcards displaying their mug shots and touting their multi-million dollar awards; newsletters with recipes for chicken pot pie and articles about “improving curb appeal,” refrigerator magnets with microscopic calendars attached. The list goes on and on.

There is another theory that drives consumer response. It’s called WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?” Why would a homeowner who just bought a house last year have any interest in “improving curb appeal”? They really don’t care how much you earned, either. (In fact, if you brag about being among the top producers, they’ll probably feel they paid you too much!)  So if you’re going to follow up, do it with information that has something in it for them as homeowners—not just “buyers” and “sellers.”

Homeowners like to know what’s going on in their neighborhood—planned developments, zoning and land use issues. They want to know what their homes might be worth and what homes in their neighborhood are selling for. They need to know what issues are being discussed locally, statewide and nationally that might impact them as homeowners.

How many of your previous buyers used an ARM for their financing?  How many of them are watching the indexes and know when and how to refinance when the rates turn against them?  How many purchased with less than 20 percent down and are paying Private Mortgage Insurance every month?  Will they watch their appreciation and know when to have the property re-appraised or re-financed when the loan-to-value ratio has reached the magic numbers?  How many homeowners will consider adding on or remodeling without knowing how much the project will really add to resale value?  

How many of your past clients know that they can sell their homes any time after two years of residency without incurring any capital gains tax (unless, of course, their gain exceeds the $250,000 / $500,000 limits)?

That’s the kind of information that will get homeowners’ attention—and that will keep you “top of mind” with them as the agent who keeps helping them profit from their home investment. And beyond content, delivery is also a concern. Some of your potential clients and customers don’t have e-mail and you’ll need to rely on print and mail to reach them.  But recent surveys show that nearly 85 percent of all consumers prefer to receive their information via e-mail over every other means of communication. And that’s today, 2015.  How much more popular will e-mail become over the next seven years? 
 

 

So have you been gathering e-mail addresses from every buyer and seller; from everyone coming through your open houses, from all the folks who ask you for real estate advice or `information?  If not, make that a high priority if you really want your 2016—and your 2022—to be profitable years!