Many Realtors are already wondering how they will keep buyers and sellers on track in the 2024 real estate market.
It’s shaping up to be another challenging year, where what worked in years past may not work today.
With interest rates and home prices beginning to decline in many markets, now is a good time to take stock and think about what ideas are going to work in your local real estate market in 2024.
Here are four steps to help keep your buyers and sellers on track this year.
1. Focus on Education
Client education always plays an important role in the purchase or sale of a home. But in a difficult market, setting the right buyer and seller expectations is crucial.
Agents have to realize that education in the market in 2024 is going to be different than it was in years past because it’s such a different environment, and prepare accordingly.
Many novice buyers and sellers will have no idea what to expect. Worse yet, those who bought or sold in the last few years may have completely unrealistic expectations for this time around.
Plus, TV shows and news media made for a large audience can easily give the wrong impression.
What is happening in the local market might have nothing to do with this week’s headlines. Or it might fall right in line.
For instance, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports home prices are falling in major West Coast markets while continuing to rise in top East Coast markets.
It completely depends on the local market and makes the purchase or sale of a property something that is very personal and unique, even if that often gets lost in the numbers.
Getting this crucial info across to buyers and sellers is going to be key, both in your in-person interactions and your marketing campaigns.
2. Practice Empathy
Buying or selling a home is a very personal decision, but much of the experience can feel uncomfortably impersonal. That’s something Realtors should keep in mind.
Mortgage underwriters aren’t thinking about how a loan approval can make a buyer’s unique dream come true. And buyers don’t know all the memories and feelings a homeowner may have about a piece of property.
At the beginning of the process, buyers and sellers are likely to have little info about each other besides the names seen on transaction paperwork.
Real estate agents should not underestimate the toll the home buying and selling experience can take on clients unfamiliar with the process.
In the 2024 real estate market, it’s a good idea to:
- Listen empathetically to all client concerns and offer honest answers that help clients make good decisions.
- Be prepared with a few personal stories of how you or other clients handled a similarly difficult moment in a sale.
- Think about how you can use storytelling in your marketing to let buyers and sellers know you get it.
A little empathy goes a long way when buyers and sellers are in this position.
3. Put on Your Game Face
In a tough market, real estate can become a game of skill for an agent. In 2024, realtors will have to go into each transaction with their game face on and be ready to help facilitate a deal.
Because at some point, most buyers and sellers are going to wonder what to do:
- Should they keep looking?
- Should they wait for prices to come down?
- Should they accept a not-so-high offer?
What home buyers and sellers are really most in need of in these times is a good coach. Agents can help by arming themselves with data when clients aren’t sure what their next move should be.
Consider that while local home prices may decline, it is hard to say when and by how much. Inventory nationally is still very tight, and that so far is keeping prices up.
Currently, many homeowners don’t want to sell — and trade an interest rate of about 3% for one at 7% — unless they have a very good reason to do so.
At the same time, many markets are past the valuation peak, nationally down by 4.4% from 2022’s high point. And that means most sellers aren’t going to get quite as much as they hoped.
Beyond the data, agents can help focus their clients on how to use it.
- What does homeownership look like for you, now, in this market? The answer will be different for everyone.
- What does the sale of this home, at this time and this price, make it possible for you to do with your life?
When you are able to stay focused on the client’s goals, it’s that much easier for clients.
4. Streamline Your Communication
The 2024 real estate market offers plenty of new challenges, but don’t forget about the things that work in any market. Communication is key for keeping your clients and your transaction on track.
It can be tough on buyers in sellers when a problem arises in a high-stakes transaction and they can’t get through to their agent.
Of course, problems of one sort or another are common in transactions, so being quick to respond is a must.
Quick responses from you will do wonders, including helping to:
- Calm clients’ transaction worries.
- Keep buyers and sellers on track.
- Benefit your sales and referrals.
Of course, that’s easier said than done when you receive hundreds of emails daily.
There are lots of strategies for dealing with too much email, from processing email in batches to following the Inbox Zero process. However, the right tool can make it even easier.
With Folio by Amitree, you can get your own personal email assistant that organizes a messy inbox in seconds.
Folio is an email tool designed for real estate professionals to help you streamline your transaction communications.
Using smart, AI-powered algorithms, Folio allows you to quickly sort messages, files and deadlines by property, client and more, right inside your inbox.
It’s another way you can make sure your buyers and sellers are staying on track in 2023’s unique real estate market.
Folio is available for both Gmail and Outlook, plus it’s free to try.
Try Folio today to streamline your client communications.
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