In almost every corner of the United States, there are more buyers than there are houses to buy.
And while so many real estate agents keep doing the same thing they always did, which is waiting for homes to come on the market (and then proceed to get outbid most of the time), my hope is that today’s podcast convinces you NOT to be one of those agents.
Instead, today’s strategies will help you be a few steps ahead of those agents and help your clients get a home well before it comes on the market (or at the very least learn about a home before it comes on the market so they can get prepared to pounce. Even 24 hours makes a huge difference).
Not only will this help your clients who truly need to move, but it also helps you continue to reach your goals too.
And, an added bonus is you’ll likely get even more clients because who wouldn’t refer their friends to someone who got them the house they wanted when it seems like everyone else they know is still looking or getting outbid.
There are many more strategies that work than what I’ve listed here, but here are my favorite three that I’ve personally used and that have worked for me when there is no inventory:
- Send “The Letter” to everyone in the neighborhood your client wants to buy. This infamous letter is so simple, yet so effective. I spoke about this last year here. You can get a copy of one I’ve used in the past that got responses. Be sure to explain the benefits of selling to your client. Maybe your client can be flexible on timing and give them up to six months to buy a new home or maybe they are willing to buy it without them having to do any repairs or staging.
2. Be in touch with everyone you know and ask if they or anyone they know has _____________ (list your buyer needs). Yet another reason to have an email list of people you know and be communicating with them weekly. I’ve talked about that many times so won’t go into depth here.
3. Prospect absentee owners aka landlords. Not only are they not in need of finding a new home to move into, making them more likely to sell, but many landlords (myself included) had issues collecting rent over the last year due to the financial impacts their renters were facing. You might be able to truly help them sell a property that has become a headache for them. For example, maybe your buyer is willing to take over the tenant until the current lease is expired and can move in when the current tenant moves out.
Listen in to today’s episode and learn more about how to implements these tactics into your business now.
These are just three of the many ideas that work to remove obstacles and put buyers and sellers together. There are many more options out there. Pick one or two and do them. Not only could it result in helping your buyer get a home, these can also help you get referrals and could also result in a listing if your buy isn’t interested or has already purchased another home by the time you hear a response from your outreach.
If you are an Agent Grad School student, but sure to go to the Bonus Lesson of the Month for March to get even more ideas and download my templates to use as your own.
If you aren’t an Agent Grad School student yet and want to become one to get even more details on the strategies we are using to get clients and get those clients home, you can become a student here.
Now is NOT the time to sit back and do what you’ve always done. Times like these means having to do a little more than the average agent if you want more than average results not just for you, but for your clients too.
Always remember: where there is struggle, there is an opportunity to provide real value to people and truly help them in ways they can’t do on their own.
And, isn’t that what we are here to do as real estate agents?
Yes, it is. Otherwise, we’d be out of a job, and rightfully so.
So, see this moment as an opportunity to provide even more value to your clients and remind them why they should choose you and why they should tell everyone else they know to choose you too.
Do the work that will get you the results you want. These three strategies are just the beginning to help you do just that.
To your success,
Welcome to a new episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I am your host, Jennifer Myers, real estate agent and founder of AgentGradSchool.com. The place where real estate agents can learn modern marketing techniques and strategies to bring clients to them and answer that question…Why should somebody, a buyer or seller, choose you among all other options out there? And we teach you how to do that. Now in today’s episode, I’ll be talking about the Inventory problem. In most markets across the country, there are not enough houses for sale for the number of buyers who want to buy.
It’s not just a seller’s market. I mean, a seller’s market, we can all make it through, but it’s way more than a seller’s market. It is like a No Inventory market, and most people buyers or sellers and real estate agents alike. See this as a huge problem. For example, many would-be sellers are feeling stuck, and they have no place to go. So they can’t put their house on the market. So that’s just one less house on the market, and rates are so low buyers are trying to take advantage of things and lock in their forever home with that low interest rate. Everybody’s moving across the country because of the pandemic and how life changed.
All of a sudden, all of us everywhere, including buyers, are having to compete more than they ever have in my market. It’s pretty typical. I mean, we’ve always had a really competitive market in the DC area for years. Still, it’s even worse now, especially in the single-family home market. It’s pretty typical to waive all contingencies do pre-inspections compete with cash buyers. And now it’s like paying hundreds of thousands of dollars above the asking price is pretty much to be expected, but this is actually a very special, unique, and special time for real estate agents.
And I see it as a huge opportunity. One that I don’t think has come around in years, maybe even a decade. I believe we are right at that 10-year mark. I’ll explain what the opportunity is and what you can do about it in today’s episode. Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US even opening my own brokerage full of agents helping me serve all of the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I use, and they to became top producing agents.
Through this Podcast and Agent Grad School dot com, I share the same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside of the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques, or for leads, just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside of your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. And almost every corner of the US, there are more buyers than there are houses to buy. And this is backed by statistics.
So, according to realtor.com’s monthly housing trends report that was released in February 2021. So I’m recording this in March 2021. So the most recent data available is for February. Nationally, there were 50% fewer homes on the market in February 2021 than in February 2020, but here’s what gets interesting in another place. I saw that the number of existing-home sales. So this is not even included, including new construction sales.
This is just resales of existing homes. The number of sales nationally was up by 23.7% year over year. And that’s according to a press release I read on the national association of realtors website that was released on February 19th, 2021. So at first glance, the math doesn’t make sense. Inventory is down by half, but the number of transactions that closed is up by 23%, and that’s not even including new construction. And so I got to thinking about why is there such a vast difference?
And there’s only one thing that can account for this huge difference in listings versus sales for the same time period: more homes are selling off-market. And so what that means for real estate agents is that you, in this market, cannot just hang out, waiting for houses to come on the market. And then, as you well know, you are then in competition with everybody else who also saw the house come on the market. And it’s, you know, you have to drop everything, jump to the house. You convince the seller to take something, or often sellers and their agents will set deadlines.
And then you’re competing with all sorts of people, right? That is a losing proposition in this market, in this No Inventory market. Rather than complain about how low the inventory is, you have to be proactive. You cannot wait for things to come on the MLS. Plus, if you were just waiting for things, come on. The MLS, which worked for a long time, you are missing out on several huge opportunities because of the statistics. We know that there are a large majority of the sales happening off-market. This is nationally. So you’re missing out on a huge number of settlements that could be yours.
If you’re not thinking about how you could find available homes that aren’t listening on the MLS, you’re also missing out on your buyer clients not having to compete with other buyers for the same home. Which obviously would be a huge benefit to your clients. And if you have ways to find houses that aren’t on the market, I mean, I’m not telling you to abandon the MLS entirely. Yes, that is one vehicle, but don’t have it be your only vehicle for finding homes for your clients. And imagine if you have ways to find off-market properties Or you, or at least telling your Buyers what you’re doing a bit And beyond what they can do, which is, you know, look at the internet and see what comes on the market.
If you’re able to have a strategy or strategies that you implement for all your buyer clients, and you say, here’s how we’re going to do more than just wait for things to come on the market that will bring you more clients because your buyers will see not only are you working hard to find something and do more than they could ever do, but they are more likely to refer you people who also need those services, which right now is everybody. But even above that, Which I think is a huge opportunity You are missing. If you aren’t Looking for ways to be proactive in finding inventory, you miss out on one of the biggest opportunities that have come our way as real estate agents in a long time.
Hi, do you see it? And whenever there is friction or a struggle, there’s an opportunity to solve a problem. And when you become known as someone who can solve a particular problem, you will have people come to you in droves automatically by word of mouth who have that problem to solve it. Sales and marketing one Oh one. If you want more clients if you want clients to be coming to you, reaching out to you, wanting to work with you, all you need to do is identify your target audiences, the biggest problem, figure out how to solve that problem, and then to help people who have that problem, how you can solve it.
As Steve, I think is the last name is pronounced. Siebold, the author of How Rich People Think, says the fastest way to make money is to solve a problem. The bigger the problem you saw, the more money you make. And I could give you example after example of quote-unquote disrupters in the real estate industry who solve big problems, remove friction, remove struggle, and solve the problem that buyers and sellers are identifying with. And right now, having not enough inventory is a buyers and sometimes a seller issue because they also tend to be buyers.
If they’re selling a house nine times out of the time, they’re buying a new house too. That is their biggest problem right now, which means there is a huge opportunity, Trinity, and the opportunity. One of the agents who can solve this problem of finding inventory when there is No Inventory is on the MLS and then worked. And if you could be one of those agents, you can reap the rewards of being someone who can solve a big problem for people with that is how you make money in any industry. So on today’s episode, I’m going to give you just three very quick, very seemingly simple ways for you to solve that problem of there being No Inventory.
And mainly, the approach is you have buyers, and you need to help them find a house. I’m going to give you two of those and one strategy for finding more listings. Now, there are a ton more ways to solve the No Inventory problem. And I am definitely not going through, you know, the traditional ones you’re probably hearing elsewhere, like, you know, get on Facebook groups with other real estate agents and all that stuff, or, you know, those kinds of things are typical. I’m not going through that stuff today because you’re hearing that stuff elsewhere. You know, how to, you know, about the off-market forums in your marketplace, you know, already to call the agent who has most of the listings in that neighborhood, that that’s not what I’m going to give you. Still, those are all good and things that are good things and proactive things that you should be doing when you have a buyer and not hot and don’t have any houses on the market.
I’m just going to give you three kinds of, out of the box ones that I’ve used most often, one of which I’ve talked about on this podcast before, and these three have produced the best results for my clients and me. And so that’s why I’m sharing them with you today. Now, if you are an Agent grad school student, and you’re listening to this, and if you missed the bonus lesson of the month for March, go back into the student portal and watch that training. And I give you, I gave you more ideas. And I also give you more examples of exactly what I’ve used for you to swipe and why and take and use as in your own business, however you see fit.
So for our students only, I’m going to give you is what I call the letter. If you go to AgentGradSchool.com and go to the Podcast page, you will find the show notes for this episode. It’s called No Inventory, No Problem, Three Out of the Box, Ways to Find Homes for Your Clients, something like that. You will find a link there to a podcast episode I did last year about this infamous letter. I have used this letter for years. Agents in my office use this for years, and it is so simple yet so effective. Every time I sent this letter out, I got responses and got showings for homes that we’re not on the market for my buyers.
Now you can get a copy of it, the same exact one I’ve used in the past. I would update it this year, too. Explain the benefits of selling to your clients. So for example, and you have to know who you’re talking to, that’s always, you know, step number one, but maybe you are a client can be really flexible on the timing of when they can settle, or perhaps they’re willing to buy it as is, and they don’t have to pay for staging or do repairs or anything like that.
Maybe they’re willing to make an offer for X amount over the one that just sold next door. I don’t know what it is, but you have to do something enticing more enticing than the letter that I did last year, because the market was not as competitive as last year. So you need to sweeten the deal. So I would add an additional paragraph on how to do that. And again, for your students, I’ve given you an example in the student portal under the bonus lesson of the month, and you can download it and change it as you see fit and use it. So for those of you who aren’t students, you can get a copy of the letter that I used last year.
And I’ve already told you how to do that. So this letter is you’re going to read it and be like, what’s the big deal. I don’t know what the big deal is. It works. So what I would do is send it to everyone in the neighborhood that your client wants to buy in. And again, add benefits in there too. Why a seller should work with you. And usually with this kind of market, you want to talk about flexibility on timing you want to talk about. Maybe you are willing to give them six months to buy their next home. Maybe again, they don’t have to stage. There’s a savings there. There’s maybe ease of transaction.
If they have dogs or kids, or, you know, who knows, and can’t get their house ready. This might be a huge benefit, not just for your buyer, but for the seller as well. So the letter is out of the box strategy. Number one, the second strategy, as you all well know from me, if you’ve listened to this podcast for more than a few episodes, I love digital marketing, email marketing, especially, and this is yet another, that’s a reason to have a email list, especially to be in a row, a regular communication with your past clients and people that, you know, this is a strategy I used last year when COVID hit and everybody kind of a pause, like there was a new Oh homes on the market.
People didn’t know what was happening. We had a ton of Buyers. Some of them had artists sold their house and you know, needed to move. And the whole world froze. And the first thing that I did was I put together a email to the hundreds of past clients that I’ve worked with. And everybody that I know, my friends, my family, and it really truly within an hour because I’ve already had the setup and I send them emails every time a single week, I could easily send out a email that said, Hey, the world paused. We still have buyers that need to buy houses. If you don’t want a ton of people coming through your house, I’m here are the buyer needs that we need to fill.
So, so yes, of course I sent it to other agents. Well, of course, you know, I course I posted those buyer needs to, you know, groups and forums and all that stuff with other agents. But my, my sphere, my, the people I knew my past clients loved getting this. I got so much response from them and the responses came in multiple ways. One, it was so great because they were like my, my detectives, they were so excited to like, meet their neighbor when they were like putting out their trash and be like, yeah, I heard that you might be selling. I have somebody who might be interested and, you know, and really kind of helped me communicate people.
I would never be able to be in touch with. Never would have not to be in touch with they had heard or known. And so they reached out to people that they knew or heard of who were needing to sell their house, that fit the buyer requirements that I was talking about. The other thing that the other response it’s just that I got were from people going, this is so cool. My, my client’s going, Oh my gosh, this was so creative. Thank you for asking. And it made my past clients refer people to me because, you know, they were like, Hey, this was the kind of thing my agent is doing. So I won’t go into the million of a million reasons why having an email drop me email list and communicating with them regularly by adding value week over after week is a benefit to your business because I have done that many, many times on this podcast and I will do it many, many times in the future.
But when you have all this set up, it gives benefits beyond what you could ever imagine. I would never have thought that a pandemic was going to hit and I needed to reach out to all my past clients about who they knew, who might be selling a house that would fit my buyer criteria when the whole world paused, but I was able to implement that strategy. So that is number two is be in touch with everyone. You know, whether that’s real estate, other real estate agents, other forums, I mean, you can even post your buyer needs like on next door and type of group that you are in, including your email list of your past clients, which has the most powerful place to do it is another way that you can find off-market properties.
And that was a huge, that got me a huge response last year.
And last but not least, is a third strategy where it’s similar to the, the letter that I had described above but it’s very specific. Now when there is low inventory who are the most likely and prices are high which, by the way, according to that same report, I think it was a realtor.com monthly housing trend report prices are up nationally and there are much higher in certain areas, 15% year over year. And what a seller, what owner would be more likely to sell, given the circumstances over at the end Last year, spoiler alert it’s landlords.
And it’s a landlord’s because number one, so many tenants have been impacted by the pandemic. Maybe they’ve fallen on financial hard times, not able to pay on top of that. There are rent moratoriums where landlords can’t evict people due to financial hardship because of the pandemic. And they might want your help getting the property sold. And there might be people willing to buy the property with tenants in it, and then finished off the lease. Or the other reason landlords are great people to be prospecting to right now is because they, they don’t need to find a house nine times out of 10.
Yes, there might be a 10 31 exchange, but a lot of landlords don’t want to bother with them, but they’re not like your typical move up buyer or somebody who is buying and selling at the same time, you know, downsizing or moving up because that person right now is stuck. They don’t have any place to go with landlords, absentee owners. They already live in a property and they’re not, they’re not doing, they don’t have to find a new property. They just might want to sell their property that they don’t live In. And What’s great about that is, you know, you can talk to landlords, absentee owners and market to them about why it’s such a great time to sell with prices up 15% and people wanting to buy.
It’s a great time to sell. Even if you have a tenant. Now I know there are lots of places that don’t allow that, or, you know, require a tenant rights and all that stuff. And I’m not suggesting that you kick out tenants and sell the property. I’m suggesting that you be creative and reach out to the landlords to get a sense of the situation and see if you know what the situation is. Maybe their leases about to expire. Maybe people, somebody, a buyer would want to buy it with the tenants in there. There’s all sorts of situations that you just don’t know it until you have somebody respond. So right now, if I was doing prospecting for listings, which I think every real estate agent should be doing, proactively looking for listings is the place to do it is absentee owners.
So you can use that same letter and as kind of a template and send it to your absentee landlords. And you want to speak to the, all the reasons that it’s a great time to sell and how you can help them regardless of the situation. So you might say something like, regardless of whether you have a tenant, regardless of whether the property needs work right now, you’re not promising anything, but there are people who are willing to buy houses that don’t need work, right. There are people that are willing to buy homes with tenants. And so again, you’re not promising that all things are going to work out perfectly smoothly.
You may look into this situation, say, you know what? Now’s not a good time. The tenant won’t let us in. It won’t be a good idea. Let’s revisit the situation in three months when the lease is over and we can get your house sold that, and then you start being able to play on your future because, you know, you have listings. Okay? So these are just three very basic, very simple, very easy to execute examples of the proactive things that you can be doing right now, rather than just kind of throwing your hands up and saying, Oh, the market’s so competitive.
Oh, there’s No Inventory. Oh, I keep getting outbid. Yes. All those things are true. I’m not saying they’re not true. I’m not saying it’s not difficult. I’m saying you have an option. You can do other things. In addition To what you’ve always done, you can do things that are a little bit more proactive to see if you could find something for one of your Buyers, or maybe you can get a listing and have a sale and maybe help a distressed landlord. I don’t know. These are just three examples that I have used when there are low Inventory periods in my own business. And these are three things that have worked like a charm and my business. And at first glance, you’re going to think these are so simple they can’t possibly work. I am telling you in my experience, they work and they work pretty quickly. Meaning I haven’t had to spend a year of farming. It was a very direct, directed marketing, very specific marketing and explaining the benefits. Now, you know, I didn’t…it wasn’t sent sending letters to people saying I had buyers if I didn’t have buyers, right? So there’s a truthfulness that you have to have here. And you just want to be in alignment with who you’re talking to and the benefits of them wanting to move forward and the direction that you’re hoping we’ll help your client or help them with the goal, which is to buy or sell a property.
So I hope these strategies and these ideas have really just been the tip of the iceberg. I hope that they either kind of motivate you to do very simple things, a little hinges, swing, big doors. And these are just some of the little things that you can do to really start opening up, play opening up more for both your yourself, your business and your clients. And the most important thing is to communicate with your buyers and sellers about what you’re doing for them. So do you not do this in kind of a cave on your own? You want to be communicating with your buyers about these tactics that you are willing to employ.
Maybe they had just got outbid for something that you could say, Hey, I have this strategy that I sometimes use. I can’t guarantee that it’ll work, but what is the, your favorite neighborhood? Where do you want to live? And ideally, and as long as the, what they’re looking for is an alignment. Meaning if a property came up in that neighborhood, it would be in their price range, then they would actually buy it. Then go ahead and send out that letter to all the owner, occupants, occupants, and absentee owners, and just changed your messaging. So slightly, ever so slightly about the benefits of going this direction, rather than going on the market, this, and really come from a place of wanting to help, not just your client and not just trying to get the sale, but also helping a person on the other end to there are people out there who don’t want to go on the market and maybe just don’t know how to go about doing that.
And your letter might have my come at the perfect time to help them in a situation that they might not know how to solve themselves. So come from that place of helping come from a place of communicating, come from a place of not guaranteeing anything, but being curious and seeing what happens. And there are a million other ways to find off market properties. These are just three of the ones that I have found that work really well, very quickly and elicit responses. I would love to hear one of these. You’ve tried what other ideas you come up with and what your results are.
So feel free to email me, Jennifer@AgentGradSchool.com and let me know how it goes. And remember wherever there is a struggle there’s opportunity to truly help other people. This is a huge opportunity for real estate agents, because you know, when the market’s balanced, there is not a ton of that. I mean, we obviously provide value as real estate agents to help negotiate in it and kind of do all the things that you know, that you’re great at. But when there is a struggle, like these moments, there is opportunity to do even more and to truly help people in ways that like they can’t do on their own or they can’t do unless you have a talented Agent by their side, which is You.
So I see this as a huge opportunity. The last time I’ve seen such a big opportunity for agents is when the market was kind of crashing. And there was people that really truly needed skilled agents to not just sell their homes, but also how you know, how to buy a house as well during that time. So see this as an opportunity. And when, when I say where there struggle there’s opportunity, I don’t mean to take advantage of people. I mean, exactly the opposite to truly help people and add value. So try to come from that place and kind of get past the frustration and say, you know, how can I, how can I minimize friction for my clients?
What more value can I add to a situation? What obstacles are stopping my client from moving forward? What problem is standing in their way and how can I remove those obstacles? And when you learn how to do that, that is how you get more and more clients coming to you. That is how you get people to choose you versus all other options, including options that are cheaper, or that give rebates. It’s all about adding value and adding value is what we are here to do as a real estate agent’s to add value to the transaction, to add value to our client’s lives.
Otherwise we’d be out of a job. So see this moment instead of a struggle and frustration. Yes, you can, you can do that for like a half-hour or a whole day, but then I want you to pick yourself up and see the opportunity that is in front of you to add even more value to your clients and you remind them why they should choose you and why they should tell everybody else that they should choose you too. So get to work and get the results that you want to see for your business and for your clients. And I hope that these three strategies will help you do just that. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Remember change happens when you take action.
So apply what you learned today to your own real estate business. If this episode has helped you subscribe, leave a review and share it with all your real estate agent friends, and as always, if you want even more great resources to create the real estate business you’ve always wanted, and to have the life you want outside your business, to head over to AgentGradSchool.com and sign up for the free weekly trainings. You’ll get free classes, discounts, and other goodies that only go out to real estate agents on that email list. See you next week, right here on Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.