REALTOR® Sales Tip: Are You Missing Out on New Homes?

 Bob Corcoran  |    July 06, 2015

I like to think of myself as a positive person — I always work to have good news for those around me. Today is no different — I come bearing good news for agents and brokers: Housing starts are on fire, and that’s super news for REALTORS® who know how to work with homebuilders to get those new homes sold. 

First, the numbers: After a lethargic winter, housing starts have jumped a massive 20.2 percent in April, the biggest bump recorded since February 1991. According to the Commerce Department, April housing starts came in at a 1.14 million annualized rate up from a 944,000 pace in March. April’s numbers were the highest housing starts have been in seven years.

Plus, we saw more building permits — a measuring stick for future construction — issued in April than at any other time since June 2008. Total permits rose 10.1 percent to 1.143 million units, the highest since December 2007. Single-family permits were up 3.7 percent from March to 666,000, and multifamily permits totaled 477,000, the highest total since April 2006. 

I agree with many analysts who say this new home construction will help bring needed balance and aid buyers looking for a home this year — including trade-up buyers to first-timers.

So let’s get right to it: why should you consider selling new homes? One good reason is you can save a lot of time. When a REALTOR® puts a qualified buyer in front of a builder who has a sales center, the builder’s sales agent will often do most of the leg work of discovery, demonstration, selection and closing. The builder’s sales agent frequently handles paperwork, collects deposits and even arranges financing. That’s serious time savings!

Another benefit? Builders can be a source of new listings for REALTORS®. Builders are often presented with a sales contract contingent on the sale of the buyer’s existing home. Not a bad arrangement, huh?
So how can you take advantage of this new inventory and sell more homes in 2015? Here are three tips to help you get your share in the new homes market:

Understand the landscape and language

Builders, like any other profession, have their own jargon — when you can speak it, you show builders you’re a pro who has the know-how to sell new homes. That boosts your credibility with builders and potential buyers. Take time to understand the building process from the inside out — literally, so you can explain what goes on in the walls with the electrical wiring and plumbing systems, for example. You might even consider the Master in Residential Marketing program offered by the National Association of Home Builders through your local home builders association. It’s tailored specifically for REALTORS®.

Make the connection

Once you understand the lingo and the process, call the builder and make an appointment with either the builder or the sales manager at their model home, showroom or office. Then listen and learn how you can work with builders — what their needs are, how they position their homes in the marketplace, and their specific benefits to buyers. Share how you can work with the in-house salesperson, if there is one. 

Understand what you bring to the table

You not only bring more buyers to builders, you save builders money by marketing their homes. It’s your marketing that finds the buyers, and that makes the cost of working with a REALTOR® even more appealing to builders. Plus, you also act as a marketing advisor because you know what’s selling. 

Be sure to scout out new construction in your area or even visit your local parade of homes this summer. Develop a plan to network with area homebuilders, and get started on your new relationship today!

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized leader, speaker and author, and is CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc., an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into real estate companies, mortgage companies and small businesses.

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