Christine E. Hansen, GRI, a REALTOR® for more than 30 years, was the 2020 Vice President of Advocacy and 2019 REALTOR® Party Director for the National Association of REALTORS®. She has served in association leadership almost continuously at the state and national levels. Hansen has been an NAR Director since 2006, with a brief break during 2010 to 2011. She served on the NAR Strategic Planning Committee from 2007 to 2014. In 2017, she was NAR Liaison for Member Relations. In state leadership, Hansen served as 2018 president of Florida REALTORS®. Hansen is broker-owner of Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a full-service 80-practitioner strong real estate company with residential, luxury homes, rental, and relocation departments. Hansen is also a life coach, helping people reach their full potential personally and professionally so they can lead more joyful and healthy lives. As a trained mediator, she conducts mediation for brokers and local associations.
Buyers and Leads Need Conversations
Train your agents to start a dialogue with potential buyers and sellers that builds relationships and establishes trust.
March 4, 2022
There are a lot of challenges in the 2022 real estate market, not only for industry professionals but for buyers and sellers. Fortunately, this market also provides a plethora of opportunities for agents who are ready to put in the work to grow their business. The same holds true for buyers. While the talk centers around a lack of inventory, the data shows otherwise.
The numbers point to inventory at or near typical levels in many markets, but the real issue is that there is a multitude of buyers, which is creating a supply and demand issue. This is where buyers should look to their real estate agents for the knowledge they possess and begin having conversations to set up a plan.
I’m encouraging my family of relentless sales professionals to follow a series of action items to help them identify inventory and assist buyers with developing a winning strategy.
First, and most importantly, I’m counseling my agents to start conversations with people in their sphere of influence. Even if they're uncomfortable doing so, I urge them to make phone calls. They can start off the conversation by simply asking if the homeowner wants to sell or if they have been thinking about selling. Even if the homeowner objects or says no, a series of follow-up questions can set the agent up for a possible future listing. Bottom line: A conversation, especially one that addresses today’s buyers’ concerns around managing the current market, is critical to building a relationship, establishing trust, and closing more deals.
The second action item I have for agents is to look at owners who’ve been in their homes for more than 15 to 20 years. Again, it's about starting a conversation. The agents should inquire about lifestyle or familial changes. This isn't a new tactic, but it is a fundamental practice that works in any market, especially the current one.
With investors buying up hundreds, if not thousands, of properties, the third course of action for agents is to do research, find information about investors' portfolios, and then call them to see if they’re looking to leave property management behind or trade up to a like-kind property through a 1031 tax-deferred exchange.
Lastly, in an age where most buyers and sellers begin their real estate experience online, it is critically important that agents audit their social media accounts, ensuring that the content is relevant, reflects today's landscape, and will influence viewers to start a conversation offline.
The counsel I give agents on these action items depends on their level of experience, but all our agents are encouraged to start conversations. What we have seen is that most everyone in the Century 21 Hansen Realty family is having success starting conversations, explaining the current market to buyers, and offering ways to win and get to the closing table. What they’re learning firsthand is that a lead without a conversation is simply data. A lead with a conversation is a relationship.
Like we all know, real estate is a relationship business, and lifelong clients who value and trust you only come as the result of conversations.