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Self-Educated Buyers Need Different Approach

September 8, 2014
From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

Even a decade ago, real estate professionals were often the first call a new homebuyer made. They had questions, needed advice, and wanted to have you guide them through the process. Fast forward to today. We are in an era of self-educated buyers. Consider these statistics… 94% of Americans have access to internet broadband and 55% of consumers who have mobile phones have smartphones.  According to Realtor.com, 42% of prospective buyers started their search online.

With quick answers to virtually any home buying question just a swipe or click away, you are dealing with buyers who have more information than ever before. However, what your buyers don’t have is the experience and history to weed through website upon website of information to determine what is relevant to them.

Your sales approach should take into consideration these educated, but perhaps still undirected buyers who need you to deepen their knowledge and tie it into their personal situation.

  1. Be sure your online presence is strong.  It’s been said often before, but it’s that important! Because a growing number of buyers are looking at the internet as their first point of contact in the home buying process, you need your online image and content to be strong and professional. After all, they may see your website or LinkedIn before they ever talk to you.
  2. Recognize that your prospects will likely be educated before you meet them. How can you partner with others to be part of their knowledge-seeking process early on?

Be open-minded. Are there technologies or websites that would allow you to be part of the education process? One example is Doorsteps, a website that guides buyers through the purchase process. Real estate professionals can partner with the site to have a presence there and also find out about buyers who are visiting the site.

3. Realize that just because buyers ask for information, they may be far from ready to close the deal. Help them gather all of the details they need to feel comfortable with the process first. Build trust and credibility with them by being the one to deliver that information.  A request for a report or prequalification checklist may be just the start of the conversation vs. a sales trigger.

There truly is no better resource for a buyer than a conversation with a loan officer and real estate professional who can address a specific situation. Let’s get them to that conversation by thinking about how to reach them early on!

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