The partnership between builders and real estate agents works in both directions, with each providing value to the other. It’s in real estate agents’ best interests to stay knowledgeable on the different neighborhoods that builders are working in and new construction inventory.
Especially with our historically low inventory levels on resale, if a real estate agent is unaware of homes being built, it becomes a credibility issue with his or her buyers.
We try to alternate our sales meetings periodically throughout the year at different builders’ locations. A few things happen when I do that.
One, our realtors get a feel for the products that are available. No. 2, they also get out of their comfort zone as far as where homes are being built. No. 3, our agents can create a relationship with the on-site sales representatives to promote that housing stock.
I encourage the agents in our company to preview new construction communities, homes and products anytime they have a free afternoon. They don’t need an appointment; the on-site sales rep doesn’t need to do anything. It’s more about agents being familiar with not only neighborhoods and communities, but the products—and the builders—within those neighborhoods and communities.
If new construction is an option for our clients, we have a tool within our MLS system that allows us to select not only new construction, but new home communities. Buyers receive that information on a periodic basis, no differently from how they would with resale homes. That means builders’ products stay front and center with potential buyers.
Sometimes homes that are being built for clients can become quick-close inventory with no notice. Buyers may fall out because they couldn’t get their current house sold, their finances changed, a spouse passed away or they got divorced. Things happen in the process of a new build that do not necessarily dismiss a buyer from closing on a home. Then that home comes on the market as quick-close inventory.
Being knowledgeable about quick-close inventory can make or break a transaction for real estate professionals’ buyers. If real estate professionals aren’t engaged with builders at that level, they are going to get passed up, and so is their buyer. Even if they don’t have a buyer today, they may have one tomorrow.
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It’s about efficiency and it’s about information. The more informed the agent is, the better he or she can serve homebuyers.
Real estate agents should be a trusted source for their buyers, but also a trusted advisor and a single point of contact for opportunities.
Michael Beninati is a managing partner and owner of Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate. Windermere’s Builder Solutions program provides professional marketing, sales and operational support to builders and developers through all stages of new home sales. He can be reached at [email protected].