In the uncertainty of today’s real estate market, real estate professionals can take comfort in one demographic which is essentially unwavering—first time home buyers. Targeting this market can ensure a steady stream of clients, as first time home buyers constitute 50% of all home buyers, up 3% from last year, according to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Here are some tips to help you market to first time buyers and serve their needs in the best way possible.
First, target your advertising. The typical age of a first time homebuyer is 30 so you’ll want to target younger couples or singles who are currently renting. Think about advertising on rental websites, in local rental classifieds, or passing out flyers in apartment complexes.
Once you have begun to attract a pool of prospects, you need to be able to provide for the unique needs of this market. First time home buyers especially want an agent who is knowledgeable, thorough and can guide them through the whole process of home buying. They need more information, a slower pace and lots of feedback to help them decide. They will ask a lot of questions, so be prepared with all the information you think they will need. Preparing folders to answer common questions a first time buyer might have is a good way to provide them with information and give them time to review on their own.
A good real estate professional should even offer information the home buyer doesn’t know he or she needs. Be sure to warn buyers about potential pitfalls of the market and particular properties they might not be aware of or think to ask about. This is a great way to earn their trust and establish credibility in their eyes, so that when it comes time to look for a new home (on average in about four years or so) these buyers will remember you and use you as their agent again.
Be sure not to rush the new buyer, but encourage them to trust their instincts. Many buyers will continue looking for a home weeks after they have found the perfect one in an effort to be thorough, but you can save them time and frustration by reminding them to go with their gut. To be thorough, however, make sure to view the top choices a second time to clear up any doubts or address any other questions the buyer might have.
Finally, make sure not to overwhelm the buyer. Don’t try to view more than 6 or 7 properties in a day, and encourage the buyer to bring a digital camera to photograph the house thoroughly. This will help when they are reviewing later, and also give them the opportunity to seek input from friends or family members who couldn’t be at the showing.
Reaching out to first time home buyers is a great way not only to build your business in the short term, but also invest in your business’ future. If you serve your first time buyer clients well, chances are good they will keep you in mind for their future transactions.
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