The real estate market has become a dog-eat-dog world with more than 3 million people holding active real estate licenses, which can make attracting new buyers and listings a bit challenging.
In fact, the California Housing Market is one of the most competitive real estate markets in the United States, ranking second for most registered realtors compared to all other states behind Florida.
Unfortunately, heightened competition isn’t a realtor's only concern. Recent interest rate hikes and low inventory have made affordability a big issue for potential homebuyers, resulting in a small pool of qualified candidates looking to buy.
As housing begins to pivot toward a buyer’s market, it's important to differentiate yourself and find new ways to attract new clients. If you are a realtor looking to stand out and build your book business, here are a few proven tips for capturing more clients.
1. Understanding California Real Estate Trends
Real estate market trends are indicating that home prices are starting to cool nationally. Specifically, in California, home prices finally started to dip for the first time in over a decade between May and June.
But don’t get discouraged just yet. The California housing market is far from crashing, but rather there is now a movement toward equilibrium. Housing is heading into that sweet spot where the market favors neither the seller nor the buyer. It's becoming a neutral market.
Working within a neutral market is beneficial because it allows you to work your business from multiple angles, diversifying your revenue sources. This is also key when stretching your business strategy to target multiple demographics.
2. Understanding Key Demographic Segments
One of the simplest ways to attract new business is to understand your target markets. For example, the highest homeownership rates in California are in the Sierra Nevada counties, with smaller and luxury suburbs topping the list.
But while this might be where that white whale listing resides, there are other lucrative demographic channels that can feed and grow your business as well.
First, consider Millennial and Gen X buyers, who remain the largest share of home buyers and make up almost two-thirds of the entire buyer’s market.
Keep in mind that these buyers have found affordability to be a big issue and are used to renting. That means they might be more prone to purchasing condominiums or townhomes which offer additional amenities and would be an easier transition from renting to owning than buying a traditional single-family house.
It's also important to note that nearly 60% of all adults ages 18 to 44 have lived with an unmarried partner.4 Younger adults are more open to accepting cohabitation, making housing affordability less of an obstacle for some.
Also, consider the increasingly aging Baby Boomer generation. There are numerous listing opportunities that can be captured from this group.
First, Baby Boomers are either in or nearing retirement age, meaning they may be willing to sell or relocate to be near family, friends, and loved ones. Many are also buying second homes in key vacation states like California.
Second, Baby Boomers hold the title for the highest divorce rates compared to other demographic groups. Recent data indicates that 25% of all divorces that occur are between people aged 50 or older.
If navigated correctly, divorce situations could be an opportunity to get a new buyer and a new listing. Baby Boomers tend to gravitate toward traditional single-family homes, but as they age, they often downsize or relocate to something more affordable.
Clearly, there are opportunities available to expand your business. However, that doesn’t mean deals will simply land at your doorstep (this isn’t Amazon). To be successful at attracting new buyers and listing, you will have to get creative and leverage a variety of business strategies.
Techniques For Attracting New Buyers and Listings
Realtors face a lot of headwinds other than a shifting of market conditions. Increasing costs, knotted back-office processes, or delineating from having an established sales process can negatively impact your potential to grow your real estate business.
Fortunately, there are several different techniques that you can implement to help streamline and attract new clientele. Let’s look at some of the proven techniques that the top-producers utilize to attract new buyers and listings.
3. Talk With Your Neighbors and Friends
Leveraging your neighbors and friends is a great way to help push business your way. Not only have you already established rapport with these individuals, but you have also built trust which is key when someone is vouching for your character.
Recent sources show that 68% of sellers who use a real estate agent to sell their home found them through a referral from either a friend or family member.6 The best part is that once a seller works with you if you provide great service then they are 90% more likely to use you again in the future.6
4. If You Can’t Find Them, Buy Them
If you don’t have the time or resources to grind out new leads, take a more streamlined approach by purchasing exclusive leads lists. There are many reputable lead generation companies that can create a list of leads specific to the business parameters you provide.
LinkedIn is another less flashy social media platform that is often overlooked by competition with respect to lead generation. Nevertheless, it can be a straightforward way to obtain quality leads and referrals.
Another strategy would be to focus on pushing out pay-per-click ads that target homeowners and drive traffic to your website. While having these ads set up isn’t free, it could have comparable results to buying a real estate leads list.
5. Expand Your Sphere of Influence
If you are in real estate, you already know the importance of making connections and building your professional network. But sometimes expanding your sphere of influence past lateral professional groups (i.e., attorney’s, lenders, home inspectors, etc.) can open new referral channels.
Building relationships and leveraging local sports leagues, community schools, or even local nonprofits are often untapped opportunities with a ton of upside. Getting involved with these channels also helps build trust and shows you are active in the community.
6. Educate Your Target Markets
Some buyers don’t understand the benefit of owning versus renting a home. Others are on the fence about buying as market conditions continue to shift.
By educating your target market you accomplish two things. First, you help motivate them to get into the market. Second, you position yourself as the go-to expert to assist them with their next transaction.
There are several ways to educate and engage with prospective buyers and sellers. One of the most effective touchpoints to leverage is social media. But other than the traditional channels, consider focusing on video content as a niche.
Leveraging resources like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok allow leads to not only put a face to your name but also ask questions and get meaningful information which then extends your platform to market your services.
Starting an educational blog is also an effective, passive way to disseminate information and relay to potential clients you know your stuff.
7. Leverage the Right Software
Realtors that don’t embrace technology are doomed for failure. Technology becomes increasingly important as clients crave a streamlined digital experience. The trick is making sure to leverage the right technology that can better optimize your business. One example of this is the closr app which helps agents by giving them the right resources to help them closr faster. closr.tech
Lead generation software is obviously a given considering you want to always be efficiently funneling potential clients to your business. However, investing in the right CRM platform is also key because it can help you boost your pull-through rate.
Similarly, it can help you identify missed opportunities and track where your leads are coming from so you can focus your efforts on the most effective referral sources.