Do YOU Have a Buyer?

By
Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Do YOU Have a Buyer?

Of course you have a buyer! It seems about everyone has a buyer these days who is searching diligently for a property. Often these buyers have missed out at least a couple of times in a multiple offer situation, are disappointed, deflated, and the agent has provided a glimmer of hope that they might be able to secure a home by sending a letter to local homeowners.

Before you do that, however, I highly suggest you have a plan, some rules around how that plan will be rolled out, and have a general buyer letter template ready to go that you can customize as your buyers' needs change.

Has the Buyer Really Stepped Up to the Challenge?

If the buyer hasn't been thoroughly vetted and approved, isn't being realistic about what financially it is going to take to buy a property, is going after properties that they really can't afford in this market and won't expand their search parameters, then the buyer HASN'T done their part. If they haven't, why are you spending your time and hard-earned money to send out a letter?

In my rulebook, Buyer not ready? Buyer not realistic? No letter!

Have a Strategy Session.

If you have determined the buyer has indeed and will indeed do their part, before sending a letter, have a strategy meeting with the buyer about their expectations and targets, and then have a discussion that asks the “what if”s. What if you have a homeowner that is willing to sell off-market but they want to negotiate a price? What if the kitchen is in need of updates? What if during the inspection you learn that the roof needs to be replaced?

Starting the conversation with a homeowner who doesn't have their property on the market and with no photos to go by can be a challenge and you don't know what you are going to get. Having some good conversation ahead of time to make sure your buyer is prepared to complete a transaction in a non-orthodox way will save everyone time and money down the road. Some buyers may mistakenly think that because the seller is willing to work with them off-market they have a leg-up. However, I have heard of many a seller who decided that working with a demanding buyer just wasn't worth it but already had it in their mind to sell and decided to list on the open market, leaving the buyer standing there with their mouth open in surprise wondering what just happened.

No Throwing Mud

I have heard of agents sending out thousands of letters to homeowners all over the area. And then, who gets the calls? The agent! Who has to go meet with the homeowner to see if the home is even a contender? The agent! Who has to field the phone calls? The agent! And who has spent their hard-earned money? The agent!

Don't let the buyer dictate how this process is going to go. Indicate how many letters you are willing to send out at once and then give the buyer some homework to do. You can either get a list of properties that meet the criteria from a title company or your company or MLS may provide a service that allows for list generation and then have the buyers eliminate any houses they have no intention of buying. That may include entire streets or individual houses, but get them eliminating so you don't waste your time or money.

Don't Just Send a White Envelope.

I literally just had one of my favorite agents, Rae Anne Catron, say this week that she got a listing because she sent a letter in a branded envelope. It was compelling enough for an investor owner to open, read, and make contact. If you have a brand, it begins to make a personal connection as soon as the mail is picked up. The chance you run by sending a non-branded envelope is that it isn't interesting enough to open and if they don't recognize you name, they may think you are trying to sell them an extended warranty to their car and toss it. Every letter you send is a marketing opportunity!

Get Specific!

The most successful letters don't just say, I have a buyer who is interested in a house like yours. Call me. The most effective letters offer some sort of proof that this buyer exists and may actually be a buyer prospect for that particular property. Something like:

"My buyer has recently moved here from Texas and her mother lives on 34th St. Her mother is aging but would like to stay independent in her home with her daughter living nearby. The buyer is looking for a single-story home, with at least two bedrooms on the main level. The buyer also needs a two-car garage. Public records show that your property checks all these boxes. However, the buyer is also looking for a home with mature landscaping, and from what we see from the street, it has."

In addition to indicating you have an actual buyer, these details also engage people's natural desire to help. Some agents who have used this letter have indicated that homeowner recipients actually reach out with suggestions of homeowners to contact and some pass the letter onto others.

Close Strong

It is important to keep to the topic at hand and not be tempted to throw in if you are interested in listing, give me a call. That negates the buyer's need and can turn the letter into a negative! Instead, focus the call-to-action back to the buyers:

"If you have thought of selling and would be open to allowing my buyers to walk-through your home and start the conversation around buying and selling, please give me a call or send an email. I would be happy to talk with you first to answer your questions as I realize this may be a different approach than what you are used to in a real estate transaction."

Letter-writing sounds like old-school marketing, but with homeowners being inundated with new-school marketing, old-school may be just what you need to stand out and get your buyer into a property.


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What does a reverse offer look like in a seller's market? Rather than waiting for a seller to offer a listing, your buyers are ready to make offers on homes that aren't even on the market. Learn how it works, how to make a compelling offer, and how to protect your buyer when taking this alternative approach to finding listings at this week's Denise Live.

May 4th at 9:00 am Pacific

Open to Club Zebra PRO Members!

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(free offer expires May 5th)

  

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (15)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Denise - thanks for your presentation this week.  It was informative and spot on.

May 15, 2021 03:28 AM
Denise Lones

Grant - You must mean the Finding Sellers webinar I did for ActiveRain on Tuesday. Thank you! - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:46 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent ideas about finding a home for a buyer in these inventory-tight days.

And I also want to thank you for your presentation. It was very informative!

May 15, 2021 04:55 AM
Denise Lones

Thank you Kat. We've been doing a deep dive in to topics of finding sellers and successfully navigating buyers through today's market lately - both here and with Club Zebra members and our coaching members. - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:48 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Denise. You are correct. Make sure you buyer is ready to pull the trigger before you start identifying possible targets. Enjoy your day.

May 15, 2021 04:57 AM
Denise Lones

Anything less is wasting people's time in this market, including the agent's. - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:49 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Denise Lones - I am sorry I couldn't be on Zoom to see your presentation.  I scheduled the time but a client called and wanted to see a property. You make some excellent points in this blog. 

May 15, 2021 10:11 AM
Denise Lones

I don't think it was recorded, so I'm sorry you missed it. However, you should check this out - https://fb.me/e/6jpOV0bFL - see you there? - Denise


 

May 21, 2021 09:52 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I wish I was able to attend your presentation this week - I heard lots of great feedback!

Thanks for all ths advice in this post - bookmarked.

May 15, 2021 08:23 PM
Denise Lones

Jeff - Thanks, glad you got something out of this. As for the presentation, you might be interested in this free event I'm speaking at here: https://fb.me/e/6jpOV0bFL - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:53 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Denise Lones  Thank you for taking the time to present at our Zoom meeting I really enjoyed your presentation 

May 16, 2021 12:38 PM
Denise Lones

Hannah - You are very welcome. I hope you also found it helpful.

May 21, 2021 09:54 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Loved your presentation and thank you again, so very much! This post addresses the other side - don't you just love the challenges we are facing in 2021?!

May 18, 2021 08:36 PM
Denise Lones

Every market has it's challenges and buyers need our help more than ever. Thanks for coming to my Finding Sellers webinar last week! - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:55 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Thank you for the insight. I've found handwritten envelopes work as well as postcards. People can read a postcard very quickly with no effort.

May 19, 2021 04:28 AM
Denise Lones

I've had a number of coaching clients surprised by how effective branded envelopes and postcards can be in actually getting their message through. - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:57 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

A lot of great advice within the post.  Sometimes a letter risks the trash especially if it's a branded envelope.  I work with semi branded postcards and allow space for a hand written note as well.  They will always flip the card and not just toss it.

May 19, 2021 04:45 AM
Denise Lones

The key here is the personalization. Circle something, add a sticky note, put arrows pointing at something interesting to your audience - I recommend this with every piece you send out. If you're already doing it, you already understand why! Good work - Denise

May 21, 2021 09:59 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Good stuff! And yes setting expectations is key! I like the branded envelope approach!

May 19, 2021 06:28 AM
Denise Lones

Thank you Erik! It used to be there was a program for printing branded stamps up too, but the USPS doesn't support that anymore. It was fun though! - Denise

May 21, 2021 10:00 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Personalizing your buyer is an excellent idea.  From what I hear, most agents do not do that and it gives the impression that they are just looking for a listing.  And home owners are getting them frequently so I hear. 

May 19, 2021 10:07 AM
Denise Lones

Thanks Hella - We always want to ask ourselves, "What's our point of difference and how can we make a personal connection?" - Denise

May 21, 2021 10:03 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Denise, and thank you for some very well great information to share with us here in the Rain.

 

May 19, 2021 10:58 AM
Denise Lones

Hey Will! You are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by. - Denise

May 21, 2021 10:04 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love the insight how you break down what should be in the letter and how to send it. Thank you for sharing

May 20, 2021 06:40 AM
Denise Lones

Scott - You are welcome! Give it a try and best of luck - Denise

May 21, 2021 10:04 AM
Philip A. Raices
Turn Key Real Estate - Great Neck, NY
1 of the Most Knowledgeable Brokers on the Net!

GM Denise, I learned something today as we try to do every day to gain valuable knowledge to help our clients.  With inventory so so low around the country, your idea is another way to get a foot in the door of a potential seller.

May 20, 2021 07:18 AM
Denise Lones

Phillip - That's exactly what we want. Rise above the noise, look different, connect personally, offer value and authenticity. Thanks for being part of the conversation here! - Denise

May 21, 2021 10:06 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I really like reading blogs with specific talking points--so helpful!

May 21, 2021 02:16 PM