A different way to win listings

buyside | April 25, 2015

Original can be found here.

With the shortage of homes for sale and abundance of eager buyers, there’s practically no need for property marketing where I live.

It’s not uncommon to see homes going for 20-30% over asking price. (Not kidding! This is our reality right now in the San Francisco Bay Area.) Multiple bids. All-cash offers. The ingredients of a hot seller’s market are here.

Some of my friends who live in highly desirable neighborhoods in Oakland and Piedmont have been telling me about the Realtors who knock on their doors each week to remind them of the amazing market that’s out there.

It’s tempting.

But inevitably, every homeowner I know – including myself – struggles with the “well, then what?” question. So we sell our house and get an amazing deal. Where does my family go after that?

Some people are comfortable with this question being open until it’s time to figure it out. But others – myself included – need to grasp how this works, or have a clear plan that makes it all seem doable.

The general advice has always been to sell before you buy. Rent backs from buyers are a common practice that can buy sellers more time. And many lenders will even offer bridge financing to help bridge the gap.

But many homeowners – especially first-time sellers – don’t know about these things. They’re not messaged on a typical brokerage site. Maybe agents bring them up during listing presentations, but owners who don’t get to that stage wouldn’t know.

This got me thinking.

Something else

As the Just Sold mailers pile up on my countertop enticing me to take the plunge, there’s a major mental hurdle in my way. And I know I’m not alone.

I’ve never worked in sales, but I do know that success hinges on preparing a reasonable, bulletproof answer to people’s objections.

Why not articulate the answer to this objection on a brokerage website?

As agents and brokers vie for listings – the lifeblood of this business – sellers still see nothing directly tailored to their concerns when they visit a brokerage website. They see a click path to a property search, but no messaging or detailed page that addresses their specific pain points about moving up.

Sellers sometimes get an instant home valuation, or a look at recent sales in their neighborhood. But nothing that really nails that anxiety that comes with moving up in a hot seller’s market.

Creating a specific page with specific messaging to this effect would not only be remarkable, it could actually help increase the website conversions that lead to listings.

What this looks like

I realize no one can promise how things will go down for a homeowner after they sell and look for a new place. But promises aren’t the point here.

Even by simply acknowledging my fears and pains in your copy, you’re a step above the competition. I’m feeling open to doing business with you. I’m feeling confident that you understand the big picture of all that is holding me back.

Your messaging could include some simple copy that shows me you understand where I’m at:

Ready to move up, but worried about entering a cut-throat buyers’ market? We ensure every homeowner has a viable plan for selling and buying from day one.

Then show me some social proof with a few quotes from happy sellers who were able to compete and get the home they wanted as part of a process that began with their home sale.

And if you’re really good, you’ll even have a formal plan for how your agents approach the move-up buyer. Maybe your brokerage has available rental units to help sellers bridge the gaps. Maybe your mortgage partners are the fastest, giving your buyers an edge. Maybe your brokerage uses Buyside to give your buyers the inside track on pre-listings.

Or maybe you just have an impressive number of success stories to share with homeowners in order to help appease their fears.

This is something a portal could never showcase on their website. This is something a broker in a hot seller’s market could seriously own.

It seems like an odd way to win a listing. But I’m feeling there’s something to this – in sellers markets like mine anyway – where offers are a dime a dozen, but listings are hard to come by. And where the greatest fear of selling your home is selling your home.

[Disclosure: Buyside is a 1000watt client.]