Published by Kartik Subramaniam
First time homebuyers are a fulfilling market for the real estate agent. You're helping people move from spending money on rent that they'll never recoup to investing that same money into a property they actually own. This is a huge leap for most people and, as their agent, you get to help them find a starter home, or even their dream house.
All of this is empowering and inspirational. The problem is that many agents find it difficult to convert renters into buyers. People often rent because they don't feel financially stable enough to own a home. There may be a plethora of obstacles in their way, from salary to down payment to a lifestyle that means more mobility.
The reality is that many people can afford to buy and most would agree that buying would be beneficial for them financially. As their real estate agent, your goal is to educate potential buyers - But first you have to find them.
There are different segments of first-time home buyers. Often real estate agents zone in on the ones who have already expressed interested in buying a home. This is an easier demographic to market to because they're already looking for your services. You don't need to educate them on why buying could be beneficial for them because they've already come to that conclusion.
The second hidden demographic are renters who haven't considered buying yet. Renters are often thought of as folks who haven't yet saved enough money to buy. That's not the whole of this demographic, though. There are those who aren’t in a position to buy right away, for certain. But every demographic is accounted for here for various reasons. Some prefer the mobility that renting allows as they are able to move more frequently with less hassle. Some simply prefer the location and amenities available in rental space in their locations.
First time home buyers may not be what you would think without researching, as well. For instance, single women make up a surprisingly high percentage of new homeowners.
When you're considering how to reach first time homeowners, there are a number of channels you can use to capture them. You'll also find that your geographic location will give you more information to help you target your market.
For many homebuyers in California rents have been rising so quickly and consistently that home ownership becomes more and more appealing with every rental increase notice. Remember that your buyers don’t necessarily need 20 percent down like in the olden days. There are many programs that offer down payment options of 0-5% making homeownership possible for more people.
For the renters who have already decided that they want to purchase a home, the marketing campaigns should be tailored more for sales than education, though value based content can still be used here. These future buyers can be considered warm leads because they already have an interest in purchasing.
To reach renters who have not already committed to buying a property, real estate agents sometimes need to use more creative solutions in order to educate and convince this market. The good news is that many renters would prefer to be homeowners. They often believe they can't afford it but in many cases they simply need more education about the buying process.
There are a number of ways to do this but the reality is that many would be buyers don't even research the idea of buying property because they mistakenly believe they can't afford it. Many of them can and should consider buying rather than renting. They also often believe that their monthly mortgage payment would be higher than their current rent, but that's often not the case, either.
Here are some ways you can reach these renters with more information that can help them to see buying as a good alternative for them:
Online Campaigns. You can use your social media channels and newsletters to help educate renters on the financial realities of buying. This can include statistics and personal stories showcasing the benefits to owning a home over renting.
Value Packed Blog and YouTube Posts. Use your website blog to host informative pieces that can be helpful for renters looking to buy. This can include tips on saving for the down payment for a home and information on finding the right property to fit your budget and lifestyle.
Articles in Local Publications. If renters aren't currently looking to buy a property, they may never visit your blog or pay attention to any of your campaigns. But articles in local publications have a broader reach. This might include town newsletters, local papers, and magazines.
Personal Outreach. Hosting webinars and classes about home buying can be a great way to educate first time buyers.
You'll find that many would be buyers are simply misinformed about the process. Helping to educate them on the benefits of home ownership can be an excellent way to reach this fantastic market
I wanted to write a blog about this because many of our real estate school students start out working with buyers and many of these are first time homebuyers. Having a solid plan of action to target and convert this market segment can prove profitable to the newer real estate agent.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?