Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Maura Neill, a Realtor with RE/MAX Around Atlanta and a noted speaker/instructor, for her tips on working with relocation buyers.
5. Always Have a Plan B. And Maybe a Plan C – The best agents not only know their markets and provide great customer service, but are also problem solvers. With relocation clients – who may only be in town just long enough to look at homes – always having a Plan B is crucial whether they lose their first choice of home in a multiple offer situation or due to a poor inspection or they need to change lenders mid-contract. Always thinking 3 steps ahead and being a problem solver not only makes you a better agent but will instill confidence and loyalty toward you in your clients.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Video – Video is face-to-face redefined and there’s no better way to build trust and credibility with a long-distance buyer than letting them hear your voice, see your smile, and begin to get to know you. If you are working to attract relocation clients, creating a well thought out video library is a good step to positioning yourself as a local expert and a REALTOR worth contacting.
3. Keep Community in Mind – Buyers who are relocating to a new city want to know about more than just the house they are purchasing. They’re buying into a community, not just a neighborhood. Create a catalog of community videos that you can send to relocation clients to help them get to know their new city. Send them information and brochures from your local Convention and Visitors Bureau. Direct them to blog posts and articles on your website but help them get an idea about the community they’re moving into. Make time during the home search, when they are in town and shopping for a home, to dine at local restaurants, visit local schools, drive past parks and shopping centers, and be the concierge of their new community.
2. Use the Technology Available at Your Fingertips to Keep Lines of Communication Open and Active – If your clients only came into town to view homes and had to leave before key moments in the transaction – such as the home inspection – or completed, make them feel as though they are in the moment by using Skype, FaceTime, etc. Set up time with the inspector at the end of the home inspection, for example, do you have a conference call or video call with your client to go over the findings.
1. Keep it Legal – Consult your broker and/or your real estate attorney to make sure that you’re crossing your Ts and doting your Is on the legal issues. When dealing with absentee buyers or, even more importantly, sight-unseen buyers, make sure that you are not taking on any unnecessary and undo liability by standing in for those clients at home inspections, walk-throughs, etc. Have the necessary documents (such as hold harmless agreements) ready and available for those clients to sign in order to comply with your brokerage his rules, your state laws, and your E & O insurance policy.
Maura Neill is a Realtor with RE/MAX Around Atlanta who leads her team and represents buyers and sellers on a day-to-day basis. In addition, Maura is a social media and technology devotee, and she is an active real estate speaker and instructor on subjects such as real estate technology, building your business via social media, customer service and client retention. She has spoken for various conferences, such as RETSO, Inman Agent Reboot, Inman Connect, Council of Residential Specialists’ Sell-A-Bration, Women’s Council of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.