Are You Ready for Another Competitive Spring Housing Market?
Ready to go for a trip? Then let’s hop into our time-traveling DeLorean (or maybe you would prefer a phone booth) and journey back to the spring housing market of 2021. We are sure you can recall the madness and the mayhem.
The inventory of new and existing single-family homes for sale fell to 1.07 million—the lowest since 1982. Demand (pending listings) outstripped supply (active listings) in 70% of metro areas. Sixty-four percent of metro areas saw double-digit increases for listing prices. And mortgage interest rates trended at historic lows. The result was one of the most cutthroat housing markets many of us in the real estate industry have ever seen.
Now that we are back in the present, here is a quick prediction for you: The spring 2022 market will not be as hot as last year’s, but competition will remain fierce. Of course, if you have been paying attention to the latest numbers, this forecast will not surprise you. Here is a quick market snapshot:
· Among the 327 housing markets tracked by Zillow, 254 have inventory levels that are down by more than 30%. In 54 housing markets, inventory has fallen by over 50% from pre-pandemic levels.
· Zillow predicts that home values will rise by 11% in 2022—not as much as in 2021 but still substantial growth.
· Mortgage interest rates are expected to rise, creating affordability challenges for today’s buyers, particularly Millennials. However, rent is expected to climb 7.1% this year, which will motivate many first-time buyers to enter the market.
With the holiday season now in the rearview mirror, it is time to focus your efforts on preparing for the spring housing market. Here is how you can get ready for what is certain to be competitive buying and selling seasons.
Set spring goals
If you established goals for the New Year, now may be an ideal time to assess and potentially revise them. And if you did not set any? Well, it is never too late to get started! A detailed list of objectives can help you be more successful this spring—objectives such as selling x number of listings or following up with x number of leads each week. Which brings us to …
Focus on lead generation
Lean on your CRM to identify leads and retarget existing contacts. Connect with them by providing relevant, personalized (but never salesy) housing- and mortgage-related information. And when connecting, do not be afraid to take an omni-channel approach. For example, a direct mail piece matched with a follow-up email and targeted ads on social media creates consistent, meaningful customer engagement with your brand.
Finally, look to your industry partners and past clients for referrals. The most common referral partner for loan officers is a real estate professional, and many LOs feed their pipelines with the help of just a few strong relationships.
Whatever you may do, now is the time to work those leads so that you have plenty of potential prospects by the time spring arrives.
Automate, automate, automate
When it comes to loan officer marketing, automation is a game-changer. With the right set-it-and-forget-it solution, you benefit by generating stronger leads, increasing conversion rates, and having access to more accurate data for determining the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. And the right automation solution can assist you with many different forms of content: from social media to email campaigns to landing pages.
Simply put, marketing automation frees up time for you to do what you do best: close loans.
Prepare your buyers
Check in with clients who have already committed to purchasing this spring. Share information on how they can secure their dream home in today’s market. For starters, advise them to secure pre-approvals. As you know, buyers who are pre-approved can shop with confidence since their offers are backed by a lender’s conditional commitment for an exact loan amount.
Other helpful tips to share:
· Be flexible with closing. Closing date flexibility can make an offer more attractive than others. Being flexible also works in a buyer’s favor if competing offers have hard deadlines.
· Increase an offer. If it’s within budget or the pre-approval amount, a buyer has the option of upping an offer.
· Win from the start. The best-case scenario is to avoid a bidding war altogether. By adjusting their list of demands, a buyer can make their offer the most attractive from the get-go.
Take good care of yourself
One of the biggest keys to productivity is practicing the refueling principle. You accomplish more and have greater success when you recharge your brain and body. Before the spring housing market heats up, take off a day or two. Or if you cannot step away, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and laptop and focusing on non-work activities.
For example, hobbies are perfect for taking your mind off factors that cause stress. Listening to soothing music can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga are also great ways to improve physical and mental wellness.
A Valued Partner
Are you having difficulty sharing helpful buyer- and seller-related information with your customers? Is your marketing automation solution not delivering the results you desire? Or has securing leads in today’s competitive environment been an ongoing challenge?
Whatever the case may be, Volly can help. Contact us today for a demo and to learn more about how we can be your valued marketing partner!