Don’t exclude yourself from an excellent source of leads to motivated buyers. Foreclosures represent an area of high interest as qualified buyers hear the news about the inventory of distressed properties becoming available.
Generate Leads – Buyers want bargains!
Buyers believe that foreclosures are bargains. A recent survey showed that on average, buyers expect to pay 38 percent less for a foreclosed home than a similar home that was not in foreclosure. Properties in default or recently acquired by the bank aren’t typically listed in the MLS.
A thorough knowledge and understanding of these properties and how they affect your prospects can generate a lot of business, even if you never complete a foreclosure transaction. Distinguish yourself from your peers and attract buyers as a local market expert, including foreclosures.
Offer Free Foreclosure Searches
One excellent way of generating leads is to offer buyers the ability to search for foreclosures on your website. Many agents offer the ability to search listed short sales and REOs in the MLS, but only a fraction of the foreclosure market is actually listed. Adding a foreclosure search widget to your website gives your clients a foreclosure search ability similar to consumer searches such as Yahoo, Trulia, or Zillow, but with complete, up-to-date information.
Prospects do the heavy lifting of sifting through properties to find the ones they like. Serious buyers click through to get more information from you. A real estate team in southern California has reported that they get over 20 leads per week from their FLX free foreclosure search.
It’s a Feature: FLX
The ForeclosureRadar FLX™ widget provides potential clients the opportunity to shop for bargains. While buyers might think foreclosures are bargains, they don’t necessarily want to buy a foreclosure. You may never actually sell a foreclosure property with the ForeclosureRadar FLX™, but you will establish yourself as a resource for a great deal on great properties. For more information on FLX, see the video on setting up and using FLX.
Angry homeowners – what not to do
There’s nothing more damaging to a reputation than being labeled the Realtor® who broadcasts to the world that a homeowner is financial distress. Stay mindful of the information you provide to leads. While it is a matter of public record, foreclosure is still a sensitive subject.
This is still a relationship business. Agents that take the time to build a relationship and are committed to helping homeowners do what is best for them are the real professionals. It is not a foot race to reach homeowners the moment they miss a payment. It is about providing quality information and being the right agent at the right time.
It’s a Feature: Protecting owners
Consumers won’t see the full address for properties found through an FLX search, by design.
What Others Say
“We got ForeclosureRadar FLX on our site, the response is overwhelming.”
– Michael Studebaker, Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS, GRI, e-PRO, SRES
Gallagher & Lindsey, Inc REALTORS
“Bottom line: FLX works. Having foreclosure search on our Website has been a huge win for us – the number of inquires it’s generating is incredible.”
–John Melo, President of Century 21 M&M
Qualify That Lead!
You have an interested party, a ballpark price range, a preference for the neighborhood. What’s next?
Give a little, ask a little. Offer your lead a little information. Provide a list of properties for sale in the MLS as well as a few bank owned properties. The more options you offer a lead, the more they will be willing to work with you.
Manage misconceptions. A homebuyer will find a foreclosure property available for half the market value. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it is rare. Let your clients know that there are good deals to be had in conventional markets, and explain to them the pitfalls of foreclosures and REO purchases. Honesty, integrity and knowledge of the market go a long way.
Build a referral network. The Internet has erased geographic boundaries. Often, someone out of your area is looking for properties and they find you. Should you ignore the lead? No, rather create a trusted referral network and the next time a lead comes to a colleague from out of their area, they’ll think of you.
Foreclosure charts, like the ones used in the Foreclosure Trends Reports on PropertyRadar.com are powerful illustrations of your expertise.
Use graphs that focus on the issues that are most relevant to your clients, such as number of foreclosure filings, bids and outcomes at auction, time to foreclose, or various metrics regarding the properties such as square feet or year built.
Building Trust – Demonstrate Knowledge
When you demonstrate your knowledge of the larger market and provide detailed, up-to-the-minute information about foreclosure activity in your area, buyers trust you to navigate them through the obstacles of buying a foreclosure.
Remember what the buyer wants – and it’s not a foreclosure. The allure of an incredible deal is irresistible. The nightmare of foreclosure is also incredibly frightening. Buyers simply want the great deal, without the headaches and heartaches of foreclosure and eviction. Keep buyers informed of their options, informed about pricing and what’s ahead. Show them value by including knowledge of foreclosures.
Delivering value – showing and talking about foreclosures Show your clients foreclosure comps. Compare unlisted REOs with what is on the MLS. By demonstrating a thorough knowledge of what’s available, your clients will understand that you are delivering value, finding a property that is a significant value for them and their family.
This report also demystifies the number of foreclosures in the area. Sometimes buyers are paralyzed by what properties may be coming on the market in the near future. This report helps them to see exactly what the foreclosure market looks like and can help move them off of the fence if they are reluctant to make a decision.
Don’t bait and switch – demonstrate and close. Even if you never sell a foreclosure property, by including foreclosures and REOs as an option to buyers, you keep them informed and provide them the information to make informed decisions. If, with the knowledge of what’s available, the client still wants to purchase a foreclosure, then proceed with the deal. Don’t use foreclosures as a means to lure in clients to sell them what they don’t want. Use foreclosure leads to find out what they do want and then deliver.