Reverse Prospecting: Tout Your Housing Needs Directly to Sellers!

In typical Real Estate marketing, an agent directs efforts towards selling either a product or his/her services.  In turn, that is how most professionals gear blogging habits.  We post our listings and promote ourselves as buyer and/or seller representatives.  One avenue that is lightly explored, however, is the direct marketing of our buyers to sellers.

Given the sheer immensity of active inventory in many markets throughout the country, the art of mating buyer with property is not always as refined as it could be. For example, we have about 40,000 listings currently on the market in the metro Phoenix area.  With that raw volume of choice, it is almost incomprehensible that the right property will not be among that throng.  As such, common practice would dictate an agent send the prospect the best 10-20 options, show the prospect their favorite 8-12, select the prospect’s top three choices, make an offer on the favorite, move down the line if acceptable terms are not met until you strike a deal.  Easy.

While great in theory, I find this method works far better for the investor than the user.  There are bargains to be had all over the market, but value is only one part of the puzzle for the person who will use the home as a primary residence.  Especially true of someone who does not want to do much, if any, fix up, an agent is often left with far fewer viable options than would ever be conceivably possible in such a strong buyer’s market. There’s just a lot of junk to sift through, quite frankly.

I have several clients who have been looking off and on for that perfect house for well over a year.  These aren’t folks who demand to see property every week, but ones who will act if and when the perfect confluence of wants/needs appears.  There is absolutely no pressure to buy, and they will essentially move when they are forced to by the manifestation of the perfect home.

For such buyers, trawling the MLS for new listings is the first, and unfortunately, only step that many agents will take.  The search will become staler and staler until it vanishes into cyberspace altogether, lost in the apathetic binary code of a decreasingly motivated agent.

There is a more proactive route that an agent can take for such hard-to-place buyers.  As enterprising agents have mailed or door-knocked communities in years past to drum up candidates for the discriminating buyer, we can use our blogs to canvas the internet. With our postings reaching into inboxes all across the communities we serve, relying solely on the MLS for inventory is antiquated.

Think about it.  What is the first thing a homeowner will do when mulling the notion of putting his home on the market? While we agents would prefer they fetch our calendar or business card and call us immediately, the truth of the matter is that they will sit down at the computer to do a little amateur detective work.  In doing such research, they will plug in certain defining aspects of their homes.

If I have already posted a buyer need for a client that wants a 4000 square foot home on an acre in the Chaparral School District in Scottsdale, Arizona for up to $1.2 million, a potential seller of such a property very well might find me before I find him.

Google is a beautiful thing.

So while we continue to place our listings all over the internet for buyers to find, we shouldn’t lose sight of the power of the internet for drawing out the owners of unique properties as well.  I would certainly expect a receptive response from the homeowner who is not too keen on a lengthy and uncertain stint on the open market.  A one-shot showing to a qualified buyer would have to sound quite appealing to a seller right about now.  No accumulation of days on the market, no long-term commitment … it could be just the tonic for the thirsty would-be seller who has been leery of putting a home on the market in the current environment.

Buyer Touts:  They’re not just for office meetings anymore!

So about that 4000+ sq ft home on an acre in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley for up to $1.2 million … my clients prefer newer construction.  We’ ll be awaiting your call.

And for all of you frustrated buyers out there who can’t find that unique home you are looking for, send me a list of your wants/needs (just please don’t tell me you want to be on Camelback Mountain for $250,000) and I’ll flood Google with your criteria.  Who knows?  The owner of your next home just might need a little coaxing to come out of his cave and bask in the brilliant glow of a qualified buyer.

Consider me your reverse Scottsdale/Phoenix MLS!


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