The long-standing, sales-costing, relationship-destroying feud between homebuilders and real estate agents is about over. Homebuilders still have a little 'best practices' clean up to do. Realtors have some educating to do, but the table is set for a mutually profitable truce.
Actually, when production builders set the table a while back, Realtors were not on the original invitation list. Today, given that 88% of all home shoppers use a Realtor and 67% of all new home sold in 2013 were co-broker sales, according the National Association of Realtors, home builders can't get enough Realtors to the table fast enough.
The few Realtors who realize what the home builders are now serving are not waiting for an invitation. They dash to the table every time they need real time help to find new home inventory.
Say hello to the homebuilder's internet advisor, a full time service provider who through unintended circumstances, is generating more sales through Realtors than home shoppers who contacted them directly.
How important is this service? It is without question the most important service homebuilders can provide for real estate agents. Nothing else comes close. Internet advisors solve the three major issues that cause Realtor angst when dealing with prospects for a new home.
-How to find the right inventory
-How to register the prospect
-Confirm the commission and commission payable policy
Let's look at how this works in the field:
Assume that you have been showing your prospects resales all morning and it is nearing lunch time. Your prospects from out of nowhere (because you did not qualify for 'new' homes perhaps) say "Can we go look at some new homes after lunch?"
Here is where panic sets in and where caravans, MLS, internet searches, stopping by sales centers, making office visits, attending co-broker events, and all the rest fail to pay off.
What you need is specific inventory for a registered prospect and a place to go, preferably by appointment, NOW.
-Here is what to do, step by step:
-Call one or more of the three internet advisors you have added to your contact system.
-Confirm the commission.
-Give the advisor your prospect's qualifying information.
-Register your prospect with the advisor (yes, on the phone).
-Ask advisor to set an appointment with a recommended property.
-Have a nice lunch!
The payoff: Not only do you have the internet advisor working for you, but also the onsite agent with whom the appointment is set is enthusiastically prepared to show the new homes in terms of your prospect's interest.
All the while, you are sharing the news you just received by email from the internet advisor about the new home you are about to show, as you finish your dessert.
This amazing stress-free service, paid for by the seller, is why the builder/Realtor feud is over. The Hatfield's are helping the McCoy's find inventory!
Internet advisors, concierges, or by any other name are destined to become the cornerstone of every homebuilder's co-broker marketing program, starting with answering these questions:
-Is our internet advisor service easy to find on the internet?
-Do we make it easy for the agent's to contact the advisor?
-Are we providing service to the broker they need, such as downloadable floor plans?
-Are we communicating a clear message about what this service does for the Realtor?
Builders of all sizes who make the internet advisor service the cornerstone of their cobroker programs will level the playing field. Then it will come down to relationships, as it always does.
The internet service should be on the home page of the homebuilder's website with a phone number and email address of the internet advisor. Most of the websites make me think, and if I am panic mode, I don't have time to think.
Realtors have not embraced the internet advisor system because they don't tend to pay that much attention to what homebuilders are doing. But the internet advisor service will prove too good to resist.
How to find new homes inventory will soon be a part of every real estate company's training curriculum, because it is only two sentences.
"When you have a prospect for a new home, don't' panic, get defensive or run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Call the builder's internet advisor."
Calling the internet advisor instead of the onsite agent is a game changer. This one idea is the solution, the 'aha' moment for co-broker relationships and more sales. This new 'best practice' has been a best kept secret for too long.
Traditional co-broker marketing , without the services of an internet advisor-type service, will still serve a purpose, but never get as close to the money or build relationships faster, as a call to the internet advisor.