As people take advantage of new telecommuting flexibility at work, you may encounter more people making long-distance moves for affordability or to be near family and friends. Be ready to capture that business and provide great service to those moving into and out of your city. Here’s how:
Build a national network. Attend industry events and volunteer with national organizations, such as the National Association of REALTORS® . You’ll build real relationships from coast to coast. Likewise, obtaining and maintaining designations such as the Accredited Buyers Representative or Certified Residential Specialist will give you access to a network of professionals dedicated to furthering their education.
Double down on your niche. Staying hyperfocused on a particular market segment demonstrates to your referral network and to potential clients who fit your target audience that you’re the local expert. Craig Foley, green, chief sustainability officer for LAER Realty Partners in Melrose, Mass., is known locally and nationally for his sustainability expertise. So, when a Florida buyer was looking to relocate to a high- performance home in the Boston area, Foley got the referral—and the $2 million sale.
Partner with movers. Have you ever been asked for a list of recommended moving companies? Show trusted movers that you’re the agent who can help moves go smoothly, and you’ll be on their list of recommendations, too.
Make a relocation checklist. With so many details for buyers to think about when relocating, agents can help them stay organized by providing a detailed checklist that helps them get through tasks such as changes of address and school enrollment.
Be clear and flexible in communications. Maintaining regular contact and answering questions quickly is always important, but it’s especially critical when you’re facilitating a long-distance move. Besides finding out what method of communication your clients prefer—text, email, or phone or video call—make sure you know the best times to reach them. When working across time zones, specify the zone in meeting invitations.
Provide a resource list. Most buyers who are new to the area will appreciate your help building their network of service providers—not just lenders and other allied professionals but also local resources: neighborhood groups, child care providers, health care professionals, and so on. To make their transition easier, put together a customized list based on the buyers’ interests.
Sources: Lisa Adkins, ABR, GRI, RE/MAX Platinum, O’Fallon, Mo.; Jeff Dowler, eXp Realty of California, San Ramon, Calif.; Craig Foley, GREEN, LAER Realty Partners, Melrose, Mass.