An Agent Guide to First Time Home Buyers

Hampton Roads has a plethora of home buyers in a variety of areas. There are the military relocation buyers, the ODU graduates, the medical professionals at Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Virginia Beach retirees, the move up buyer’s looking for the best school districts, but today we are going to look at one particular kind of buyer and delve a little deeper into their world, the first time home buyer.

Create a Client for Life

Most real estate clients that are surveyed say they would stick with their first agent and refer them to others. This is the bread and butter for an agent’s business, but where do you start? Well, why not start from the beginning! If you can make connections early on in a buyer’s life cycle of home ownership, the likelihood of you retaining that client is strong based on statistics. Check out the fifth bullet point below. “90% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.” Yes please!

Who They Are

First time home buyer’s come in all shapes, sizes and ages! According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 Generational Trends Report, 33% of home buyers are first timers! This means 33% of real estate clients have not worked with an agent yet. 33% of real estate clients are ready for someone to make an impression on them.

There are also three major age ranges stand out for first time home buyers. Out of the 100% of buyers, these are the percentages in those age ranges that are first timers.

  • 86% are 28 years or younger
  • 52% are between 29 – 38
  • 24% are 39 – 53

What They Want

These generations are savvy! Either they have grown up with technology or learned to adapt to further their careers or they’ve evolved naturally with their peers. Here are the top five attributes they are looking for when it comes to real estate:

  1. Know your stuff. They can find anything with a few taps on their phone, make sure you know how they’re researching and offer them things they can’t find elsewhere. Be prepared for ALL the questions and make them feel taken care of. Eventually, you can refer them to other professionals that will work together, (Lenders, title, escrow, etc.), but until then, be prepared!
  2. Local knowledge. This is the stuff they can’t trust online. That travel blogger that traveled through Virginia Beach one weekend isn’t going to cut it. They want someone on the inside, someone that has taken the time to know what’s around and, what’s coming!
  3. Be tech-savvy and adaptable. Just because you learned to navigate the MLS doesn’t mean your clients should have to. They are on apps and social sites constantly, make sure you have a strong presence and offer options for things such as booking appointments and alternative meeting options.
  4. First time home buying can be scary! The more patient, kind, thoughtful and consistent you can be, the more at ease the process can be for the future buyer.
  5. Stop selling, start engaging. This is the start of a long game usually. First time home buyers are taking a HUGE step into a big financial decision, be patient and never pushy. If you build it (a relationship built on educating and information) they will come (and buy a home when they are ready!)

What Next?

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a first time home buyer, they will be easier to spot! They might be drinking craft beer at Back Bay’s Farm House Brewing or sipping a latte flight at Pourfavor.

Resist the urge to ask the age old staple for real estate, “Are you working with an agent?” Although very courteous of other agents, the likelihood of them having a signed contract is slim. Try something different! “Have you used Homesnap? It’s my favorite app for my clients because...” or “Do you know about the new condos in Virginia Beach? They are all going to be under $300,000!”.  A little creativity goes a long way, but you might just have more fun this way.

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