Real estate agents: Current stats on US real estate trends indicate that your business is in for a dose of good luck. Two doses, actually, if you’re tech-savvy.
As you’re no doubt aware, US housing is enjoying a mini-surge. HUD’s September new construction report shows August’s single-family housing starts were up 7% over those in the previous month.
But what you might not have heard is exactly who these new entrants into the market are. They’re young people. A recent generational housing trends report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) finds that Generation X represents the largest number of new homebuyers and sellers. And the next largest group of buyers after Gen X today: Gen Y.
This uptick in housing is bringing out an almost entirely new client demographic. The NAR’s generational report also finds that among buyers under age 32, 79% are looking for their first home.
So what does a new wave of young people entering the real estate market mean for your business? It means new expectations. New demands. New ways of doing business.
And if you’re as tech-savvy as your young new clients, it can also mean great news for your real estate practice.
Gen X and Gen Y were raised in an always-connected world. They grew up learning how to find answers to virtually any question, anytime — which means they know what they want. They’re proactive, quick to action, and they’ll expect you to be the same.
Unlike, say, a 60-something couple asking you to help them find “something a little smaller” now that they’re empty-nesters, a 20-something first-time homebuyer has likely spent hours on Zillow or Trulia, finding exactly the specifications they want for their new home — and maybe even the home itself.
So you’ll need to be responsive — to look up the MLS listing as soon as your Gen Y client texts you the number with a “THIS IS THE ONE!” message. You’ll also want to be able to handle as much of the paperwork — including amending, signing and faxing contracts back and forth — as quickly as possible, so you don’t lose a deal. These will require some new mobile services, if you're not already using them.
The more you can run your business in a way that makes you accessible to these information-hungry, always-connected younger clients, the more business you’ll close.
Here’s where mobile tools such as eFax and eVoice can help.
Fax from your mobile — Real estate professionals can use the eFax mobile app to send a fax right from their iPhone or Android — using the phone’s camera to take a picture of a document — anywhere, anytime. Send contracts, rental agreements, or property photos to clients, colleagues or staff from anywhere. Learn more in this eFax YouTube video.
Sign documents digitally, without printing — eFax eliminates the need to print, sign and scan documents by allowing users to add a digitized signature can online from a computer, tablet or smart phone. Learn more in this eFax digitized signature YouTube video.
Route calls anywhere — With eVoice, agents can be available to their clients anywhere, anytime — without having to give out their personal mobile number or carry around a second “work” phone. The call routing feature lets eVoice users create any routing sequence — for example: toll-free “office” line, then home, then mobile — while displaying only the “office” number to the caller. Learn more about eVoice in this eVoice YouTube video.
George Bernard Shaw famously said "Youth is wasted on the young." In today's housing market, nothing could be further from the truth. The Gen X- and Gen Y-ers looking to buy homes today are smart and wired to move quickly. Are you ready for them?