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Advice For Pros · April 05, 2018 · AUTHOR: Udi Dorner

Reaching First-Time Homebuyers

In a seller’s market, as the current real estate climate is currently considered, buyers without property to sell may be harder to convince to buy a home. Without the profit from a current property, many current renters struggle to come up with a down payment and may be skeptical of their ability to ever buy a home. First-time homebuyers provide a large untapped market that could provide plenty of clients for real estate agents. The trick is to focus your marketing and tools towards this particular demographic. Here are some tips. Be ready with advice about down payment assistance The biggest barrier to buying a home is coming up with the necessary down payment. By sharing information with your prospects about down payment assistance, you introduce them to some tools they may not otherwise have been aware of. FHA loans are one regular go-to for low down payment options. These loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and only require a down payment equal to 3.5% the value of a home, rather than the traditional 20% that is out of reach for many first time buyers. They also typically offer competitive interest rates and lower closing costs. There are additional programs for veterans, rural areas, Native Americans and other niche populations that can help, as well as state-specific grants and programs. Do your research and be ready to reassure potential buyers that home ownership may be more affordable than they expect. Target your marketing to younger demographics Home buyers 36 years old and younger account for 34% of home buyers, and 66% of them are buying for the first time. Traditional marketing tactics, like direct mail, don’t always resonate with this digital generation, so use the marketing platforms that will reach them. Social media, of course, is an obvious choice. Highlight listings that would be perfect first homes and consider using Facebook’s marketing tools to make sure they reach younger users. These platforms are highly image-driven, so make sure to reel your audience in with high-quality home photos to get their attention. Reaching younger buyers will also take some SEO acumen. Because most of these buyers are looking for homes and doing research online, you’ll have to invest in some search engine optimization to make sure they see your site and your listings. Have certain neighborhoods in mind Although home prices are rising overall, emerging neighborhoods or ones in less-favorable school districts can contain some hidden gems. For a young couple without kids just trying to get on the property ladder, a property in one of these neighborhoods could be the perfect starter home. Keep in mind that first-time buyers can always upgrade after a few years, and help them find a home that suits their needs and budget now. Research and compile information about neighborhoods that are priced more affordably while still being appealing to first-time homebuyers. Although these commissions might not be as hefty as one on those luxury homes, it will give you a chance to tap into a new population of homebuyers with plenty of real estate transactions in their future, setting you up for repeat business. Reaching first-time homebuyers is a puzzle for many real estate agents. However, with the right tools, data, and lead generation programs, you may find that it’s easier than you think.

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