Home ownership is one of the biggest accomplishments in a person’s life. However, it’s amazing to hear how many people never even explore it as an option. My dad (now 70) was one of those people. If I had a dollar every time my Uncle Dave would tell the story of how he convinced my dad to buy his first home at the tender age of 34 I would be a rich man. The fact of the matter was, my dad was intimidated by the idea of home ownership and discouraged by the idea of navigating a long and drawn out process. Truth be told, it shouldn’t have been my uncle transforming my dad from Tenant to Owner. It should have been a new realtor reaching out to him!!! My dad was somebodies missed opportunity. Don’t let that happen to you. Here are the Real Estate Tips that every new realtor should be taking right now to target renters.
Step 1- Identify the Tenants
Creating a list of your target consumers is the first step in any action plan. In this case, we know generally who we are targeting (renters), but we don’t have any specific information about them. How do we get that precious information?
You have TWO options…
Option 1: Shotgun Method
Just blanket an area with different types of print marketing that you “consider” to have a large quantity of renters. NOT exactly scientific…but, even a blind squire gets a nut every once in a while.
Options 2: Elevated Method
Reach out and use the resources at your disposal before you start throwing money at it.
Check this out…apartment complexes have a TON of people that don’t own a home!!! Shocking right??? In essence this is a nest of potential buyers that just don’t know how easy the process can be. Point in fact, my dad had been renting an apartment for 5 years…5 YEARS…before he finally committed to buying his first home!!! Reach out to these renters and help them make a choice that will change their life forever!!!
…But you still don’t have any valid contact information for these renters…?
IDENTIFY REITs TENANTS
WARNING: Phenomenal Information!!!!
Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) that acquired boat loads of properties when the housing market was in the dumps (4Q; 2011) are getting to the disposition point within their business model cycle. These REITs will be controlling a large portion of the industries inventory and could cause a massive shift in the market. This shift could allow forward thinking agents to capitalize on some HUGE opportunities by representing tenants of these REIT’s rentals OR even the REITs themselves.
…But again, you still don’t have contact information for these renters…?
Step 2- Collect Contact Info
We feel “Data is the name of the game!” For that reason, we have elicited the services of a top notch “Data Guy”. This individual’s sole responsibility is to search out valid contact information for our agents to reach out to. Having “Data Dan”, as he’s affectionately known, makes our agents significantly more effective and efficient with their time on the phones. However, we can’t ALL have our very own “Data Guy”… What other options are out there if you don’t have someone on staff?
Other resources that every agent has at their fingertips are title companies and lenders. Title companies and lenders have all kinds of different pieces of information that they can pass on to you which can help you target a specific group. Renters being the one we’re targeting now. It’s as simple as compiling a list of tax records that identifies absentee owners. Basically, it’s when the mailing address is different than the residency address on the tax records. These are all possible rental properties. Now that you’ve narrowed a list down, you can send out your targeted print marketing to those addresses. You are now being much more efficient with your marketing dollars than that antiquated shotgun method. However, are all those addresses guaranteed to be renters. NO…what’s the next step???
DATA RESEARCH COMPANIES/SOFTWARE PROGRAMS
If you’re looking to be even more efficient with those marketing dollars (but, don’t have a “Data Guy” on staff) you can outsource this task to an online company like Rebo Gateway or Cole Reality Resource. Both of these companies are companies that we’ve worked with in the past and have gotten quality data. Using these companies is a great way to start narrowing your list and getting valid contact information. This is a great starting point for any agent entering the analytic world. But, as your business grows you should always be on the lookout for getting the BEST information in the FASTEST time. So, keep your eye out for who can be your “data” guy!
Now that we’ve got names, phone numbers, and email addresses it’s time to formulate our action plan.
Networking and building relationships will always be a vital tool of any agent’s tool box. When looking to target renters, we lean on our developed relationships and referral networks with property managers. Once again, we are focusing on those that have control or influence over the inventory. We work do develop scripts to follow up with renters that are 90 days out from their lease ending to see if they will be renewing or if they will be choosing to move on. If they are NOT renewing… we ask that the property manager, that we have an established relationship with, to send us the tenants contact information (with the tenant’s permission…OF COURSE).
9 times out of 10 we’re saving these former renters and NOW buyers money by going from renting a property to purchasing one. Not only that, but the property management company receives a referral fee when the renter buys. It’s a total Win-Win all the way around!
But, how do we find the property managers? The most effective method that we’ve found is to search the MLS for rental properties and start calling the listing agents. You’ll be amazed how much information you can gain if you simply ask a few questions and put a little time into building relationships over the phone. Once we’ve made that contact, we make sure that those agents are aware of our referral program and how it can impact them. This is of course along with our standard “Drop-Ins” on apartment complex offices. When we are there we continue to pitch our referral program to those property managers as well. This could end up giving you a consistent flow of quality leads…AWESOME!!!!
Step 3- Action Plan
Before we take any other actions and start to pour money and resources at one of these leads, we’ve got to put in a little sweat equity. And when I say “sweat” …you’ll simply be sitting at your desk and making a phone call…NOT exactly manual labor. None the less, your initial action is to reach out and find out if your Data Guy/Title Company/Lender/Data Research Company/Software Programs succeeded in obtaining valid contact information. You are officially now acting as the 2nd filter of the data. If you don’t get a renter…you can treat it as a standard lead. HOWEVER, if it is a renter…YOU HAVE SUCCESS!!! …engage the plan!!!
EMAIL DRIP/TEXT DRIP
You should work to establish specific e-mail and text drip campaigns targeting the concerns of renters. Renters generally have very specific concerns that are preventing them from becoming a home buyer. Look to address them all through each different contact. Eventually, you’ll hit the one that is hindering each potential buyer. Need motivation? Think about my Uncle Dave…after twenty different conversations, some gentle…some pushy, my dad finally bit and bought a home. Turns out my dad’s major concern was coming up with the down payment…yep…DOWN PAYMENT!!! There are a ton of programs out there that can assist a buyer in coming up with a down payment. Oh yeah…my dad is a veteran!!! Even more options!!! Within your drip campaign, I’m guessing it’s a NO BRAINER that you would address the fears of coming up with a down payment.
Create Action Plans and alternative drip campaigns that address specific rejections. An example of a rejection that you could hear…“I actually JUST resigned my lease.”
Well, how long is that lease? You should be looking to send information their way well before that lease is up to make sure those renters are putting themselves in a position to buy when that renewal is up.
Another way to reach a large number of specific contacts is through Sly Broadcast. You start by creating a voicemail with targeted content and attach it to a contact list. The service allows you to send out voice mails to every number that you have on the list. There is NO dialing or ringing involved…the message goes straight to voicemail. This is a very non-evasive touch, but can be an effective tool.
Video integration is another critical tool in connecting with your consumers. BombBomb videos allow you to place videos into your emails rather than text. This allows the renters that you are reaching out to the ability to put a face with a name.
Some might consider print marketing an old and antiquated method of reaching your consumers. However, if it is targeted and specific, along with following an initial conversation. It’s like water to a seed. That initial Cold Call acts as the seed. This conversation should get the renters wheels turning about the possible benefits of home ownership. Well, don’t make them think too hard…put it right in front of their face. Some examples of target marketing topics for renters would be…
- Interest Rates
- Cost of Renting vs. Cost of Owning
- Loan Programs- Down Payment Assistance (DPA)
- Benefits of Establishing Equity
- Cost of Renting over 10 years vs Cost of Owning over 10 years
- Tax Benefits
- Security of Ownership (You’re in control…NOT the landlord)
Note: Keeping Current Matters is a great online resource that provides different types of informational materials that are visual appealing and easily understood to assist clients in making decisions based on information and NOT emotion.
…and it’s FREE!!!
We are based out of Arizona and this information is a relative GOLD MINE in our market. Now, I do understand that every market is different. However, there are a TON of markets out there that make home ownership a NO BRAINER decision for renters right now!!! The plan that I’ve outlined her is a quality action plan that we’ve recently implemented and will undoubtable get our agents results! Work the plan and you will see those benefits too!!!