When Real Estate is NOT Local

As a real estate professional, you certainly know that real estate is local, and in many cases  hyper-local. However, today’s clients, whether they are buyers or sellers, are getting real estate information from highly-respected national sources, such as Bloomberg Radio, CNBC, and the Wall Street Journal almost every day. As a result, your clients’ perspective on “the truth about real estate” may not be local at all.

How do we know this is happening? It’s a phenomenon known as a hypersensitive state of awareness. Because your clients are considering a move, they’re paying more attention to any report or news piece they see about real estate. Think about the last time you bought a new car. Did you all of a sudden start noticing that SAME car all over the road?

Here’s the challenge though: These national sources mostly report on the greater real estate market as a whole and not on your specific local area. And due to their credibility, your clients will assume that what they report is true across the board.

Adding to this challenge is the lack of trusted, third-party reporting on specific local markets. Think about it: How easy is it for you—the seasoned real estate professional—to find great studies and news reports about your local housing market? How quickly can you find reports that are well written and easy for the consumer to understand? If you have a hard time accessing this sort of information, imagine how difficult it is for your clients to find it.

By the time you sit with your clients, they will already have an opinion about the market, based on what they believe to be very reliable sources. Unfortunately, readily available information (without context, understanding, or expert local analysis) can cause confusion in your clients. To be successful, you need to help them understand all the facts. Here’s how:

  • Stay up-to-date on regional and national trends.

    In order to be able to showcase your expertise, you need to know what’s going on not only in your local area, but also in the regional and national markets. Whether you get that information through your own research or through a service like our KCM Membership, make sure you keep current.

  • Meet your clients where they’re at.

    Your clients are seeing the reports in the news. Instead of dealing with these as objections later on, bring them up from the start. Discuss the difference in performance (sales, prices, etc.) of the national, regional, and state markets. Only then should you bring out the MLS information on the local housing market. When you do that, your clients will know that you are current on all aspects of real estate—that you are a true expert.

  • Acknowledge similarities and differences.

    After you’ve discussed the national and regional trends, give clients your analysis of why the local market may be different from what they heard or read in the national news. Every local market is different from the national average in some way, but your clients don’t know those nuances. They just know what Bloomberg Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and CNBC News told them. Showing that you understand the difference here will generate a tremendous amount of trust and confidence in your ability to help them through the sales process.

  • Be an educator, not a salesperson.

    Agents often say, “But my clients just want local information!” Regardless of what a client says, the truth is that they just want to make a good, informed decision. That’s why they’re listening to the national sources in the first place. When they call you in for advice, you must address what they already believe is fact and not just come in with local MLS information. If you skip the step of analyzing and educating them on the national real estate market, you will seem in contradiction to what the national news outlets are reporting, and that will undermine your credibility.

  • Don’t shortcut the process.

    If you try to bypass the above steps, you’re essentially asking your clients to make a decision on who they should trust—the national news outlets they’ve relied on for decades, or a local agent who has something to gain. You want to avoid this situation when you’re looking to build the client’s trust in you. After all, they must trust you enough to put into your hands the purchase or sale of one of the largest investments they will ever make.

Education is Key

What clients really want is a real estate professional who can analyze all the available information, connect the dots, and explain if now is the right time to buy or sell. It’s a big change in our industry, and it’s one you need to embrace to move forward. The agent who educates clients and helps them understand how the national trends impact their individual situation will always beat the agent who takes a shortcut and bypasses this crucial step. Which type of real estate professional will you be?