Helping individuals and families select the right home can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Partnering with clients who are hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away can complicate things greatly. However, it doesn’t have to.
With roughly 1.5 million employer-assisted relocations per year, these types of referrals can make a real estate professional’s phone ring regularly, making it an important niche to explore for your business.
The Stress Effect
Moving family across the country, away from friends and the familiar and into new schools and neighborhoods, can create a great amount of stress.
Often, during the transition, the homebuyer can feel as if he or she is working from two cities at once. The separation can weigh on family and friends, even if it’s a smart professional step.
As potentially the only “local” these buyers will interact with face-to-face, you can help calm their fears and make them feel more comfortable. You can offer the stability such transitions traditionally lack.
Working with Coordinators
An employer will typically bring in a third-party relocation service to help the homebuyer understand the city-to-city comparison for cost of living and housing, provide counseling and relocation strategies, and assist in the spouse’s job search.
The real estate professional will be responsible for paying a referral fee, but many agents find the fee worthwhile because it’s offset by the freedom of finding and prospecting the client.
Push the Papers
Relocation requires an extra level of record keeping than typical real estate transactions. You might benefit from completing training on relocation policies, procedures and administration. There’s more involved with relocation transactions. In addition, there is also a particular chain of command and required relocation documents, so get organized and brush up on your professional communication skills.
A Good Prospect
Very often, the real estate professional is the only face-to-face contact for the relocation shopper. You can help reduce their stress by helping them through the transition and introducing them to their new community.
If you play your cards right—and take the time to make your customer feel comfortable and at home—you can win yourself a customer for life. Consider relocation clients as another form of prospecting: the relationship can lead to non-relocation business when everyone involved is satisfied with your service.
Contact your American Home Shield® Account Executive for more relocation-related services and resources available through AHS®.