If you are a small home builder, and let’s face it, most home builders in this country are, how do you build a buyer pipeline?
Get your real estate license
I might suggest that you consider getting your real estate license. While that may seem frightening to some, it is not that difficult. If you work under a local broker, it gives a symbiosis to the relationship. The broker may not have an in-house builder, but if he does it gives you a chance to offer choice within the real estate office.
If you’re worried that this step will limit your freedom to work with several different brokers, I wouldn’t be. The fact that you are licensed and understand that side of the broker’s business will likely buy you favor in the eyes of the agents and their customer base.
Are you worried about the agents seeing you as competition? How about if you refuse list existing homes directly, but rather refer this to office agents? Doing so lets them know you have your own target audience and often allows you to benefit from the referral fee normally paid by the listing agent.
Get more aggressive
Do you want to get more aggressive? How about when you build a spec that you list yourself? You could pay the agent that brings you a buyer both the seller’s (your) side of the commission as well as the buyer’s? Doing this works if you offer the incentive to in-house agents only. This is a good way to build intense loyalty with your peer agents, while not costing you more than it would if you were not licensed. It also has the benefit of allowing you to see which agents are most hungry for your work. It is common for most builders to pay a smaller commission on custom work. The loyalty you build in the office will direct custom work your way.
When looking to align yourself with a broker consider one that has access to building lots. Maybe the broker of choice is also a land developer. Working on the sales side of their business might offer you access to lots you would not have been able to attain without the license and association. I will elaborate more on this in a future blog post.
If you are licensed, you will likely get to sit in on regular agent meetings. In these meetings, you will gain perspective and significant knowledge into the local market and national trends. Access to office statistics makes you an authority when you meet prospects. Your buyers will respect that you are current in the field and have set yourself apart from other builders.
Winter is coming
This is all food for thought. Winter is coming, and that is a good time for many builders to hunker down and take some classes.