With work-from-home as the new norm, many potential buyers and sellers are looking for knowledgeable agents to help them traverse the new landscape, whether they may wish to trade-up to a larger home, or trade-down to a newer area or a better cost of living.
Kelli Griggs, Co-Founder of Navigate Realty, and Kevin Cruz, Founder of Kinetic Real Estate share how they’re taking their businesses in new directions and offer actionable advice on positioning clients for success during the pandemic.
Read the highlights below, or watch the on-demand session.
Here are three key client-centric strategies
Know all available options—such as trade-in and trade-out—for reducing client stress
“Think about what kind of environment we’re in right now, where we’ve got a lot of easy buttons to cash out,” says Kelli. “There’s Zillow, Redfin, Opendoor, where the client is just hitting an easy button and getting…maybe 90% on average, 86% of that home’s value.”
With a plethora of programs on the market, make sure you’re up to date on all of the latest options, so that you’re the one that savvy clients turn to in order to navigate this complex time.
Kelli is a huge proponent of HomeLight’s trade-in program, which allows clients to buy their new home before they sell their existing one—minimizing the stress and risk for clients who are trying to do both at the same time.
“They get to take their time moving out of their house, into their new house without any stress or any pressure. Then I list their house on the open market and I’m generally selling that house for significantly more than they would have sold in a fire sale. So whatever is left, whatever the upside is…that customer gets a check after close of escrow for an additional amount, plus whatever is left in their savings account,” says Kelli.
“They get to take their time moving out of their house, into their new house without any stress or any pressure.”
– Kelli Griggs, Co-Founder of Navigate Realty
Kelli credits the program with having given Navigate Realty an edge over the competition.
Create a one-stop shop for busy client
Recognizing that his clients are extremely busy, Kevin has vertically integrated his business offerings in order to serve as a one-stop shop for his clients.
Most of his clients need not just help with moving costs, but with staging costs and cosmetic work. He says,
“You know, [my clients] work full time, they have family, maybe they have kids. We want to do everything from start to finish for the client, regardless of what it is.”
– Kevin Cruz, Founder of Kinetic Real Estate
Three years ago, he co-founded a home staging company called Millennial Design Studio, which quickly grew from one storage facility to 12,000 square feet of storage that is staging up to 40 homes per month. He also co-founded a moving and storage company, Clutch Moving Company, and started an Airbnb short term rental business. Of course, he still has a trusted vendor list, but by being the go-to person for all his clients’ needs, Kevin demonstrates to clients that he has skin in the game.
“I usually upfront everything. Normally with staging companies…they don’t allow you pay after close of escrow or maybe just pay half…The seller can reimburse me after escrow, even with moving, even with storing, cosmetic. It just really helps them and in their mind…I’m taking the risk. It makes them feel more confident, the fact that I’m doing that for them,” says Kevin.
Protect sellers’ safety in the new environment of social distancing
Kelli shares how Navigate Realty adapted to the new normal by “upping their game” on their website. In addition to Matterport and 3D tours (which they already had), Navigate now shares videos that walk around the property, look at the roof line, and gives potential buyers a street scene so they can really take it all in.
They also implemented a jot form: Potential buyers needed to upload a non-binding offer before a property showing. “On a particularly hot property in Folsom, California, we had something like 3000 hits on that initial three-day website lunch. When someone wanted to see it, they needed to verify that they had toured the property virtually… that their client read the entire disclosure package, all the reports, all the inspections.”
Because her sellers had a child with asthma, it was critical for Kelli that she didn’t do any showing unless a buyer was serious. Once requirements were met, she’d schedule an appointment. On that particular property, she received three offers from four showings.
Kelli and Kevin’s dedication to keeping their clients first when managing their business during this time is truly inspiring. A huge thanks to them both for sharing their insights and strategies with us!