According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers, 50% of buyers want their agent to find them a home. 

This means that agents today need to start doing things differently in order to survive. 

As the industry undergoes these major changes, I’m going to tell you exactly what to do to be more aggressive in the home search process for your clients. 

50% of buyers want their agent to find them a home

According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released this year, help with finding a home is the number one thing buyers want from their agent. 

Unfortunately, most buyer agents have what I call a three-point plan where they:

  1. Meet or talk to somebody once
  2. Put them on an automated property drip
  3. Wait for the client to call them to tell the agent what they want to see.

That is not an aggressive plan. So, what can you do differently? 

Some of the strategies below are things that good agents have been doing for years. 

Before we dive into the strategies—many of which good agents have been doing for years—let’s take a moment to discuss communication.

There will be people like me and our team who say, ‘Hey, here’s all the things we do differently,’ just like we’ve been trained to do on listing appointments. For some reason, not many agents communicate that in the initial buyer conversation. You must be able to clearly communicate your competitive edge to your clients because if you’re not, you’re missing out on an opportunity. 

Now, on to seven strategies to help home buyers in today’s market. 

#1—Don’t overdo it on the filters

When someone tells you, “Hey, I want to be in this town, this location, this school district, I’m looking for a minimum of three beds, two baths,’ don’t put a lot of filters on the search.

Filter by location, price point, and if there’s something they’re adamant about, like a single-family home. The fewer filters, the better. A lot of folks make the mistake (and most agents fall into the same trap) of filtering things too much, and then they miss out on opportunities. 

For example, they filter by square footage. We know that some floor plans feel bigger than others, and the square footage number doesn’t matter so much. 

#2—Expand the search radius

Secondly, let your buyer know you’re expanding the search radius a bit to ensure they don’t miss out on great opportunities that might be just a little further out. 

“Hey, Nick and Michelle, I know you told me you want to be in this town. I’m going to send you some adjacent towns that are close to that. Not that I’m thinking these homes are going to be for you, but rather I want you to see all the options that are out there. I know some of these may not be for you, but I want to get you in front of them so you can see what the market has to offer.” 

Putting it this way also adds a sprinkling of Phil Jones’s Magic words: Hey, I know you told me this isn’t for you, but here’s what I’m going to be doing anyway to best help you.”

That goes a long way because you’re acknowledging what your buyers want. You’re hearing them, you’re listening to them, and then you’re also providing other options in a non-pressure way. 

Most people complain that salespeople don’t listen, and you want to make it clear that you are listening. 

#3—Focus on location & floor plan more than move-in readiness

Next, when people get really adamant about their ideal home’s condition, bring some other options to the table. 

According to a survey from RE/MAX, 73% of home buyers are now willing to consider a home that needs work. We’ve all heard, “I don’t want to do anything when I move in” many times from buyers. And many then buy a home that needs a new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new roof—or even just some minor repairs.

Focus on the location and the floor plan because then there are conditions and the price that can be compensated for. If you bring these other options to the table again, here’s what you can say to acknowledge your buyer’s wants while still opening the door to more options for them.

“I’m not sure these are going to be for you, but would you be open-minded to looking at a home that’s in the location you want, that has the floor plan you want and may need a little bit of work, and you have the ability to get it at a different price? Is that something you’d be open to?” 

That language is so important! You’re bringing other options to the table. About three-quarters of today’s buyers are willing to consider buying a fixer-upper home. 

So, if you’re not doing that, you’re missing out on three-quarters of the market. 

#4—Be the agent who is actively searching for and sending properties

Proactively send homes, even if you’ve got an MLS or property drip going. Because that signals, Hey, this person’s looking out for me, and they’re keeping an eye on things.” 

When you’re actively looking for properties—this is a bonus hack that my mentor John Collins gave me—set up specific prospecting functions, and spend 15-20 minutes a day going in there for your hot buyers, looking at them, and just sending the message, Hey, I don’t know if this got sent to you or not. This one might be worth looking at,” or “Hey, would you be open-minded to seeing this home? 

The more product you show, the better perspective the buyer is going to get. 

So, now you’re going in there and showing them and not relying on automation, which may seem kind of silly. But this will work—I’ve done it before. It’s a winning play because it shows how proactive you’re being. 

#5—Target high days-on-market properties

When I say “high days on market,” I mean more than two weeks. Depending on where you are, that may not seem high. 

We know the average in the suburban market in Philadelphia is just 26 days right now in terms of time on market. You’ll have to look at your own market stats to see what your local average is. 

Understand that we know buyers are shy about making lower offers. We also know that sellers tell everybody, “Hey, bring an offer, bring an offer, bring an offer.” 

Well, what if you actually do bring an offer and you write up a lower number? You’ll see where the seller’s at. You might be able to get the home a little bit lower than you would if it was priced where your buyer was willing to pay. 

We know this is another play that works. So target those homes that have been on the market a couple of weeks. This can go a very long way. 

#6—Leverage your buyer

Some buyers want to live on a certain street, in a certain subdivision or in a certain neighborhood. Here’s how you can leverage that in a way that creates new opportunities:

  • Circle dial those neighborhoods. It creates listing opportunities for your business. 
  • Use the “I have a buyer” script. It’s going to give you more credibility with your client
  • Go door knocking the neighborhoods to create listing opportunities (or lay the groundwork)

Leveraging your buyer is a great strategy for getting your business in front of more people. It also shows your client that you’re going out and looking for things. 

The caveat here is your buyer has got to know exactly what they want. 

#7—Leverage your network

Don’t be afraid to talk to other agents, whether these are agents on your team who take a lot of listings in certain neighborhoods or other agents who list a lot of homes. Make it a priority to build agent relationships within the community. 

Hopefully, you’re in an organization where this happens all the time. And if you’re not, go on the MLS, look who’s doing a lot of business, and see if they’ve got anything coming up. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

If you can bring that sort of opportunity to your client, well, you’re going to look like a hero. 

Think about all the strategies I just laid out here and how different that is from putting someone on a property drip and waiting for them to call you. 

This kind of proactive approach is what half of buyers want, according to NAR. So if you want to convert more buyers and get more referral business from the people that you close, use these strategies. 

The data says this is the number one requirement of a buyer’s agent. You don’t earn your commission by being passive and waiting for your client to do your job for you. Be the proactive agent who gives this profession the reputation it deserves.