Monday, April 6, 2020

Don't Give Us The "No Inventory" Excuse

It has happened, unfortunately, where a flight has been forced to land as soon as possible in order to accommodate an urgent medical issue from a passenger or crew member. Or, it could change due to weather conditions. When that happens, it requires even more concentration on the part of the flight crew, along with the airport now receiving this flight.

What does this have to do with being a real estate professional? 

A lot more than you first think. Here is why.....

The flight crew began their day prepared as usual to fly to its intended destination. However, it is part of their professional training and experience to be prepared for an event which directly impacts their plan and immediate destination.

If the crew is forced to land in Oklahoma City instead of Denver, the passengers expect the crew to be able to handle the change without incident and notify them as to what is happening. The crew is flat out expected to be able to handle the situation flawlessly as part of their job. They know how to land a plane and maintain order no matter what.

You won't hear the crew complaining that their plans for the day are ruined or that landing in a different airport causes a problem, which could alarm the passengers.

Real estate professionals are supposed to be ready for sudden changes in the same way. None of us saw the impact of Covid 19 coming. However, some agents remain, quite frankly, unprepared for crisis management.

Having been doing real estate marketing for more than 30 years, I get plenty of emails, newsletters, and property pitches from agents (and investors), whether clients of mine or not.

It is bad enough to see the number of agents that have not made the necessary adjustments since the impact of Covid 19 has set in. I'm still getting the usual (automated) emails with property info and data about various communities - as if it was business as usual. It is not.

Many agents continue to have their newsletters sent out, which were prepared weeks ahead of time, and make no mention of the current crisis. 

As you would expect, many sellers have taken their listings off the market due to current conditions. They understand that showings and transactions are not feasible and/or more difficult to complete under these circumstances. Perhaps the location they planned to move to or purchase upon the sale is no longer available or circumstances have changed.

Just like the pilot and the flight crew, real estate professionals should be ready for whatever change in plans come their way.

One of those is regarding "inventory" of homes. I keep reading about how this crisis is leading to reduced inventory.

But I keep thinking about how people are afraid to sell, not knowing where they would go. They might not easily be able to purchase or move somewhere else. Fears of reduced or losing employment are significant.

However, there are property owners who would love to sell, especially now. 

There are investors looking for opportunities right now. Just because fewer homes are not listed, under these circumstances, it does not mean that owners wouldn't listen to an offer, whether there is a "For Sale" sign on the lawn or not. 

Some owners, and that could be in the thousands, would be tempted to get an offer and be able to downsize to save money, and do so as quickly as possible. 

If you don't ask, it won't happen.

Please don't tell the public there is a shortage of inventory. What it tells me is that you lack the foresight to be putting out more offers than ever. 

Although I don't speak for everyone, I can tell you that I am keeping track of those agents that kept sending out their prearranged data as if nothing happened. That is not a positive when it comes to future recommendations. 

Consequently, I'm pretty sure that home owners will remember agents that tried to help them during this time in the future, even if they do not respond now.

They'll keep this in mind for when they are ready to take flight.

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