Finding Inventory in a Low Inventory Market

finding inventory in a low inventory market

It is easy for buyer’s agents to get as frustrated as their buyers when they can’t find a home due to low listing inventory, losing in multiple-offer situations, etc. But as the buyer’s agent, you have two options: you can be a part of the solution or part of the problem.  

When you allow yourself to be frustrated in a lean market, ask yourself why. Is it because you are missing out on commissions because you can’t find your buyers a new home? Your need for a commission check pales in comparison to your client’s need for a new home. 

Your job is to serve your clients and find a solution even when the market conditions are not ideal. If you can’t find a home with your client’s provided criteria, it’s up to you, as the agent, to lead the search in another direction. 

If you focus on serving regardless of the opportunity to make a commission, your commission will take care of itself. Service is not only more important, but it is also more effective in moving people forward in the home buying process. 

“You don’t ever have to worry about money in real estate if your purpose is strong enough.”

Cleve Gaddis

Expand Your Search to Expand Inventory 

As the real estate expert, it makes sense for you to take the lead. If you step into service, inventory can take on a whole new look. When you take the lead, you might have to show them properties that may not have been exactly to their specifications. How can a buyer be expected to find a home when they have limited knowledge of what they really want because they don’t know what’s out there? 

14 Tips to Expand your Property Search:

  1. Buyer’s agents need to lead the search. Don’t follow the buyer. They don’t tell you everything because they typically don’t have enough market information to tell you what will actually end up being the deciding factors when picking a home. You need to be the local expert and identify the right properties to show to them.   
  2. Gather criteria specifically and search generally. Gather as much specific information as you can from the buyer about their criteria, but set up the search generally. Your goal isn’t to show them inventory they already have access to; it’s to show them the listings they may have missed in their search for, “the perfect home.”
  3. Consider different geographic areas. This is one of the best ways to expand a property search because inventory can change drastically from one zip code to another. 
  4. Search FSBOs on Zillow, Trulia, Houseio, and Fizber. You owe it to your clients to search FSBOs to see if you can partner your buyer with a seller. It is risky for the agent because you’re putting yourself in a situation where you might lose your commission. But if you communicate to your buyer and tell them that you are willing to bring them FSBOs if they are willing to pay your commission, you may find a connection, and they may be willing to pay your commission for the right home.  
  5. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up. Keep your clients on your schedule, no matter what. “A” leads are the leads you have appointments with right now. Don’t leave at the end of showings without scheduling the next appointment! Scheduling a follow-up creates anticipation and shows that you’re doing everything you can to find them a property.
  6. Preview properties without the buyer. Activity breeds productivity. Involve yourself and get engaged with your local inventory so you can find your clients a home faster.  Proactivity, you invite business opportunities to you that you didn’t know existed.  
  7. Understand their budget. Sometimes you need to layout the numbers and go over them with your client. They may not know that there is a cost of waiting. It’s okay for them to make their own decision, but it’s not okay to let them decide with limited knowledge, especially if it’s going to limit their options and hurt them financially in the long run. 
  8. Teach the buyer strategies for winning in multiple-offer situations. Workman Success Systems created the 12 Tips for Negotiating Offers, a proven system that gives buyers a better chance of winning in multiple-offer situations.  
  9. Create a process for writing offers quickly. Have your paperwork ready and in order, and give yourself enough time to explain the offer to your buyer. 
  10. Become a new construction expert. The advantage to seeking out new construction properties is that you know about them before they come onto the market. If you become well-acquainted with this market, you can use it as your own private inventory before other agents know about it. 
  11. Find motivated sellers. You can find sellers who are more desperate to sell their homes in expired listings, withdrawn listings, and listings that have had recent price adjustments. 
  12. Market your buyers. Let sellers, or potential sellers, in your market, know you have buyers looking in their area. You can use “We have a buyer!” letters to do this. 
  13. Use escalation clauses. In states where it is allowed, you can use an escalation clause to make your offer more competitive if your buyer is willing to pay a certain amount over the highest offer. 
  14. Use third-party vendors for cash offers. Not every buyer has cash ready for an offer. However, there are third-party vendors who can, for a fee, of course, underwrite a financed buyer’s pre-approval letter and turn their offers into cash offers.

Workman Success Systems offers real estate coaching that will put together a long term plan designed to increase inventory in your specific market. If you want to find and grow more inventory, schedule a free consultation to learn more about Workman Success Systems’ coaching and training options.