Working with builders in the new home construction market can be a win-win for everyone involved.
To say that the relationship between Realtors and builders can be complicated is an understatement. Realtors and builders can make assumptions about each other, focusing on stereotypes.
But consider this: a strong relationship between the two can be lucrative. Any Realtor interested in developing their career and pursuing more opportunities needs to engage new home sales. Does this sound like the path you want to take?
At the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando in early January, Christy Beck of Caruso Homes in Raleigh, N.C., delivered the inside scoop in her presentation, Getting Results from Realtor Relations. Beck is a Realtor and homebuilding executive with keen insight into Realtor-builder relations.
Inside the Mind of a Builder
Builders looking for long-term success know that working with Realtors means selling more houses. One asset a Realtor brings to the table is a pool of buyers. But, it doesn’t stop there. For builders to consistently grow their companies, they rely heavily on branding and reputation building, explained Beck.
“A Realtor can be a huge asset in branding and reputation building because they will advocate a great company to their clients and other Realtors,” she said. “This expands the builders’ market, which, again, means more sales. Referrals are just as important for new homebuilders as they are for Realtors.”
Steps You Can Take
To build a solid relationship with a builder, there are a few steps you can take to create trust and a healthy working relationship. Some of our suggestions may seem really obvious, but you would be surprised how many Realtors don’t do these simple things.
1. Reach Out to Builders
Co-brokering requires trust, so let the builder know you want to grow a long-term relationship with them. Every builder should have at least 25 Realtors to work with and they’re going to work with the ones they trust the most and who show the most interest. If they can depend on you to consistently provide great service and sell more homes, they will turn to you when they’ve got something to sell.
2. Learn Your Stuff
Selling a new home is not like re-selling an older home. Realtors selling new homes need specialized knowledge and skills so they can answer their buyers’ questions about the financing and building processes and advocate for the new homes. Make an effort to master the ins and outs of new home construction. Not only will this make you stand out as an expert, but it will help the builder trust you.
And be aware that you don’t have to learn on your own. NewHomeSource Pro is a valuable resource for Realtors engaged in new home sales. Reach out to the builder to let them know you have a genuine interest in learning everything there is to know about their community. If you’re serious and willing to do the work, they will gladly meet you halfway. Sign up on NewHomeSource Professional for free for access to valuable information about selling new homes, but to the largest listing of new homes.
3. Show Up!
This means going to new builds’ open houses to get your name out there as someone who wants to co-broker new homes. It also means going to every meeting once a buyer has decided on a new build. A Realtor is the buyer’s representative and should be present at all meetings with the builder.
Buyers rely on a real estate agent’s expertise to guide them through the process. Being there lets the buyer know that you are working hard for them and have their best interests at heart. It also lets the builder know that you are eager to build trust and that you care about the entire process, not just getting that commission.
Remember, said Beck, “builders talk amongst themselves just like Realtors do. If you’re a great Realtor to work with and you help builders increase their sales, you will become a go-to Realtor to co-broker new homes in your area.”
Breaking into a new market may seem daunting, but this market will yield great returns. While building trust with a builder may take time and effort (and you may need to overcome some biases), there is no downside once that relationship is in place. It is win-win for both sides.
Sarah Kinbar is a writer and editor with a passion for design and images. She was the editor of Garden Design magazine, curating coverage of residential gardens around the globe. As the editor of American Photo, Kinbar worked with photographers of every genre to create a magazine that told the story of the photographer’s journey.
She has been writing about architecture, landscape design and new-home construction for NewHomeSource since 2012. During that time, she founded Kinship Design Marketing, a boutique agency that provides content for website redesigns, blogs, inbound marketing campaigns and eNewsletters.