In a competitive market, buyers’ agents need to find every possible advantage to ensure they stay competitive and are able to meet — and exceed — each buyer’s expectations. But knowing exactly how to navigate Chicagoland’s low inventory market and help your clients to find their dream home can be a challenge. Multiple offer scenarios, unusual seller requests, and difficult negotiations are all commonplace when inventory is low. Here are some tips and tricks on how to source inventory for your buyers in a low inventory market.
Expand Your Scope
Chicagoland is a diverse area with a wealth of different neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and features. And while it’s true that no two Chicagoland neighborhoods are alike, many share desirable characteristics that can appeal to buyers. Understanding your clients’ specific needs and wants for their new home may open up neighborhoods and homes that your clients have not yet considered. Understanding the amenities each area has to offer and building your knowledge base when it comes to Chicagoland’s vibrant diversity can assist you in advising your clients and helping them to find their dream home — even if it’s in an area they may not have originally considered.
Make Your Network Work For You
When inventory is low, it’s doubly important for agents to cultivate and leverage an expansive network of other agents, repeat clients, and other referral sources. At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, our best-in-class CRM system allows agents to establish automated workflows to send custom holiday and birthday emails; create beautiful and useful market reports; and send regular email newsletters with fresh content from our dedicated marketing department.
And for when you need that in-person touch, we’ve created a library of branded notecards for handwritten messages, as well as tags for pop-by gifts that make a real impression on your sphere. You can also take advantage of our client-gifting program LoLo, short for “Locals Supporting Locals.” This program is extremely inexpensive, allowing agents to email or text their Chicagoland clients a small gift to a local business on a monthly basis.
Keeping your sphere of influence engaged and keeping yourself top of mind can ensure that you are aware of new listings and potential listings early, enabling you to find new properties for your clients.
Get The Right Support
When supply is tight, it can take a little extra legwork to stay on top of new listings and find the ideal home for your clients. The right brokerage can be an invaluable resource.
First, an office with great administrative, marketing, and sales support can help you to be sure that you’re spending your time where it counts. When it may take a bit more effort to source inventory, knowing that you’ve got a great team backing you up can help you to focus your efforts where they are most productive for your practice.
Second, a great brokerage can be a resource when it comes to finding properties, sharing strategies that work — and the ones that don’t — and sourcing inventory that may be about to hit the market. Finding an office that fosters a collegial work environment can help you adapt quickly to changing market conditions, find unexpected connections, and get early leads on potential listings. At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, our agents are able to leverage the office’s collaborative atmosphere to ensure success from day one, with mentorship, training, and office-level resources that encourage agents to ask questions and work together to create a rising tide that lifts all boats.
Set Expectations With Your Clients
A big part of ensuring a successful client interaction is ensuring that your clients have a solid understanding of what to expect right from the start, and this is never more true than in a low-inventory market. Preparing clients for multiple-offer scenarios, crafting competitive offers, and preparing your clients to move quickly can help to ensure that clients have an edge as they embark on their search.
Ensuring your clients have obtained a pre-approval for financing, including escalation clauses in offers, and considering unusual seller requests can help to make a client’s offer more competitive, but they are not without risk. Understanding your clients’ risk tolerance and crafting creative offers can help your clients compete even in an aggressive market.
Want to Talk About Building Your Chicago Real Estate Business?
In a low-inventory environment, it’s important to get every competitive edge you can. Baird & Warner Lincoln Park provides agents with the training, tools, and support they need to succeed — no matter what the market looks like.
As the Designated Managing Broker of Baird & Warner’s Lincoln Park office, I aim to spend as much time as necessary with brokers to make sure their business plans and goals are ambitious yet achievable. Along with the management team, I schedule regular check-ins throughout the year to closely monitor how agents are making progress.
I believe in an individualized approach, encouraging every broker to maximize his or her own natural style, strengths, and opportunities with my support and the support of the office as a whole. It is important that we formulate a custom business plan for each broker, and provide support that is ongoing and constantly evolving as the broker’s career and goals grow.
We strive to create a collaborative environment where our brokers use the innovative tools and support we provide to build thriving, sustainable businesses. Have any more questions? Want to keep the conversation going, or learn more about Baird & Warner — Lincoln Park? I always welcome the opportunity to discuss your real estate career. Whether you are considering a career change or looking for a new partner in your existing business, I truly look forward to connecting.