My last 2 closings were with people that live out of the area. I’m not talking about a few towns over, I’m talking about 1 in a foreign country and another at our country’s most southern point. Hampton Roads, being such a highly transient area with the dense military population, poses unique challenges for Real Estate agents here.
Usually, our first impressions are going to be based on viewing the photos either in the REIN listing or online using an app. Then, the next impression will be formed when we pull up to the house just based on the curb appeal. What does the street look like? What do the neighbors’ homes look like? Are their yards maintained? Are kids happily riding their bikes in the neighborhood? Are there mothers walking and talking pushing strollers? These are all things that appeal to our visionary sense. Therefore, using platforms such as Skype, Facetime, or even Facebook chat, allow the agent to walk the neighborhood and video real-time with buyers. This is where it’s vital to have an agent that will go the extra mile for you. Someone that will take the time to share what the neighborhood and the homes really look like. I’ve walked neighborhoods on Facebook Chat with my buyers and showed clubhouses, playgrounds, churches, pools, even schools. The reality is that they are counting on us to be their physical set of eyes. Let’s face it, they are not just buying what is listed in that legal definition of the plot of land on the purchase agreement. This is a place they are going to call home. All things need to work together for a family to feel comfortable and happy with their choice.
Then there’s the physical touch. I often know when a buyer likes the home purely based on their interaction with the house. You’re probably thinking… touch the house? Yes. If a buyer comes through the home and touches the mantle of the chimney, or runs their hands over the newly cut granite counter top, or opens all the cabinet doors, or even smells the flowers in the yard, these are all great signs that they are genuinely interested in the home. Naturally, there’s an extra layer of pressure on agents when we work with people that can’t physically touch the house. So, it’s real important that we take the time to find out exactly what may be trigger points or critical components to the buyer and we focus on those things first. When they can see our facial expressions through video as we focus on things that are important to them, it just makes them feel much more at ease with the process.
In summary, I don’t think there will ever be anything better than when a buyer can experience the home for themselves. However, as we embrace the great things of today’s technology, we can hopefully put ourselves into the shoes of a buyer and navigate them through all of the attributes a home and its surroundings offer. In addition, after spending a substantial amount of time on video with buyers they truly have a good feel for our personality and our willingness to go the extra mile to make them happy.