Agents looking to proactively build out their listings portfolio may be curious about new construction, a real estate industry branch that can provide agents with an abundance of opportunities.
With the inception of the KW New Homes community, powered by Legacy International – a pillar of the new homes industry – Keller Williams agents and leaders have access to proven training, exclusive resources, and infinite opportunities within the new homes sector. The Builder Developer Realtor Education Course (BDRE) teaches agents how to become specialists for new homes within their local markets, and provides the knowledge and resources needed to provide a successful buying experience with clients.
If you are curious about what getting involved in new construction can look like for you and your business, 12 KW New Homes experts and newly appointed territory leaders are here to give you a peek behind the curtains.
Related reading: 5 Action Steps for Unlimited Listings With New Homes
Nine Questions When Working With New Homes
Q: How can being involved in new construction help take my business to the next level?
Oglah Gatamah, Territory 1 Leader: Listing inventory is tight across the board, but it feels like we are experiencing a new homes construction boom! With more than 4,000 new homes coming into the market daily, we have an opportunity to increase our sales and business. As a market center leader, I leverage our KW New Homes training, tools, and resources to build a community of like-minded agents in the market center. This group of agents mastermind together and share ideas which helps them grow their business.
Q: How can I build strong relationships with builders?
Pauline Dent, Territory 2 Leader: You have a great opportunity to build your personal and our global reputation by paying a visit to the builder sales offices. That is, multiple offices of the same builder. Make an appointment, and go see them with the desire to learn something about them that makes them stand out. What is their ‘builder story’? They will start recognizing your name and talking about it. They will start saying “KW agents are so well educated on new homes” or “We had three KW agents visit us last week and they wanted to learn what we do so they can bring more buyers our way.” What will this do in the long run? As their sales VPs keep hearing that our agents continue to come in to learn, align, and bring sales, when we go calling on that company to gain business, they will be sold on our agents already.
Additionally, ask sales representatives you have built a relationship with to help you learn more about construction. Ask to have yourself and a few office mates attend several construction learning sessions when they are performing phases of the construction such as excavation and foundation, framing and mechanicals, or drywall and finishes. Ask for permission to create some free live videos as you walk through their models and tour their communities. Ask if there is a time where the on-site builder representative needs the help of a general brokerage agent to do a comparative market analysis on a buyer and do it for free.
Q: How can I ensure my clients understand the value I bring to the table within their new homes transaction?
Christina Myers, Territory 3 Leader: The best first step you can take in becoming an expert in new construction is joining KW New Homes. Now, don’t be a “secret agent,” and let everyone know about your expertise in this area. For many people, new construction may be an avenue they have never considered. Make sure they know this is a great option for a low inventory market, and set expectations from the very beginning. Giving your clients a preview of what they can expect throughout the entire process will not only show your value in the new home arena, but also calm any nerves they may have and make for a smoother transaction where they can focus on the excitement of their new home.
Q: How can I get started in building my new homes portfolio?
Katie Fish, Territory 4 Leader: Be yourself and create relationships with your local new home sales representatives! Go to the communities, engage with the representatives, ask them questions about their business and be there to offer solutions. They have different challenges with buyers than we do as Realtors. Bring local real estate stats with you. KW has taught us so much about understanding our markets, and you have the powerful words to share those stats. Then, follow up with these representatives monthly. Turning this relationship into a business opportunity for yourself is inevitable. You will be “in the know” about many releases, buying incentives, and new communities for YOUR buyers.
Q: What are the two most common mistakes agents make when first starting to work on new homes and how can I ensure I avoid them?
Amber Hart, Territory 5 Leader: Get to know your on-site representatives. They are a wealth of knowledge and will help you sort through inventory. Make a spreadsheet of new home communities that lists pricing, floor plans, amenities, and so forth.
Gregg Klar, Territory 5 Leader: Agents often forget that builders typically use their own contract. So, asking a builder for a copy of their contract prior to connecting a client with the builder will be important so you can familiarize yourself with the builder’s contract and be prepared to answer your clients’ questions and concerns along the way. This will also help you understand the builder processes and timelines.
Q: What are two common misconceptions clients have about purchasing new homes and how can I adequately address them?
Stephen Long, Territory 6 Leader: ‘I have to have a large down payment for a new build.’ The truth is that low down payment options are just as available for new homes as any other property type.
Kristen Bodford, Territory 6 Leader: ‘New construction is too expensive and I will have to overpay and be upside down.’ In fact, the truth is that new construction pricing is usually pretty consistent for builders, and that provides solid comparables and protects the buyer’s investment. Likewise, it can be a great source of equity as prices typically increase over time when they are building, which provide even better sales comparisons.
Q: What are two top advantages of purchasing new construction and how can I adequately express them to clients?
Robin Smith, Territory 7 Leader: With the increase of the median price of resale homes becoming closer and closer to that of new homes, I like to communicate with clients that with new homes, for the first several years, depending on the builder, they do not need to worry about replacing expensive components of a home such as roofs, or air conditioners. With new homes, even structural components of the home are covered for six to 10 years (again, based on the builder), giving clients peace of mind that they will not have additional out-of-pocket expenses that can put stress on the household account.
Joni Kilton, Territory 7 Leader: When I have a new client looking to purchase a new home, we discuss the differences as well as the advantages of purchasing a new build vs. a resale home. Every client has different wants and needs, which means my response will vary depending on their personal situation. In today’s market, with prices rising due to low inventory, new homes are not as much of a stretch as they have been in the past. Resale is now much higher in price, making the new homes much more affordable. Purchasing a new home can be a more exciting experience if the client has the opportunity to choose their location in the community, the configuration of the home, as well as the finishes. The builder wants to keep their home purchasers happy, so in most cases, their customer service is outstanding. If you purchase a home warranty with a resale home, you do not know the type of service you will receive from that vendor.
Q: What materials should I have available in my new construction toolkit to help my clients feel knowledgeable and confident?
Jodi Satko, Territory 8 Leader: Agents should utilize the BDRE Community Evaluation Form available to BDRE course graduates on any of the local communities that the buyer may be considering or that fit their buying profile. By completing this form and doing community research ahead of time, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge about each community and build the buyer’s confidence with you as their local new homes expert. I always have a professional clipboard with me for my buyers to use during community visits, and ask them to immediately write down the pros and cons for each community during on-site showings. I highly recommend this, as it was a lifesaver for both of us.
Q: How can I present financing options to my buyer in a digestible manner?
Angela Wood, Territory 9 Leader: Presenting is all about communicating effectively. Knowing and understanding your client’s financial goals for their real estate assets is first and foremost in helping them decipher all the information available to consumers today. Be clear and concise when explaining the process; simplify, and speak their language and confirm they understand where they are and what steps it will take to help them get to their real estate goals. Lastly, I advise my clients to speak to a financial expert if they have not already, and I even recommend a few from them to choose from. Above else, be respectful.