Real Estate School

Educating First-Time Homebuyers

One of the best investments in the future (especially if you are young and/or newer to brokerage) would be to educate first-time homebuyers. The earlier you start, the sooner you can establish yourself as the 'go-to-for-all-things-real-estate-related' in their minds and DNA. Once the consumer thinks of real estate and AUTOMATICALLY thinks of you, this is the moment you know your marketing is really working!

Here are the TOP 12 lessons I would 'teach' this audience:

1. Save, save, save. Make a budget and stick to it. Beat it if possible. Chances are you will need to spend more than you anticipate and the more cash you have on hand post closing, the happier you'll be.

2. Clean up your credit score and be aware of it. Start this process earliest.

3. Understand ALL your financing options and tax benefits. be educated about all. Teach those planning to live in a home for 7-10 years should think twice about a 30-year mortgage and understand all their options.

4. Focus on location, location, location: this old rule of real estate has not changed. A gorgeous house in a bad neighborhood or block is potentially a lot less valuable than a lesser house on the best block/neighborhood. Teach the difference.

5. Understand ALL costs: taxes, closing costs, monthly operating costs, insurance, etc.

6. Buy to feed the future: nothing is more expensive than moving lots, so buy that which will serve your needs for at least 7-10 years.

7. Understand the value of sweat equity: creating a beautiful garden yourself can cost dramatically less than hiring professionals....as long as you do your homework. Before you actually buy is a great time to learn the skills necessary to offset some ownership costs.

8. Understand demographic shifts: is there a new Whole Foods coming to the area? A great coffee shop or school? Are people moving to or from the area? How many homes are being/have been renovated around? Teach buyers how to seek this information.

9. Inflation exists everywhere, but it is higher in some parts than others. Higher inflation rates can boost real estate valuations over time just as compound interest does so to a savings account.

10. Investigate year-to-year trends: Crime stats. State, city and town sp[ending and debt. Real estate taxes. Are they trending up or down and at what rate?

11. CLEARLY message the numerous benefits to ownership versus renting. Don't do so flippantly. Go deep especially focusing on the forced savings account aspect. Most people are not disciplined savers or astute investors.

12. Make learning FUN. If it is enjoyable, then you will have made the pre-education part of the buying process an EXPERIENTIAL moment.....and that is MARKETING MAGIC!

Happy Sunday, everyone!