There’s little argument that the last couple of years have been good for real estate brokerages and mortgage providers. But how quickly things can change.
The majority of existing homeowners are now locked into low mortgage rates, hesitant to consider listing their properties. And prospective buyers, already challenged by inventory issues and increased home values, are now being additionally priced out due to high interest rates. Needless to say, the market has slowed down considerably, and most consumers are taking a “wait & see” approach unless they absolutely need to move.
Knowing this, how can you prepare your brokerage for what’s coming in 2023?
One thing is for certain: a “wait & see” approach is fine for a consumer, but it’s a terrible business strategy. Let’s be clear, transactions are still going to happen, albeit fewer and farther between. It’s going to be imperative to capitalize fully on every opportunity, and that means doubling down on anything that drives additional transactions from channels like mortgage, title, insurance, and/or warranty.
You’re going to need an airtight system and technology to accomplish this.
You’re going to need Milestones.
Cross Marketing & The Super App
In their recent earnings calls, both Zillow and Rocket made it clear that they are heavily committed to bringing this message to consumers:
Rocket has been working to reposition itself as a fintech this year, with Farner outlining a goal of unlocking “the lifetime value of the client” by cross marketing products and services offered by other companies under the Rocket umbrella….While providing home loans through Rocket Mortgage is Rocket’s biggest business, it also helps consumers line up real estate services, personal loans, used cars and rooftop solar systems through subsidiaries Rocket Homes, Rocket Loans, Rocket Auto and Rocket Solar. (Inman News)
“Zillow’s vision of a housing super app is to create a single digital experience to help customers across all of their real estate needs including buying, selling, financing and renting, serving as one ecosystem of connected solutions for all the tasks and service related to moving,” Barton said. “Customers want this super app. It is a very large business opportunity and given Zillow’s brand strength, audience and technology capabilities, we are in an advantageous position to deliver.” (RealTrends)
Additionally, regarding its pilot program for Zillow Home Loans partner network, the company stated:
“Now with roughly 15% customer adoption rate of Zillow Home Loans in Raleigh, our new approaches to serving Zillow customers in this market give us increased confidence in our strategy of integrating and improving our mortgage product experience.” (RealTrends)
Homebuyers are savvier than ever, and they’re expecting more from their real estate service providers (especially when times are tough). Today’s buyers want companies to offer a complete package of services, and they don’t care if it’s your brokerage or a portal or a nationwide lender providing them.
If you’re not bundling your core services effectively in 2023, you can count on losing out to these major players when your clients decide to get off the fence.
What to do?
While your agents are always a good marketing channel for core services, they may not be reliable and certainly aren’t scalable. You’re also competing with major national players with very deep pockets who are controlling the narrative and providing the solutions.
In other words, you can count on these players to ensure that your clients know they have a one-stop-shop or “Super App” for all consumer real estate needs.
Do your clients even know that you offer this experience as well?
Do you have an answer to the Super App?
Do you have a smooth process and platform for marketing and integrating your core services?
With Milestones, you do.
Within just a few months, Milestones clients are already seeing significant growth of profitability with increased transactions of core and ancillary services like mortgage, title, insurance, and warranty. By having a consistent brand presence inside their clients’ home ownership and transaction hubs, brokerages are not only relying less on their agents to market for them, but they are also winning ancillary business even in instances where they don’t win the transaction.
Additionally, by leveraging Milestones home ownership hubs, brokerages are well-positioned to win business for these services in the critical period most brokerages fail: in between transactions.
Remember, your past clients are in “wait & see” mode, but they still may need insurance, or a new home warranty. Furthermore, life doesn’t care what the interest rates are. If an emergency requires cash, your clients may need to tap into their equity no matter the cost, and you need to be there ready and willing to help in their time of need.
At the very least, take advantage of the opportunity to help renters and first time buyers build their credit, add to savings, and get educated about home ownership so they’re ready when the market shifts towards their favor.
Are you ensuring that your brokerage is positioned to be top of mind for these situations?
Milestones allows your business to play the long game at scale and compete with the likes of Zillow and Rocket. They may have the massive budgets for marketing and advertising, but your brokerage already has the clients who know, like, and trust you from previous transactions.
Let them spend millions educating consumers about a more streamlined real estate experience. Just make sure you have a system to ensure your clients know your brokerage offers the same exact thing (on a local, personal level).
Don’t let them pick your clients off one by one. Get in front of the trend by leveraging Milestones to position your brokerage as a one-stop-shop or a Super App of your own.
Your clients may be taking a “wait & see” approach at the moment.
Don’t get caught flat-footed when they decide to take action (because your competitors certainly aren’t).