Chapter 9

USE THESE SIGNALS TO IDENTIFY
OFFER-READY HOME BUYERS

Prioritizing your pipeline means paying attention to the signals that buyers give you that indicate their level of commitment, readiness and timeline.

Some signals are explicit–things they tell you, and some are implicit in their actions. Heed both to determine who your most Offer-Ready prospects are.

EXPLICIT BUYING SIGNALS

  • Gives you a definitive timeline
  • Has no offer contingencies
  • Is pre-approved by a lender

IMPLICIT BUYING SIGNALS

  • Conducts repeated searches on your site daily
  • Responds immediately with SMS and phone calls
  • Knows their lifestyle preferences and must-haves

Answer these questions to identify high-value buyers that can get to the closing table faster:

  • How many times has the buyer visited your website and used your search features?
  • How many searches are they conducting?
  • Is their search behavior consistent with what they told you their references were?
  • Have they reached out to you for more information or to schedule a showing?
  • Did they create an account so they can save and compare homes?
  • Is their search and visit activity increasing or decreasing?
  • Is their criteria changing daily or are they hyper focused?
  • Which neighborhoods, homes and price ranges are they looking at?
  • Is their search contained within a specific geography?
Flying blind and all leads look the same? Use search-tracking technology available to you. #OfferGen

In addition to their online behaviors, active buyers give a number of offline signals that can help you distinguish them as ready, willing and able. These cues include behavioral signals, contingency signals and life stage signals. Let’s take a quick look at each.

BEHAVIORAL SIGNALS
WHAT QUESTIONS ARE THEY ASKING UP FRONT?

Active buyers typically ask pertinent questions from the start. They want more information about the home buying process, statistical data on comparable homes and more.

Because Offer-Ready buyers have done research on their own, the questions they ask are more advanced than less committed leads.

HOW RESPONSIVE ARE THEY?

How quickly do they respond to communication? Active buyers aren’t lollygagging. If they’re not responding to you, they’ve likely already moved on or they’re just kicking the tires.

HOW OFTEN ARE THEY IN CONTACT WITH YOU?

Similar to how quickly home buyers respond to you, they should be in contact with you quite frequently. Active buyers are typically anxious and eager to advance the process once they’ve engaged with you.

HOW MUCH INFORMATION DO THEY GIVE?

We’ve all given half of a phone number on a forced registration page simply to get to the next stage. Active buyers mean business and they will provide you with complete and accurate information. This can include their cell phone number, income information and other high value signals that indicate they’re committed.

Offer-Ready clients have educated themselves on what you’ll need to help them find a home and won’t hold back once they’re ready to move forward.

QUALIFICATION SIGNALS
DO THEY NEED TO SELL ANOTHER HOME FIRST?

As much as they want to be Offer-Ready, buyers who need to sell another home first have hurdle they must overcome.

ARE THEY PRE-APPROVED?

If a buyer has taken the initiative to get a Pre-approval letter from their mortgage lender, it’s likely that they are motivated. These buyers demonstrate that they are ready to take the steps needed to move forward in the process.

DO THEY KNOW THEIR CREDIT SITUATION?

If a buyer knows their credit scores, debt ratios and down payment source, you can be confident that they’ve invested time in determining what they can honestly afford based on their financial situation.

LIFE STAGE SIGNALS
IS THEIR MOVE VOLUNTARY OR INVOLUNTARY?

Is your buyer looking for a new home because they’re relocating for work? Did their lease end and they don’t want to rent again? When a move is something your buyer must do, rather than something they’d like to do, you know you have an active buyer on your hands.

IS THEIR FAMILY GROWING?

An impending addition to the family can be a powerful motive to upgrade their home and space requirements. Understanding the current family dynamic is an important opportunity to assess just how soon your buyers are likely to close.

ARE THERE BIG MILESTONES AHEAD?

Other big life milestones can be motivators for buyers to get a home purchased quickly. Retirement, kids going to a new school (or college), marriage, divorce or family moving in can be triggers that your buyers are working on a deadline.