In any industry, people are naturally attracted to specialists. After all, they have dedicated their time and gained the knowledge to effortless understand and solve a problem, and there is no one better to solve a problem than an expert. When it comes to real estate, specialists exists in many different segments. You will find real estate designations vary from seller specialists, luxury home to income properties. You will also notice buyer designations even further specialized. However, does a real estate designation, such as the Certified First Time Home Buyer Specialists make a difference compared to a Buyer Designation?
For simplicity purposes, the answer is yes. Now let’s take a look into why the mentality of first time buyers may place more value on designations such as Certified First Time Home Buyer Specialists.
To begin with, the first time buyer market accounts for approximately 30-40% of the entire market in the United States, so you are dealing with a large segment. The average persona of a first time buyer is 32 years old, and more likely moving from their parents house vs. renting a home. The process of buying a home is brand new experience for buyers, filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and at times, feeling overwhelmed. It’s a milestone for many, which they will never forget, similar to when you bought your first car. The realtor can make all the difference on how the process will progress. One of the most important factors realtors need to remember with first time buyers, is that everything is brand new to them. After working in the industry and going through the buying process, it becomes second nature. Thanks to our subconscious, processes we repeat, we eventually do without even thinking about it. It’s the same sensation as when you are driving home vs. driving to a new location for the first time. Sometimes, you drive home, getting off on all the exits without even really noticing it in detail, like you would when you first drive to a new destination.
To some capacity, this can also hold true when dealing with buyers. For example, in the outline of Certified First Time Home Buyer Specialist designation, there’s an entire section dedicated to the emotions of first time buyers may go through. In addition, both Canada and the United States offer different incentives for first time buyers, through tax credits and 401(K) (in U.S.) or RRSPs (in Canada). Other incentives, such as lowered down payments (depending on your location), also exists to help first time buyers. Although due diligence with all clients are required, there may be an extra layer of patience and communication required with first time buyers. Some clients you encounter may not have even been exposed to the rental process, lacking a little more experience with paperwork and the requirements. If you are focusing on first time buyers, having a simple checklist to help your buyers get prepared, and also work towards a smoother experience, would be ideal. It’s better to assume they have no knowledge of the process and explain, rather than the other way around. The magic really happens when they are able to narrow down their criteria to help choose a home that is right for them. This ranges anywhere from choosing the right neighbourhood to getting pre-approved for a mortgage to have a clear understanding of their budget.
Some of the common errors with first time buyers, is underestimating the cost of moving. Their analysis of their monthly budget and expenses needs to also extend to immediate costs. Immediate costs can include moving costs, furniture, minor repairs, deposits (or setup fees) for utilities or cable, and more. The excitement of it all can overshadow the reality, which is understandable. Anyone moving into a new home, whether or not it’s their first time, has a picture perfect idea of the design and decor for each room in the house. This can easily create pressure on buyers and leave them behind, budget wise, than they anticipated. In addition to thoroughly explaining the process, such guidance really goes a long way with clients.
Focused Real Estate Designations, such as the Certified First Time Home Buyer Specialist, really provides credibility first time buyers get drawn to. It’s an extension of an agent’s knowledge or experience, by focusing specifically on this niche market.
The promotion of this, or any designation, is the differentiating factor. Your client’s ability to understand how your area specialization will help them, is just as important of the knowledge you gain when becoming a specialists. After all, you wouldn’t be able to put your expertise into use, unless you have clients you can utilize your knowledge with. Marketing yourself as a specialist, to your targeted clientele, will be an important steps in gaining success, regardless of the real estate designation you choose for your business. Nevertheless, more knowledge is not only beneficial for your clients, but for your real estate business as well.