The relationship between a builder and a real estate agent can be a complicated one. This relationship is often portrayed as antagonistic. The two are usually pitted against each other in competing for homebuyers and sales. In fact, there are several myths and misconceptions that builders, real estate agents, and even buyers hold that affect this relationship.
For instance, some real estate agents think that direct communication between a buyer and a builder removes the need for an agent. Meanwhile, some builders fear that real estate professionals taking a large commission will decrease their profits. Finally, buyers sometimes have the impression that they will get a better deal if they don’t use the services of a real estate agent at all.
These notions about the real estate agent-builder relationship are actually far from the truth. Real estate agents and builders are actually meant to work together since they have similar goals—get clients and earn profit by selling houses.
Benefits of a Partnership Between Home Builders and Real Estate Agents
Here are a few reasons why real estate agents need to partner with home builders.
1. Boost to your revenue
The primary reason why agents should partner with home builders is the mutual boost to their revenues. After all, an agent can get a commission from the builder based on the base contract price of the property. This is on top of the commission that they can receive if the transaction involves a land sale. Having a good relationship with a builder means you can recommend them to a potential homebuyer. A stamp of approval from you will make closing the deal more likely.
2. Increased number of listings
Real estate agents and home builders have the same target market—people who are looking to purchase homes. A partnership with a home builder opens up a new channel for you to advertise your listings. As home builders interact with people who are inquiring about homes, having a partnership with them will make it more likely for them to refer you to their clients if they do not have an existing agent.
3. Improved post-sale relationships
The relationship between a real estate agent and a builder does not end when the deal is closed and the home is finished. Rather, there is a mutual benefit from continuing the relationship afterward. For instance, knowing that a builder is trustworthy can help you create a positive post-sale relationship with home buyers through a reliable warranty.
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Creating an Effective Partnership with Builders
Here are some tips on how real estate agents can create effective partnerships with builders.
1. Build relationships through open-house events
Builders frequently host open-house events to showcase some of the latest home models and amenities that they are working on. These events are the best opportunity for real estate professionals to get in contact with builders, contractors, and other industry leaders.
Spend some time getting to know the home builders in your area. Look around their demonstrations and ask questions to ensure that you have essential information that you can share with your clients. You may even attend a tour of the properties or even set a personalized tour with home builders in case you want to pursue an even deeper relationship.
2. Respect builders’ co-op policy
A co-op policy is a set of rules and specifications that builders require real estate agents to follow before partnering with them. These co-op policies usually define the procuring cause, which makes up the particulars of the transaction between a real estate professional and a buyer. Usually, this requires that the real estate agent notify the builder via email or web registration about the buyer they are sending to them.
Always follow the builder’s co-op policy to the letter. Not only does this let you avoid any conflict between you and the builder down the line, but it is also a sign of respect and professionalism.
3. Allow the site agent to do the presentation
When visiting an open-house event or a walkthrough with a potential customer, it is a good practice to not take the client through it on your own. Rather, you should allow the site agent to perform the presentation properly and without interruption. Otherwise, you will only hurt your sales prospect and end up wasting your time on a deal that may not push through.
The builder’s site agents have the necessary training to present the features and amenities of a property. Let them give an informative presentation to your client in a way that they think is best. You may play a supportive role by asking some questions that can let them elaborate on a point and allow your customer to learn more about the property. You may even consult with your customer during the presentation about their concerns which you can then raise to the site agent. Remember that your goal is to help your client find the ideal home as quickly as possible.
Builders and real estate professionals do not have to stay antagonistic towards each other. After all, both parties are set to benefit from deals by creating a partnership built on trust and professionalism.
About the Author: Chris Woodard is the Co-Founder of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with filing documents like preliminary notices to avoid late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.