30 November 2009

Now What? The Homebuyers Tax Credit

Now that the excitement and relief of the extended and expanded homebuyers’ tax credit has worn off, the real question becomes now what? It would be a huge lost opportunity if all of us in this industry failed to carry this hard fought government bonus to the next level. So, now what can agents do to maximize this incentive?

Awareness and education will go hand in hand on this one. Most agents we surveyed said they plan to promote the tax credit. However, few had specific examples of their future plans and other then the odd blog post I haven’t found a lot of online evidence of how agents are promoting this opportunity.

We know that almost every buyer or future buyer goes online searching for information on properties and real estate in general. Becoming the online expert on the home buyers credit will definitely result in inquiries. To do this I’d suggest:

  • Including information on the tax credit on the landing page of your website and/or blog
  • Update this information often with real life stories of first time and move up buyers who have used the tax credit successfully
  • Use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with your clients by posting  tips or informational facts about the tax credit
  • Contact your local media (online and offline) and offer to write an article about the tax credit, at the very least offer your expertise for any articles they may be writing
  • Find articles and blogs on the topic authored by other people and comment on them, being sure to add value to article (not just commenting “nice post”)
  • Send an e-newsletter dedicated to the topic to your sphere of influence

Now to convert your online efforts into face to face, a free informational seminar is the way to go. I’d start planning and promoting one of these now for mid January. The holiday season offers lots of distractions, but come January it’s time to plan for the year ahead. If moving is in the plans the timing couldn’t be more perfect for this type of event. You’ll be the go to person for all their real estate needs. Here’s a sample of a presentation you could use at this type of event. Feel free to borrow and customize this to fit your needs.

Buying and selling a home is ultimately an emotional decision for most people. The tax credit is very logical once you understand the facts and the figures. Don’t forget to connect the emotion to the logic. In the end it’s not about the $8000 or $6500, it’s about fulfilling the dream of homeownership and the passion for the home that is ingrained in the fabric of all of us. Real estate after all is about people helping people.

4 thoughts on “Now What? The Homebuyers Tax Credit

  1. Good post Wendy. So often we in the industry get on the bandwagon only to be distracted by the next parade. The Tax Credit was all the rage on the real estate wire in the weeks before the extension but if you look now the topic trends are Twitter lists and the Droid phone. Staying focused and making an impact with the Tax Credit will be beneficial to Clients, Customers, and Companies.

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