Did you know that over 6% of households in America own a second home and that 30% of home sales are either a second vacation home or investment property? That means 6%-30% participated in a real estate transaction that you could have received a referral for. The idea that these are upper-class wealthy individuals is not true and with the growing economy, more and more middle-class households are choosing to purchase real estate as either an investment or lifestyle choice. From a $100,000 cabin in the woods to a $10 million beachfront condo in Maui, the types of second home properties people are buying ranges across the spectrum.
But how do you find out which of your clients already own, or plan to purchase or sell a second home soon? Many people will not necessarily volunteer this information and some will like to keep their investments and financial information private. Since we are in a relationship business it can sometimes feel awkward to try and ask outright about clients business dealings. This is actually a chance to make a personal connection with your clients and also position yourself to become a resource of information for your clients. Start by talking about the last vacation you took and why you enjoyed it. Everyone can relate to needing some time off and studies are showing more and more that taking regular vacations actually increased productivity and reduces stress. Then you can ask your clients where they like to vacation. “Have you been on any fun vacations lately? Is there anywhere you like to travel with your family?” are two good questions to get clients talking. Everyone likes to chat about their favorite spots or their hidden gems and you will see clients mentally go back to their last vacation. Usually, this will bring them back to that place emotionally as well offering another chance to connect. Next, you ask them, “Where do you stay when you visit ____?” “Do you stay in a hotel, vacation rental? Condo or Home?” This is where clients will tell you that they have a rental condo in Hawaii, a river cabin in the North Cascades or ice fishing shed in Minnesota. Maybe they have a marina spot in San Diego or a beachfront mansion in Florida. If not then you can ask the question, “Have you ever thought about purchasing a vacation property?” or if they do own “How has that experience been for you?” At this point, you should be able to get a good idea on whether they love owning, hate owning or wished they owned vacation property. Good follow up questions would be, “If you love it so much have you thought about getting another property in ____ or is there another vacation spot you have thought about buying in?” or conversely, “Are you thinking about selling to relieve your stress of owning away from home? Have you ever thought of repositioning your investment?”
At this point, you can now offer your expertise and vast network to be at their disposal in finding them a suitable real estate professional in the area of their second home. This could be to either get them a CMA, provide potential new listings to purchase or set them up with someone who can help them sell their property. Once established you can then seek out realtors through networks and professional organizations to offer a potential referral. All of this just from a conversation about traveling and vacation. Something that almost everyone loves to talk about anyways.
If your clients are looking for a second home, vacation rental or investment property in Maui, HI please consider me as your local resource and resort property specialist.
Scott Alan Smith, Wailea Realty Corp/Windermere Maui