Orlando Realtor Mary Carpousis, GRI, NHCB lost two resales last month as a result of home inspection reports. While being interviewed, she received a text message from a mortgage broker saying that the appraisal on a pending resale came in $20,000 too low for mortgage approval.
Welcome to today's world of disappointment and the embedded nerve wracking unknowns that come with working with unsaleable inventory.
It's the type of unnerving, career-rattling news real estate agents across the country get every day.
But Carpousis, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Results Realty, a wife and mother of three, does not plan to change brokers or quit the business, the only options many agents see.
After all, she closed her first new home last week, and has two more scheduled to close in the last quarter of this year. This is the kind of news few agents get, because showing ‘new homes' is not a strategy real estate agents historically embrace.
So Carpousis decided to learn on her own.
"Taking a course to learn how to add new homes to my showing schedule and to work with onsite sales consultants is one of the best things, career-wise, I have ever done. It opened up a whole new way of thinking about selling real estate."
"New homes are not only more saleable, they are more closeable. No home inspections, no worries about the appraisal, and no transaction management."
When asked about not being paid for six months or longer, Carpousis said "I don't have a problem being paid thousands of dollars in six months. I have a problem with not being paid at all. Besides, it is reassuring to know the closings are scheduled, and that the builders have a highly trained and motivated team dedicated to getting the homes closed.
"I showed my last new home buyer 12 resales and was going to lose them. Then I remembered what I learned in the course and showed them a new home in their resale price range. They bought the new home the very next day.
The course Carpousis took, How To Build A New Homes Niche is a new three-hour online course written and instructed by a real estate broker from the agent's perspective. Graduates earn the New Home Co-Broker designation. In addition, Florida agents earn 3 hours of continuing education credit authorized by the Florida Real Estate Commission. It is offered by New Homes Co-Broker Academy.
Brokers are encouraged to offer the course from their website free by adding the newhomesniche.com link to their websites, and for a fee add their brand to the certificate and the course.
The academy's founder, David Fletcher, a career-long new homes broker and a long- time contributor to Realty Times, is the course author and instructor.
All graduates become certified New Home Co-Brokers and receive a certificate, the New Home Co-Broker (NHCB) designation, a sample news release and a checklist to help them implement the 29 take- aways offered in the course.
But its not just about selling new homes.
Atlanta Realtor Randy Chavers took the course, and leveraged a new home showing to close a resale home to a couple who had seen eight resales and could not make up their minds. "Comparing the resales to a fixed base price of a new home, helped them get comfortable with their resale offer," Chavers said.
The course is not offered live.
"Many agents who prefer ‘live' over ‘online' do so because they know how boring online training can be," Fletcher said. "We made a conscious effort in course design and overall user experience to respect the agents' time and their need to apply what we teach, because we know it works. "
"I am well aware that we are challenging the builder/Realtor culture, estate agent, because it needs to change," Fletcher said. "Technology and the internet not only demand it. Today's market demands it like no other time in memory. Fortunately, the tools are available to make the changes, and production builders are providing a wide variety of services help agent's both sell and close their new homes
"For example, internet advisor services have been available to the public and Realtors for years, but few agents appreciate the services this represents. Agents can ask the advisor to register their new home prospect, recommend the home they should see, and set the appointment with the onsite sales consultant."
Fletcher said he believes one of the course's biggest challenge to the culture is teaching that agent's do not need to learn construction. Instead they need to work with builder's who are open to licensed home inspectors participating on behalf of the buyer, a practice with which general agents are comfortable.
"We discovered during beta testing that broker/owners showed a real interest in offering the course to their agents by branding the course and the certificate," Fletcher said, "so we added branding options for broker/owners and homebuilders.
Fletcher thinks the course's popularity is based on the fact it is written by a real estate broker from the real estate's perspective and it shows agents how to build their resale and listing business by adding new homes to their showing schedule.
But for all of the course content and benefits, Carpousis probably said it best:
"For me, I can't point to any one thing in the course that made such a difference. What I came away with was an understanding of how I can better serve both resale and new home shoppers by showing saleable inventory"
Carpousis said, "and learning how to find the right inventory on demand."
Visit www.newhomesniche.com to enroll and/or get more information.