Many experienced real estate agents eventually develop a specialty or a corner of some kind, whether it is selling homes only in a particular neighborhood, working with only certain types of property (such as multi-unit buildings), or perhaps representing only specific groups of clients. One such group of clients might consist of those who are relocating from another city or state. Often people need to relocate because of a job or to live closer to family. Or sometimes when people retire, they wish to move to a new location, perhaps in a warmer climate or a less expensive area where they can better afford to live on a retiree’s fixed income.
Whether, as a real estate agent, it is your specialty or not, you will at least occasionally be asked to help a client from another city or state relocate to your area. There are some definite benefits to working with such clients. The main one is that they are usually in a hurry and quite motivated – there are few “looky-loos” among them — and much of your communication with them in the home buying process will be done virtually. They may make a trip or two to make the final decision and for the closing, but everything else will likely be done online. That will save you some time, although you will likely need to visit more homes on their behalf.
What will your relocating real estate client need that your local clients do not? If your client is unfamiliar with the area to which he or she is moving, it would make their transition a lot easier if you can help to familiarize them with your town or city and the surrounding locale. If they come to town, you can even offer to show them around. But if they are not planning to come until they have homes to decide between and/or papers to sign, it would be helpful to send them some type of relocation packet. There are certain real estate agencies that specialize in relocation work and have relationships with corporations that often need to move their employees. But there is no reason why any licensee cannot do the same
What is in the Relocation Packet?
Since relocating can be a daunting task causing much anxiety and uncertainty, relocation specialists or real estate agents who have a once-in-a-while client who is relocating may include the following items in a packet to quell their client’s concerns. The agent should tailor it to their client’s needs as much as possible.
- Information from the local board of education about the school district.
- A list of local day care providers and babysitters.
- Recommendations for housecleaning services.
- Cost-of-living comparisons between their old location and the new one.
- The names and contact information of the utility companies they will need to get in touch with (water, garbage, gas, electric, cable, internet service providers, telephone).
- Material about the local businesses in their new community, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, movie theaters (which you can usually obtain from the city or town’s Chamber of Commerce).
- A nice touch would be to include a list of the agent’s own personal restaurant recommendations, favorite things to do and places to visit.
- Recommendations for reputable moving companies.
- Information about local organizations to help relocating clients join the community (e.g., the Chamber of Commerce, volunteer groups, cycling clubs, social groups, meetups, parent-teacher associations, etc.).
- A community calendar or a recent local newspaper or a link to its website so they can see what is going on in their town or city.
- Information about local houses of worship.
- A list of the area’s public transportation with maps and schedules (buses, trains, streetcars, ferries).
- Information about local children’s sports organizations (flag football, soccer, Little League baseball, girls’ softball, youth basketball, etc.) and other age-appropriate activities for children in the area.
- A list of nearby parks, beaches, zoos, botanical gardens, museums, sports arenas, theaters, concert venues, dog parks, walking and bicycling paths, hiking trails, and gyms.
- A list of local hospitals, doctors, and veterinary clinics.
These and anything else you can think of that may help alleviate the relocating client’s anxiety and confusion, save him time, and help him get his feet on the ground in his new home will be much appreciated and long remembered.
Once you successfully help one client with a relocation, chances are there will be others. And, before you know it, maybe you will be the relocation specialist in your office!