By Jim Droz
Talk of females and empowerment likely brings to mind songs, slogans and movements from decades ago. But society is constantly evolving, and preconceived notions continue to fall by the wayside.
According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, single female buyers accounted for nearly twice as large a share as single male buyers for first-time homebuyers – 24 and 12 percent, respectively – and repeat buyers, 17 and 9 percent.
Who knew? If you’re a diligent real estate agent on top of his or her game, you might have. But it’s a statistic that probably has many other agents scratching their heads.
But it’s worthy of taking note, because a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University echoed the NAR report, saying that social changes during the last generation have led to higher female labor force participation rates, later age at first marriage, higher divorce rates and lower remarriage rates. The report also notes that these changes place “each generation on a different trajectory that persists well into middle age.”
In other words, it’s a pattern that is likely to increase rather than shrink. And that’s backed up by another NAR report that says 20 percent of recent home buyers were single females.
So what to do? Here are a few tips to consider when marketing this group:
Basically, guys, women are more likely to know what they want right away, so a good first impression is important. Find out her interests and needs, and then streamline the choices so there isn’t any wasted time or effort.
Most women like to live close to their extended family. So, be sure to find out what neighborhoods your single buyer is most interested in.
Don’t even bother showing homes with security issues. The question is likely to come up, so be prepared and research crime trends for neighborhoods, streets and buildings.
Women are also more traditional, so don’t suggest any of your ideas for what she can do to enhance certain rooms in the house. Show it as is; she’ll come up with her own plans.
Don’t assume money is going to be an issue, even in these tough lending times. Women still earn less than men, in many cases, but there are many women breaking into the executive suite who are looking to spend top dollar for the home of their dreams. Be sure to let the client show you what their ideal is before you make any assumptions.
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