Ten years ago, I decided to buy a house.
“It will be easy,” I said. “I work in Escrow,” I said.
Famous. Last. Words.
There I was, a freshly minted Escrow Assistant and I was way out of my depth. How embarrassing. The truth of the matter is, I was very early in my career and I had a decent case of over-confidence. But even equipped with some familiarity with real estate, my home purchase was still one of the hardest, most emotionally charged experiences I’ve had.
As industry professionals, it’s easy to take our knowledge of real estate for granted. EM, CD, COE – the acronyms roll right off our tongues. There is nothing better than flying through a transaction, checking-off contingencies, satisfying conditions, making someone’s American Dream come true. It can be glorious, and in that moment, you feel like The Champion of All Real Estate. And then – record scratch, cut to – the Buyer calling, upset.
Buying a house is one of the most stressful events a person will undertake in their lifetime. It is expensive (!), time consuming, stressful, jargon–heavy, and somehow still kind of boring (Deed of Trust, I’m looking at you). That’s a lot for any human to juggle. And even if you know everything is going like clockwork, for Buyers no news feels more like bad news. Imaginations run amok: “My loan has been denied! The house must have burned down! I don’t totally know why but I feel like everything is falling apart!” The bottom line is Buyers don’t know what to expect during a real estate transaction, and in the absence of understanding comes fear.
So what can we do to help? As the poster in my third-grade classroom taught me: Knowledge is power. Many Agents hold first time buyer classes, which is an awesome way to get real estate newbies started. But after the excitement of the seminar fades, so too does a lot of that information. “I know we went over this. Why is my Buyer asking so many questions now?”
Adult brains typically require more than one serving of information to really learn a new concept. In fact, studies show revisiting material 3 times is the best way to start imprinting new information onto adult brains. Taking a blended approach (using a variety of different methods) is an even stronger way to reinforce new concepts and is easier than you would think. Beyond the classroom, here are a few ways to help Buyers stop worrying and learn to love real estate:
1. Share a podcast – Extend the verbal learning experience outside the classroom. Your busiest buyers will be able to squeeze in a quick listen while running errands or on their daily commute and will increase their familiarity of terms and concepts. And platforms like the Apple Podcast APP make it easy to quickly share a podcast via a text message.
2. Create a YouTube Playlist – You can find a video for pretty much every part of the home buying process, slickly edited and ready to view. Compiling a few of these into a playlist to share with your Buyers is a great way for them to learn at their own pace, in yet another format. It’s easy to build a playlist and it can be shared over and over with new buyers. Plus, all the cool kids are on YouTube (or so they tell me).
3. Invite them to the APP – There’s nothing like the real thing! Consider letting your Buyers in on the fun by inviting them to download the JetClosing APP. By creating an account with their email address, they can unlock a tailor-made view of their transaction. Don’t worry – they won’t be bogged down with the details, and all information is shared on “need to know” basis. Buyers see a truncated view of the transaction progress bar and can only review and share documents that pertain to them. Plus, the APP puts you one click away, making it easy for your Buyers to reach out to their Real Estate Champion.
Buying a house can be scary and stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. Empowering Buyers to understand their real estate transaction gives them back their peace of mind and leaves them with a lasting positive impression.