Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How Can We Best Help Hispanics Achieve Homeownership in this Market




By Brenda Santalises
In today's market, every facilitator to the Hispanic homebuyer must arm themselves with three key points: 1. Getting Rid of Fear, 2. Have a solid research toolkit, and 3. Understand Hispanics NEED an advisor.

Every agent should decide today that they are indeed the authoritative figure! We, as agents, have the power to make a positive impact by deciding "I am no longer afraid - the market is GREAT!" The more we internalize the thoughts that the market is not best, the more we make it real for our clients. If YOUR head is together, then THEIR head is together! Hispanics have a tendency to sensationalize media and "what others say". If we say - "the market is so-so", they hear - "the market is going down the drains". As Terry Watson, a consultant of Watson World Inc., once said - "I have a friend that has a fear of dogs - well, miraculously, every time she walks by a dog, they ALL bark at her." We need to create fearless thoughts to our clients that lead to action.

Agents can no longer be "just another agent". No longer "go with the flow". In today's market, agents need to realize that Hispanics continue to lack information. They need and believe in what they see in WRITING. Agents need to create a solid toolkit of research that gets over the media and highlights the positive aspects of the market. The truth is that interest rates are at an all time LOW, there is the plethora in inventory that buyers once begged for, and homeownership continues to be a solid LONG-TERM investment - historically what Hispanic families are after. Research, learn and print these positive articles at a real estate educational library. Favorites - ProQuest Access information available to Realtors at Realtor.org & HousingMarketFacts.com. As author Malcolm Muggeridge once said, "Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream".

Finally, it's time we go back to work and again wrap our arms around those we serve, the Hispanic community. For them, it's much more than a need, it is a want. They want, above all, an unequivocally ethical professional who wants big success for the client, but focuses small. They need someone who takes the time with a list - in writing - describing step by step what happens next. They also need a factual "FAQ" list which focuses on their cultural and financial needs. They need to know and see a diagram of trusted partners in the business whom the agent has established a relationship with - a sphere of positive influence that propels their homeownership goals forward. You need to establish - they need you and they CAN TRUST you. Gather testimonial letters TODAY - every professional should have a minimum of 5 per year in the business.

In today's market, we are going back to work, and if we focus on the three key points above, we make Hispanic homeownership dreams come true. But more importantly, our own dream of enjoying what we do and feel as though we don't work a day in our lives again...

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