Real estate agents at this time of year are usually thinking about how to create business to get the most out of the spring homebuying season. Having reached out to my network of real estate professionals (REPs) during the holidays, I had gotten a glimpse of the unseasonal busy season.

The health of real estate in 2020 turned out better than anyone would have thought in March of last year amid the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Low rates and outmigration from big cities amid the pandemic had people buying homes despite steadily rising prices. 

Now the problem for lots of agents is finding ways to help discouraged clients sidelined by all-cash offers and bids well over asking prices.

In the new year—and with a nation stuck at home—agents can cultivate prospective clients by linking them up with homebuyer education programs. These courses present objectively the ways to work around financial barriers, in the form of affordable loans, improving their credit or expanding their purchasing options.

With their workload lighter during the winter season, agents who are certified instructors can lead one of these free, online courses, offering it via a mass email to all prior customers and current leads. Keep in mind that an invitation is not an invitation—for a free course or anything else, for that matter—without a time and date. It shows respect for people’s time, even if they’re at home involuntarily most nights and weekends.

Even if agents aren’t certified instructors in these courses, they shouldn’t underestimate the value in encouraging clients to participate.  The email or snail mail invite should be short and to the point—just one or two sentences about completing the course and the possibilities it may open to them. If you have a success story or testimonial, even better.

For example, these courses emphasize the possibility of securing affordable loans, specifically ones that finance the purchase of a home and its immediate renovation. People can’t be expected to know these nooks and crannies within the vast field of potential financing options out there. The effort alone demonstrated in this email leaves people with a good impression, and the message that you’ll put in the time in counseling them—to the best of your ability—how to solve problems and get them into homes they can afford, with loans they can manage.

Don’t underestimate the value in demonstrating your willingness to save people the time and hassle of finding a course they can most benefit from.

Qualifying more leads by helping clients establish a deeper credit profile improves buyers’ ability to acquire property. In short, providing value like this should be part of your prospect harvesting campaigns to position you as the “go to” person for all things real estate related.

Check out the newly fashioned, upgraded curricula of homebuyer education programs, redesigned to walk people through possible solutions and help them understand that the mortgage industry has options for them.