NATNews Blog > October 2016 > High-performance home marketing services more important than ever

    High-performance home marketing services more important than ever

    10/12/2016 8:20:18 AM
    By Peg Guinta, CRP, GMS
    Corporate transfer reluctance has declined consistently from its 78 percent high (2012) to 35 percent (2015) according to Worldwide ERC’s annual U.S. Transfer Volume & Cost Survey. Transferee homeowners are less likely to decline job transfers because of departure housing-related reasons, such as “home in a negative equity situation” and “slowed real estate appreciation/depressed housing markets.”
    But heightened transfer acceptance coincides with homeowner mobility policies relying more on employee-generated home sales. Corporate home marketing assistance is already an important, well-honed service, so how can you enhance the value you already bring to corporate transferees?
    Not All Are Eligible

    Most company policies limit costly, guaranteed home buy-out programs (GBOs) to senior-level or critical-skill employees. Before accepting a buy-out they’re often required to participate in the home marketing program to potentially avoid an employer acquisition. A less costly alternative program, Buyer Value Option (BVO), bases closing-related assistance on a market sale typically obtained during the home marketing program period.
    But many homeowners aren’t eligible for these home sale programs. Because corporate policies often pair home marketing exclusively with home sale programs, there’s a good chance transferees ineligible for home sale also don’t access the home marketing program (HMA).
    Without stand-alone HMA, homeowners that receive limited relocation assistance or a single lump-sum benefit, for example, are without the policy-based guidance of a corporate HMA program - guidance that includes relocation-experienced agent expertise and list pricing parameters designed to support market sale opportunities. These features are valuable to all transferees, but especially to those without other home disposal assistance.
    Ramp-Up Your Home Marketing Service Brand

    Brokerage relocation departments may have occasional opportunity to influence broader use of formalized and “stand-alone” HMA programs within corporate policies. But a more immediate opportunity is to fine-tune HMA services to maximize performance results and ensure your expertise is well-known to RMCs, corporate clients and local transferees.
    When relocation departments and agents deliver corporate home-marketing services, they must comply with a formalized process. Typically, this includes customized marketing strategies, frequent market feedback, analysis and periodic client reporting. Programs are designed to optimize home-sale potential using proactive strategies and disciplined, sustained marketing focus.
    Transferees ineligible for policy-based HMA may welcome your own version of a “high-performance” marketing program using similar features and pricing parameters. Strategic, disciplined and educational marketing services delivered by relocation-experienced real estate professionals can generate a superior performance success cycle. As an alternative to policy-based compliance, use performance data-based tools and tactics to influence corporate sellers’ adherence to marketing recommendations:
    • Share meaningful performance statistics. Your department’s or an individual agent’s proof sources for home-sale successes are selling tools. Past customer testimonials or historical service satisfaction ratings may be presentation-worthy, too. Use this information to engage and secure new listing interest and to further encourage seller confidence in strategy recommendations.
    • Educate transferee sellers with persuasive market data. Those not in employer-required HMA programs may be more inclined to follow best-practice recommendations if supporting regional data is shared. Develop infographics that demonstrate the value of proper pricing, home preparation/staging and buyer incentives that can shorten market time and increase sales prices.

    Corporate transferees are under tremendous pressure to sell departure homes and become productive in their new assignments. More than ever, they all need your full-on marketing expertise because more often than not they’re all relying on a market sale, regardless of program eligibility or type.
    Fast Fact

    Although use of formal home marketing assistance in corporate policies has been trending up, WERC’s 2013 Relocation Assistance: U.S. Domestic Transferred Employees reports that just 75 percent of respondents “with home assistance programs provide formal home marketing assistance. Additionally, 11 percent provide it to only certain employees and the remaining 14 percent do not offer home marketing at all.” 
    Peg Guinta, CRP, is Projects Director for RIS Consulting Group. For questions, please email
    Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved