How Down Payment Assistance Can Transform Black Homeownership
Kris Rosser Schmitt, Illinois based agent and managing broker at the Barbier Agency, has fueled her business with first-time homebuyers since 2001. Why?
“As agents, we are psychologists who sell houses. And first-time homebuyers are your best referral strategy…if you do it right. You are going to hand hold and educate more, but the ROI [return on investment] is huge. When you build trust with first-time homebuyers, you’ll gain stronger, more motivated leads,” said Kris.
Kris puts the focus on serving her first-time buyers well and they do the rest. Kris said her successful first-time homebuyers will give her 5 -10 leads in the next 12 to 18 months. They actively share all the details about their home buying experience with their friends and family.
“We [agents] are relationship based people. That’s how we sell,” said Kris.
Kris works with a lender who specializes in credit repair and provides guidance and help for first-time homebuyer who could benefit from a down payment program.
“If they can qualify, then by golly we do it,” said Kris.
For years, Kris relied on her lender and her own research to stay updated on homebuyer programs and help connect buyers to opportunities. Her MLS, MARIS, integrated Down Payment Resource into property listing data. Down Payment Resource flags eligible homes and provides members with tools to search program details and connect buyers to programs.
Kris said, “Anytime we have an opportunity to give buyers a tool to get in a home, then I do it.”
With Down Payment Resource, Kris said she can help reduce the barrier of entry to programs with her lender partners. She can source programs first and then go to the lender with the buyer’s options.
She recently set up her own Down Payment Connect landing page and program search. It’s provided by MARIS, her MLS, through its partnership with Down Payment Resource and allows her to share a link to her own program search with prospects and clients in her email signature, website and social media. In minutes, she found her individual link and graphics and began promoting her page.
Kris created two Facebook and Twitter posts featuring down payment programs and her Down Payment Connect page. She boosted her Facebook posts, paying less than $1 per click for her clicks and leads. In addition, she earned 40 new Facebook page likes as a result of the campaign.
Kris adds all her Down Payment Connect leads to her regular marketing campaigns to help nurture those who may not be ready to buy just yet.
Now, she’s directing her team to use it and make Down Payment Connect part of their email signatures.
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