In the last few years, home values have risen in every market in the country. In fact, “stratospheric”, “torrid” and “sky rocketing” are commonly used terms to describe what the real estate industry has been experiencing month after month for the last couple of years.
In 2021, median existing-home sale prices rose 14.6%, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. And this year, it looks like home prices will jump another 11% and 3% in 2023. And of course, those numbers are averages. In many markets, prices have jumped even higher! Up over 40% in some areas.
Which, as a REALTOR®, should come as no surprise to you. However, there are some homeowners out there who might not be aware. Or at least, not fully aware. They know their homes have appreciated, but they’re not exactly sure how much. Sometimes they simply need to see that number to nudge them a bit.
That’s where you and RPR’s (Realtors Property Resource®) Equity Update come in!
RPR’s Equity Update: the ultimate lead conversion tool
Most homeowners have gained significant equity in their homes. And now is the perfect time to capture their attention! As a REALTOR®, you’re in a unique position to be able to keep them in the loop on what may be their largest single investment.
Consider sending them a deliverable and leave-behind that’s all about their home, and how much it’s currently worth. And more importantly, how much equity they’ve gained. Pointing out this figure is a sure-fire way to garner interest. And possibly spark the idea of putting their home on the market.
RPR’s Equity Update, also commonly referred to as an “equity checkup” or “equity assessment”, is a great conversation starter and conversion tool. Why? Because current homeowners never get tired of hearing how much their home is worth. And if you catch an owner who isn’t exactly sure, after seeing the equity figure, chances are they will be very curious.
This technique really works well with previous clients (past sellers or buyers) and as a prospecting touchpoint.
The RPR Equity Update How-to
Figuring out an owner’s equity isn’t really that difficult to do if you have the right resources. It takes just a bit of digging, running a CMA and some easy math. And as a REALTOR®, you have exclusive access to RPR (Realtors Property Resource®), so as far as resources go, you’re all set!
To create an Equity Update, the first thing you’ll need to do is get the current mortgage balance of a property. This is where your past relationship with the owner will come in handy. You simply have to ask them for their mortgage balance. Some may be apprehensive, because they consider that figure to be private. While others will have no problem giving it up. If one of your previous customers does balk a bit, let them know that you’re working on a special packet, created especially for them and their property, that they will find very appealing. This tactic will hopefully pique their interest and get you the number.
Use the original loan balance as a starting point. Often this information will be found within RPR in the Mortgage Records section.
Then using RPR, perform a current CMA on the home. Once you have a solid understanding of its current value, your next step is to create an RPR property report. (Customize and trim down the report to just showcase the essentials.) Check out this link from the RPR blog: 3 Report Customizations You Should Be Doing Now to learn how to add custom pages and how to trim down your report (steps 2 and 3).
Now comes the math, but don’t stress–it’s easy! Simply take the home value and subtract the mortgage balance to arrive at the total equity in the home. This is the figure (slash carrot) that you want to dangle in front of your prospect.
Delivery and message templates
Your next step is to deliver the package to the homeowner. Some agents like to print out the report, bind it, include a cover letter, and either mail it or hand it off in person. It presents very well this way!
The other option is to go digital and either email or text it as a PDF file. It depends on your style and the recipient’s preferences. At this point, you should know how your clients like to receive information.
You also need to remember to include a personal message to the owner(s). This can either be done with a custom cover page that includes an area where you can include some text. Or, you can send an email or text attachment, and then create an email message in the body.
Sometimes agents need help putting together the right message. Below we’ve included two templates for you to copy and paste. Do make sure you update and change out the information that goes to the homeowner. In other words, fill in the blanks (owner names, property address and the equity number) with their information and numbers, and don’t use the template examples or the “Xs”!
This one comes from REALTOR® Julie Toy, who has a whole strategy for reaching out to her previous clients. Check out her message:
We penned this one ourselves just for RPR users:
Feel free to use these examples word for word, or make edits to fit your voice. Or, write your own version from scratch, it’s up to you. Just make sure to include the equity number, and ensure that your tone is centered around helping them out with this information. You’re doing them a kindness. Don’t push too hard, just dangle the information and let them know you’re available if they have any questions.
The RPR Equity Update checklist and wrap up
Now you know what to send and what to say when you deliver the RPR Equity Update. This approach to getting new clients from previous ones has a high probability of response if you target previous owners who have built up loads of equity.
Use RPR to pull the data, make your CMA, and create your property report. Then include your personal message and the equity number, and you’ll be on your way to positioning yourself as a trusted expert who can answer all their questions.
If done right, you could soon be sitting down to talk about listing their home. Good luck!