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September 30, 2022
Buying a home is a lot of work. For first-time homebuyers, it also involves a lot of uncertainty. In many cases, first-time buyers find that their offer has been accepted and they suddenly need to have proof of homeowners insurance to finalize their mortgage – fast!
This leads, in many cases, to a Google search and a decision that’s based more on who shows up in search results than who offers the policies that best suit their needs.
If you’re an independent agent hoping to sell more homeowners policies to mortgage borrowers, you likely can’t compete with the heavy hitters for top positions in online searchs. But you can reach first-time buyers with strategic outreach and relationship-building. Here are three strategies to consider.
Even with the rise of online real estate listing sites like Zillow and Redfin, a whopping 87 percent of homebuyers still rely on a real estate agent for information during the homebuying process. That number is a testament to how valuable a human guide is during the complex and high-stakes journey of finding a home and getting a mortgage.
Insurance agents can help real estate agents deliver even more value to their clients by helping them find appropriate homeowners insurance (a requirement of most mortgages). To be one of the sources real estate agents point their clients to when an offer is accepted, start building relationships with those in your area.
We Insure agents have a particularly compelling appeal: because they have access to multiple carrier partners, they’re much more likely to be able to find a homeowners policy that meets a buyer’s unique needs.
People who have never bought a home don’t know what they don’t know. Specifically, they may not realize how quickly the need for homeowners insurance comes up and how quickly they’re expected to secure coverage to close their mortgage.
But you can fix that.
When you sell a policy to a new customer, it’s smart to make a habit of asking about the rest of their life. At the least, this will help you get to know each other and build the trust that’s the hallmark of long-term business relationships.
In many cases, though, you’ll uncover additional areas where you can meet their coverage needs – and even have a chance to educate them about needs they didn’t realize they had.
After helping a customer secure an auto policy, for example, you might ask whether they rent or own a home. If they’re a renter, you might ask if they have any plans to buy in the future – and either way you can mention that you’d be more than happy to help them find a policy when the time comes.
Keep in mind, though, that mentioning this once probably isn’t enough. Most people need to hear a message around seven times before it compels them to take action. That’s where the next strategy comes in.
These days, it’s anyone’s guess whether you’ll actually speak to any of your customers seven times before they need their next policy. But you can communicate with them through other methods, including email and social media.
Strategic marketing emails are a great way to stay top of mind between policy renewals. But timing is everything. Send a message too often, and customers will start to ignore you (or unsubscribe). Stay too quiet, and they may forget to reach out to you when they’re searching for homeowners insurance.
Another way to stay on your customers’ radar is social media. Admittedly, it’s harder than ever for businesses to compete with individuals on social channels. But if you enjoy social media and use it in your personal life, it might be worth testing the waters of creating a handle for your agency.
Another option: 52 percent of REALTORS® get leads from social media, in part because so many prospective homeowners rely on digital channels to find their homes. Part of your partnership with a real estate agent might be providing them with educational content about the homeowners insurance needs first-time homebuyers have.
Relationships matter. This is the biggest takeaway for insurance agents looking to sell homeowners insurance policies to first-time homebuyers. When a stressed-out buyer is trying to make sure they’ve provided all the right documentation to close their mortgage on a tight deadline, they’ll turn to someone they know, and who they trust to get them the coverage they need in time.
For many, that “someone” is Google.
But with some strategic outreach and relationship-building, that someone could be you. If you’d like to know more about how We Insure can help make your insurance offerings even more compelling to first-time homebuyers, get to know our franchise program, which offers access to multiple carriers, full IT support, and extensive help with marketing.
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The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.