man on beach

Just reading the word “vacation” may be enough to make you feel more relaxed. Imagine if helping clients find the perfect vacation home were a regular part of your real estate practice. For many Real Estate Agents, thinking about other people’s vacations is routine.

The latest data from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) finds 16 percent of home sales involve vacation properties. While that number has declined a bit from its peak in the prior year, demand for second homes and family retreats is expected to remain steady as Baby Boomers transition into a more leisurely pace of living. Also, the rise in online solutions for short-term rentals is expected to help more families justify the expense of maintaining more than one home.

The type of homebuyer drawn to vacation ownership is also attractive. According to the NAR study, people purchasing a vacation home had a median income of $103,400 and 38 percent of these buyers paid in cash. In addition, of those who used home loans, just over half financed less than 70 percent, which can lead to smoother closings for all of the involved parties.

What’s Different About Working with Vacation Homebuyers?

Vacation home buying is somewhat seasonal, with the most Google searches on the term “vacation homes for sale” occurring between January and July. That makes any advertising you may want to do, especially if you are going to use search-word marketing, pretty straightforward.

You can build a niche by using your website to highlight your familiarity with the needs of long-distance buying and part-time ownership. Reinforce your shared enthusiasm for the area with blog posts that highlight your favorite restaurants, provide touring tips, and feature the lives of those in the area who have made the transition to part-time residents.

Be sure to use social media channels to support your marketing efforts by tagging photos so your posts are more likely to pop up when a visitor to the area conducts a search. It’s reported that some 70 percent of Internet buyers worked with the first agent that they connected with online.

Here are some other considerations you may want to share with clients as you help them locate their ideal vacation retreat.

5 Tips to Help Vacation Homebuyers Find the Perfect Property

1. Find out if clients are seeking a retreat or a future permanent residence to determine what areas may work best for them. For instance, a beach house might be perfect in-season but isolated and difficult to inhabit due to weather issues in the off season.

2. Encourage clients to “test drive” neighborhoods with a series of longer-term rentals before committing. This will give them a better feel for how day-to-day living might differ from a week of vacationing.

3. Supply clients who are considering renting their property out when they aren’t in residence with rental rules for the development itself (if applicable), as well as those of the municipality and state.

4. Educate clients about the local taxes that impact homeowners—not every part of the country has property taxes, for instance.

5. Advise clients to speak with their tax professionals before making any purchases. Being a property owner across state lines can have tax implications, as can the circumstances under which property is rented.

Adding a vacation property expertise to your business does more than put you in touch with enthusiastic buyers. It allows you to leverage your local familiarity in new way.