Finding the right strategic partners in real estate

  • Insurance expertise
Businesspeople shaking hands

The last several years have been tumultuous in the real estate industry, as seen in falling sales numbers both month-over-month and year-over-year. Following the seller’s market tapering off, the industry outlook is uncertain. Interest rates are rising, there are fears of a recession, housing supply continues to be limited and stubbornly high prices are causing affordability challenges. Many companies that benefited from the effects of a seller’s market through increased refinances or sales may be searching for ways to replace that revenue now that the market has cooled.

Adding a differentiator to a real estate agent or lender’s current offering via strategic partners can create new revenue that can help offset missing income. It can also help improve the customer experience, supporting healthier loyalty and retention.

Strategic partners in real estate are not new. Historically, common partnerships have included:

  • Real estate agent and lender, whether it’s a mortgage broker, traditional bank or a FinTech
  • Title insurance company

Three qualities to look for in real estate strategic partners

Different partners will bring unique attributes to the table, and each partner should be evaluated to determine the right fit for a company and its customers’ needs. Here are some things to consider when you’re evaluating a potential partner:

  • Flexibility – One of the benefits of a strategic partnership is collaborating to identify when, where and how to best integrate each other into their ideal customer journey. An embedded insurance broker is a great example of this type of partner. Their digital experience allows insurance-buying to be inserted into the home-buying journey where each real estate agent would like it – giving the agent and buyers access to a customized approach, not just off-the-shelf products and solutions.
  • Consultative – Companies with a mortgage servicing book, or even real estate agents, can provide great value to customers by properly linking their customers to the right expertise, say around their insurance. A licensed insurance agent can help your customers understand where they may have coverage gaps and could need to reevaluate their policies. When it comes to homeowners insurance, policyholders being underinsured is a critical issue, for both the homeowner and the mortgage lender because it puts both of their financial investments at risk. As well, new homeowners have critical timing issues which need to be addressed for their insurance needs as new or transitioning property owners.
  • Expertise – A solid strategic real estate partner will be in-the-know on all issues of their side of the real estate market. This deep knowledge can be used to the advantage of the consumer and help to reinforce that both partners are well-connected and knowledgeable resources for buyers.

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Filling gaps

Taking a deeper look into common types of strategic partnerships, it is clear that most real estate companies are lacking one key industry on their list of partners: home insurance. This is striking considering that 75% of realtors and auto dealers find very strong value in the offering. An embedded opportunity to be linked with a property and casualty (P&C) home insurance solution goes beyond the standard insurance partner offering. Historically, when P&C insurance has been linked in the industry, it’s been the opportunity for customers to review offers from a single insurance carrier. VIU by HUB, as a modern digital brokerage offering, is breaking that mold by bringing neutrality and choice to customers. VIU by HUB can present homebuyers insurance options from 25+ carriers. After purchasing a policy, the licensed VIU by HUB Advisory Team makes sure that your buyers continue to get the best advice, with the best coverage, and highly competitive pricing options.

Value exceeds dollars and cents

The added value of equipping homebuyers with insurance choices goes beyond just the price. The current insurance market is complicated: there is a high demand for insurance that’s running into high premiums and lowered capacity. Having a true expert like VIU by HUB in your back pocket can provide an offering to your customers that educates and informs them through all the complexity of insurance.

Homebuyers are experiencing considerable insurance challenges. Insurance carriers are pulling back considerably on offering coverage in some areas, such as California, Florida, and other coastal regions in the wake of major ongoing losses from extreme weather events. In fact, according to this Associated Press article, the U.S. is more likely to experience catastrophic weather events than any other developed country at this time.

The current market is impacting homebuyers as they try to figure out what is needed to purchase a home and to procure insurance in a timely way, which can lead to decision fatigue in the homebuying experience. For first-time homebuyers in particular, who often learn of the need for homeowners insurance during the closing process and have to scramble to get it, providing insurance options and expert guidance within the buying process can significantly lessen the strain.

In a stressed and uncertain market, the right strategic partner in real estate can provide a marketing win-win. With a partner who brings ease, transparency and deep expertise in a delightful, seamless experience, customers can experience less stress in a more streamlined, one-stop homebuying experience, while the company can gain a new revenue stream, in addition to heightened customer satisfaction, loyalty and referrals.