When it comes to building your business, knowing your audience is everything. And there’s a growing demographic (that could be within your existing client base) who needs your attention: house flippers.
If you look around, you’ll likely spot their home renovation handiwork everywhere. They purchase fixer-uppers for rock-bottom prices, invest resources to either correct cosmetic issues or add value by completely redesigning it, then make a tidy profit selling it to the next owner.
In fact, CoreLogic found the percentage of properties sold by a business entity reached a high of 41 percent in Q3 2018, with 10.9 percent of all home sales identified as flips in Q4 2018 (a near-historic high).
But even with those numbers in mind, you might wonder: OK, so what? What sets them apart from any other homeowner or property owner?
In a word: time. House flippers often work under very tight timelines to ensure they secure a profit on their investment before the loan comes due. Whether they’re planning to make minor cosmetic changes or gutting it completely, these property owners are looking for the most efficient use of time and money.
To answer this need and help you prepare to have a conversation with house flippers about the need for home remodeling insurance, consider these three steps:
- Study Up
You’ll need to be ready to move as quickly as house flippers do with answers to common questions. Many property owners are under the [mistaken] impression that a homeowners insurance policy will provide all the coverage they need for the remodeling they plan to do. And whether the renovations are minor (e.g. replacing flooring and cabinets) or major (e.g. moving a load-bearing wall or adding another story), house flipping bears the same significant risks (and potentially devastating losses) as any other home remodeling project. As soon as sledgehammers start breaking through walls or old flooring comes up, any number of risks could be waiting. Need a brush-up on remodeling builders risk insurance? Check out our FAQ here.
- Anticipate Timetables
You already know house flippers need to work fast, but not every timetable will be the same. Generally speaking, flippers who plan to do minor renovations are looking to move extra fast. Depending on how minor the changes are (and whether the changes represent 15 percent or less of the existing structure value), these clients may even be interested in a vacant home insurance policy. However, if house flippers are planning to make more extensive, expensive changes, their timetable may be extended due to the presence of mandatory inspections and permits. To ensure it stays insured during that period, a remodeling builders risk insurance policy like the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich can be secured. These policies are available with policy terms as low as six months and short-term extensions are available (with underwriting approval) to provide additional flexibility.
- Know Where to Meet Them
Ready to take on this growing demographic, but not sure where to look? After mining your existing book of business, consider getting involved with house flipper associations in your area, the National Real Estate Investors Association, and through fix and flip / real estate groups on Meetup. And if you’re looking for even more interaction, make connections with local realtors and bank associates who can keep you in the loop about properties before they go on the market so you can make yourself available to potential buyers.
Just like other remodeling clients, house flippers want to avoid unexpected expenses to their fixer-upper investments. Read about their potential risks and how remodeling course of construction insurance can help when you download our resource, Renovation Risks: Why Homeowners Need Remodeling Insurance.
This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.
Thank you. We appreciate your feedback.