WASHINGTON – March 24, 2015 – According to the National Association of Realtors®, vacation-home sales in 2013 increased nearly 30 percent, while sales of investment homes slipped 8.5 percent.

Real estate agents specializing in the vacation-property market – a big niche in retirement-friendly Florida – say that these buyers have a different style than clients seeking a place to live full time.

They stress the importance of conveying the story of a home, the surroundings and the community if clients are looking for a second home – "Doing whatever it takes to get that 'magical' picture to portray the feeling of the property … is still probably the single most important thing when it comes to marketing," says Joe Burns of Country Homes Real Estate in New Hampshire.

Julie Toon Timms of Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers in South Carolina emphasizes the need for patience.

"With a vacation or investment property, it's not a matter of needing a roof over one's head, and I find many buyers taking a long time, sometimes years, before making the final decision," she says.

Timms says building a genuine relationship is crucial. Since many vacation-property owners rent out their homes, agents should provide them with data on cash flows and rates of return, among other information.

Additionally, agents should have first-hand experience living in the area, a deep-seated love for the community, and the ability to truly listen to the wishes of their clients in order to succeed in the vacation home niche.

Source: RISMedia (03/18/15) De Vita, Suzanne

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