COVID-19 has certainly necessitated some unique operating within the real estate field these last couple of months. Real estate professionals may have experienced local restrictions on their businesses to varying degrees, but regardless of the impact felt on an individual level, the market has undoubtedly been affected as a whole. There is a silver lining, though: Experts predict a boost in sales, a pickup of the spring surge and a prompt return to normalcy as the stay-at-home orders are gradually lifted.
In the meantime, it’s best to continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing to prioritize public health concerns. We are all in this together, and there are still plenty of opportunities to remain successful during this time. Real estate professionals everywhere are taking advantage of more downtime to keep customers engaged in the market, master new technology and build rapport with clients.
A simple way to keep clients present and up to date is by keeping in touch via email — even with those not currently thinking about buying or selling. The market may be volatile, and your clients may be concerned about the fluctuating economy, so they would likely appreciate information that keeps them in the know.
If you aren’t already sending weekly or monthly market updates, now might be the time to start. This can build trust and position you as an expert during this difficult time. Relevant info to share could include statistics about your firm, professional recommendations and general economic or industry news.
It doesn’t have to be much; no matter how you style it, this will help boost overall customer satisfaction and keep you top of mind. Clients will be impressed that you’re still thinking about their perspective and exercising proactive communication. Be open to answering questions and establishing a friendly presence from afar.
Open houses — a central component in the real estate industry — may not be feasible during this time. However, there are plenty of alternative ways to show off your properties and interact with customers.
One great way to show off properties is to set up drone tours or virtual showings. Zillow has a great guide on how to get started with showcasing your real estate properties virtually. These digital options allow your customers to see more homes faster while remaining safe now and into the future. Drone tours and virtual showings will likely become even more popular over time due to their convenience, so now is the perfect opportunity to integrate them into your business and remain cutting edge.
Video chat correspondence
Another successful digital solution for the COVID era is using video chat with your clients. Just as you would meet face to face to discuss their options and gauge their interest, it’s important to keep up with regular meetings even if you can’t get together in person.
Come prepared with properties of interest, professional updates and helpful resources. Even if it’s just essential news that’s being broadcasted in other publications, sharing it reinforces to your client that you are plugged into what’s going on and focused on prioritizing their well-being. This will promote customer reliance and trust during COVID, reminding them that you still care and are keeping their perspective in mind.
While you’re continuing to keep in touch with customers via video, another alternative to open houses is a live video walk-through. This works similar to a drone walkthrough except they’ll have your assistance to guide them around the property. Prepare the same way you would for a standard open house. This way, they’ll have the chance to ask questions and see the home in detail.
Use these simple ideas to adapt to changing market conditions throughout COVID and stay engaged with customers. Drone tours, video walkthroughs, virtual meetings and email updates are all great ways to remain connected and continue business as usual as much as possible during these unprecedented times. Social distancing does not mean real estate professionals need to stop selling; with a little creativity and willingness to try new tactics, you can maintain your competitive edge in the market.