The coronavirus has changed the day-to-day lives of the entire world. As we venture through these unprecedented circumstances, which has found many of us inside for long periods, agents must take proactive measures to stay in front of potential clients and remain connected.
We have already witnessed a noticeable decline in online searches associated with real estate. As searches continue to decline, real estate agents will need to take an even more active role in engaging with the community online. Just because consumers are not looking now, does not mean they won’t be looking at all.
Think of it as the pause button being hit for many in the current market. The buyers and sellers who would have otherwise begun their real estate journey, but have taken a step back, were not erased. They are, just like you and me, assessing the situation and choosing the best path forward for themselves and their families. They will need reassurance and guidance, so when the time comes, they will be well-informed and ready to dive right back into the market.
As real estate agents, you are responsible for guiding people throughout one of the most emotional and financially taxing transactions a person will ever endure. It’s time to bring that bedside manner online, and counsel those who rely on you as a real estate expert. And it just so happens, social media gives you the perfect platform to interact with the community from a socially safe distance.
Making efforts to keep yourself up to date on the latest information regarding the coronavirus will arm you with knowledge and make you a better advocate for your clients. Organizations like NAR have dedicated entire sections of their websites to COVID-19. Keep tabs on the state of the real estate market, as well as the world.
Join Online Community Groups and Forums
Facebook, in particular, is one of the best platforms for finding online groups specific to your market cities and towns. To find these communities, simply navigate to the search bar on Facebook and type in the name of your desired locality. Once there, click on the “Groups” tab and find the page for your city or town and hit “Join.” Be sure to read the rules of each group before posting.
While active in these communities, it is important to post in moderation, be authentic, and avoid coming across as if you are trying to sell something. Provide relevant information and make yourself available to answer questions about the current state of the real estate market.
Utilize Social and Email Channels to be a Reassuring Source of Knowledge
It’s sometimes easy in difficult times to join others in being pessimistic about current events. It is essential as real estate agents to be measured in how you go about disseminating information to the public. People who have just put their lives on hold due to the coronavirus will be looking to the real estate community for guidance, and you need to be a consistent and reliable source of it. While other agents may take a step back during this slowdown, you can step up and let your knowledge, professionalism, and expertise shine.
Tap Into That Database
Now is the time to go through your database and reach out to your clients and contacts. For example, just because someone may not be looking to sell currently, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from discussing their concerns about the value of their property. Sending an email to check-in to see how they’re doing and ask if they have any questions will let them know that your regard for their well-being didn’t end at the closing table.
Be sure to personalize each interaction. It will show that you were doing more than copy and pasting the same message into each email. Then when they’re ready, it will be you that they turn to to close their next deal.
Try Different Communication Tools
Humans, by nature, are social creatures who need interaction with other people in their day-to-day lives. While you may not be able to meet in person right now, there are plenty of free online tools that will allow you to converse face to face from a safe distance. Platforms like Google Hangouts and Skype are just some of the many options that will enable you to put a face to your conversations. Doing so will help make interactions more personable, giving clients a sense of a connection.
Take Care of Yourself
More than anything, during these times, it is essential for you to take care of yourself. Real estate is a human interaction centered industry, and it can be challenging to be removed from that for an extended period of time. As much as the above steps can help you stay in front of clients and bring valuable information to the community, they will also assist you in maintaining a connection and routine.
My thoughts are with those who have been affected by COVID-19. Although we can’t necessarily be together, we stand together.