When the going gets tough, the toughest real estate professionals make a difference. Top real estate agents recognize they are selling a community and lifestyle along with a house. Agents who are an integral part of the neighborhood become known as local resources. Discover how savvy agents are making a difference in the community during the pandemic and the “new normal” days to follow.
Each neighborhood has unique concerns about COVID-19 and home values. Instead of considering the national impact of the pandemic, agents should localize their focus. Connect with other professionals via social media and Zoom conferences to discuss the ramifications of the quarantine on the neighborhood. Be aware of what people think and feel to target those concerns and address them.
Listen and Learn
Emotions are heightened during times of crises. It can be tempting to talk rather than listen, especially when everyone seems to have more questions than answers. Agents should communicate via email, text, and video conferencing with clients to find out their concerns. Make a list to keep track of what buyers, sellers, and investors want to know, then do the research to provide valid information.
Become an Authority
An agent who understands what the locals need and want is well-positioned to become an authority during these challenging days. Provide updates about housing values, mortgage rates, and showing a home virtually during the quarantine. Offer useful tips about cleaning and staying safe at home. Help charitable organizations in the area by donating money or time, such as delivering food to those who cannot get out. Do something unusual, such as creating real estate or locally themed masks to give out at neighborhood grocery stores.
Harness the Power of Video
While people might not be able to meet in-person during the quarantine, video is a way to stay visually connected. Video conferencing makes it easy to talk to clients and associates in real-time. Create videos to share on social media and blog articles to inform the public about the latest concerns. Offer tutorials, such as how to host a virtual open house or how to use masks and gloves during an individualized showing. Take a live tour of a new listing and share it via sites such as Facebook Live.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
People staying safe at home still want to connect with others, and social media is one of the safest ways to do it. Smart agents recognize the increased use of social media during the pandemic, and are maintaining vibrant social media presences to stay in touch with the community, Post video tours of listed homes or create a survey for people to share how they feel. Be interactive and reach out to make new connections who could become future clients. Take advantage of LinkedIn to connect with professionals. Use Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat to share content, video, and photos. Better Homes and Gardens® affiliated agents have access to a vast social media network for learning and sharing.
During these unsure days, some agents have the urge to cut back on expenses and marketing. An agent who stays active and relevant during the pandemic will be remembered afterward. Even agents on budget can engage in free and affordable marketing campaigns, such as writing informative blog articles and social media entries. Agents can also take photos of the properties, including aerial images to show off the landscaping. Host virtual tours to show homes during a time when people are reluctant to go out. Showcase local businesses and what makes them special in the community. The goal is to become well-known and respected in the neighborhood.
Take it Easy
Many people feel unsure about the present and future as the world navigates COVID-19. Try to remain calm and authoritative throughout these unpredictable days. Agents may be anxious about getting back to work, but should never show it. Offer meaningful updates to help people feel more secure during a time of uncertainty. Have a sense of humor when it fits the occasion. An agent who takes it easy and makes people feel comfortable will be valued as everyone starts to slowly resume their regular activities – including buying and selling property.
A wealth of concerns and challenges go along with surviving the pandemic. Top real estate agents are positioning themselves as local resources and people who care about making a difference in the community. In the future, the agents who stayed virtually connected during the pandemic will hear from clients as they emerge from the quarantine.