During a challenging period like the one we’ve found ourselves in this year, we’re all encouraged when we see resilience on display. There has been no shortage of industry stakeholders who have risen to the occasion in 2020.
Real estate professionals have adopted new, tech-focused ways to continue working closely with their clients. Agents, teams, offices, associations and MLSs throughout the U.S. and Canada have all rallied around new best practices to continue working at a high level.
Everyone is finding ways to adapt, with technology helping to smooth the way. For agents looking to share meaningful data with buyers and sellers, it makes sense to tap into a reliable database that tracks sales, showings, days on market, percent of original list price received and other useful metrics so they can present a clear picture of local market trends. There is plenty of good data out there to help you present yourself as the knowledge expert. It goes without saying that buyers and sellers are more jittery than normal right now, so data can go a long way in setting expectations and soothing anxiety.
Agents with a social media following—whether it’s 20 or 2,000—are posting about what’s going on in their local markets. Some are retweeting stories they’ve come across from industry leaders like National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun; others are posting links to charts or stories they find helpful.
Plenty has been written about the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, including the precipitous drop that occurred in March and April and the historic rebound that came just as quickly—and has continued ever since. Current and would-be clients will react favorably when you share current information that explains what’s going on, which helps set expectations if they choose to buy or sell right now.
Sift through the information available from the multiple industry observers who have written about the pandemic to help you present a full, well-rounded view of your region and the local market.
There are many virtual options available that enable agents to keep things moving, such as recording home tours to play later for buyers; using Zoom, FaceTime, GoToMeeting or join.me to have face-to-face conversations; or taking clients on a real-time, live tour to mimic an in-person showing. It’s common these days to see the weather person or sports broadcaster on your local television news presenting from their homes, or if you watch home improvement programs, seeing a virtual “reveal” of a renovation project.
An agent from Alexandria, Va., said online meetings have been more helpful than she expected. “I’m doing a lot more virtual appointments via Zoom, which enables me to screen share charts with clients,” she said. “It can actually work better than having to print out a pdf and walk through it in person, asking my client to look over my shoulder as I go through market stats on my tablet,” she added. “It’s a little silver lining for this new way of doing business.”
Virtual options aren’t a stretch for most busy agents, who already lean toward technology. Though many in the working world have had to adapt to being productive from home, real estate pros have always considered that as an important option and often have home offices.
While we can’t predict what the real estate industry will face in the months to come, we do know that all those who participate in this essential business are resilient enough to handle anything that comes their way. As we work together, we can all be inspired to lead by example and continue to move the industry forward.
For a graphical view of COVID-19’s daily impact on showings, visit www.showingtime.com.