Earning an income from the comfort of your couch sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? I personally have friends who have applied for remote-only positions, hoping to get the opportunity to do that very thing. Ask any of my real estate friends why they chose a career in real estate, and almost all of them will likely tell you they wanted to obtain a flexible schedule and they wanted the ability to work from home. What they quickly find out, though, is that the job requires them to be out and about more often than they originally anticipated due to meet and greets, buyer tours, listing appointments, staging days, open houses, and a plethora of other things that require them to be customer facing all the time.
So… what happens when working from home is no longer a luxurious option, but a requirement mandated by our government? What happens when real estate agents and brokers aren’t deemed as essential, so they are told to stop working immediately to slow the risk of COVID-19? Here are seven tips and tricks to real estate from home, for real.
Tip #1: Use Video Communication
With stay-at-home orders in place across our nation, it is now more important than ever that you and your team familiarize yourselves with video communication sources such as Facetime, Facebook video, or GoogleDuo. Being able to continue to meet your clients “face to face” will help them feel more comfortable with the idea of having you as an agent because not only will they be able to put a face to the name, but video communication gives a more personal feel than a basic email. For those of you who are using MoxiPresent, did you know that you can embed video elements into your created presentations? Try adding rich media to your bio or neighborhood news and see what kind of response you get!
Tip #2: Virtual tours & video walkthroughs
The housing market has been affected by COVID-19 as a result of a variety of factors, but more so because buyers are scared of meeting their agents at a home for a tour due to the risk of potential spread of COVID-19. How do you show them a home without actually being there to open the door for them? Easy! Matterport, Zillow, and other 3rd party sources now offer you a way to create a 3D tour for your buyers. You can also use your cell phone to record a walkthrough of the property to give the customer a realistic sense of how the home feels. Both of these avenues allow your buyer to see the home, while still being able to social distance. You can then easily embed videos or create your own buyer tour within MoxiPresent.
Tip #3: Stick to individual home showings
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people don’t have gatherings of six people or more to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Instead of hosting a large open house for potential buyers, try video communication (tip #1) or virtual tours (tip #2) to help. Some states consider real estate to be an essential business, while others don’t, which means you may or may not be able to conduct in-person showings. If your buyer is determined to see the property in person, don’t feel obligated to risk your health to show them a house this week. Try to reschedule as best as possible. That being said, if you decide to, you can schedule a time to do an individual showing. Just remember to keep your distance and take the necessary precautions to keep you, and your clients safe.
Tip #4: Your CRM is your friend
Regardless of whether or not you are working from home or in an office, one of the biggest mistakes that an agent/broker can make is forgetting about their CRM. For those of you who don’t know what that is, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, which is a fancy term for a software system that allows you to manage client relationships and track data. We’ve seen first-hand how MoxiEngage helps real estate professionals stay organized even in the midst of all this chaos. Since it’s designed specifically for real estate, it allows agents to follow their sales flow and communication cadences set for each client in order to stay engaged with their sphere and maintain productivity, even in times of uncertainty. It’s all about keeping your book of business organized and to help fill your pipeline.
Tip #5: Visual and Online Marketing
As we know, leaving the house isn’t really an option these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sellers are wondering if putting their house on the market is even a good idea if nobody will be able to see it. As an agent, it is your job to guide them in the right direction and help them understand there are other ways people can see the home. Marketing that home in ways that can highlight the property visually, is key. For example, MoxiWorks provides you with marketing materials that you can use the moment your listing hits the market. These materials are focused on providing real time property data and are highly visual, creating an engaging experience for recipients. If your buyer is more traditional, feel free to print out the PDF and send them a flyer. If your clientele is younger and more tech savvy, leverage email templates and pre-populated posts for different social media platforms to ensure maximized exposure.
Tip #6: Utilize your Seller
Most of us are stuck in our houses with kids, pets, and chaos, so finding a time where your seller is not home is very unlikely right now. Instead of hiring a staging company or scheduling a time where the owners can take a walk with their dog so you can show the property, use your seller and their “free time” to your advantage. Ask them to capture videos of certain rooms for you. I’m sure they would be happy to help if it allows them to sell quicker!
Tip #7: Provide a personal touch
Have you ever walked through a store in the mall, just to browse and get a feel of what was there, or to waste time while you’re waiting for your watch to be engraved? Most of the time we get that sales associate who comes up, asking if we are searching for something specific and won’t leave us alone, even though we tell them we’re “just looking.” As consumers, we don’t like to be sold, especially in times of uncertainty. Reach out to your prospects and clients with a simple goal: To ensure they are safe and healthy, and to let them know you’re thinking of them and wishing them the best. Too many people want to force a sale, not enough of them want to take the time to connect on a human level. Don’t forget that sometimes just a simple smile or hello can go a long way.