We’ve all been through a lot over the past two months.
The real estate market during COVID-19 has been filled with uncertainty and agents have had to adapt quickly to new ways of doing business.
Shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders have made it difficult or near impossible for the real estate market to function normally, and many buyers and sellers are postponing any action until they have a better idea of how things will look in the immediate and short term future.
Fortunately, as of mid May, it seems like we might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Many states have begun a “soft” reopening and others are planning on beginning phased openings over the next few weeks. This means that we might start seeing some degree of normalcy, however, conditions in the real estate market will likely be altered for at least the remainder of the year.
What We’re Covering: 3 Things Agents Should Do NOW
- Maintain regular contact will all active listings. Where is their head at, do they still want to move forward?
- Call everyone in your database. Be a resource, don’t be salesy, offer to help, see what they need during this difficult time.
- Be a community resource connector. Reach out to businesses in your area and see how you can help them and inform them or any resources or assistance in your area.
Will the Real Estate Market Go Down?
Before we dive into what agents should be doing right now, there’s a question on a lot of peoples’ minds: Will the real estate market crash or go down?
Our answer is we don’t think so, but we also can’t predict the future because we left our crystal ball at the office.
The fact that nearly every level of society and that every person has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the real estate industry. No one can hide from the fact that this is serious stuff. Fear of the virus itself coupled with unemployment and uncertain economic times mean that people are generally hesitant to take any large action like, just as an example, buying or selling a home.
This is not to say that every real estate market has ground to a halt. On the contrary, many of the agents and companies we work with at PowerISA have continued to help clients buy and sell homes throughout the crisis and the lockdowns (excuse the shameless plug). But whether you have taken a large hit or not, you’ve most likely had to adapt to the new landscape and change the way you do business.
Even with many states and municipalities reopening and allowing more business and real estate activity, you will probably still have to continue to adapt as we move forward.
What Should Real Estate Agents Be Doing during COVID-19
We put out a video a few weeks back (watch it here) outlining some steps agents and companies could take to stay top of mind with their clients and keep their business moving forward, even with all the restrictions.
Although now we may be emerging from the worst of the lockdowns and quarantines (keep your fingers crossed), we are still likely to have months of continued social distancing, fear of the virus, and a reluctance to be around people or out in public. That means that the steps and tips we outlined in our video are still as relevant as ever.
How to Handle Your Active Listings during Coronavirus
What you definitely should have been doing and what you should continue to do moving forward through this crisis is maintaining frequent contact with your buyers and sellers. Reach out to your current listings, let them know about the real estate market during COVID-19, be realistic with them, ask them about their situation, see how they are holding up, and so on.
Whether or not your buyer or seller listing wants to hold out and stay on the market through this ongoing situation is ultimately up to them. But you need to assist them in making those decisions by taking the temperature of their motivation, personal situation, and the status of their market.
What Do Buyers and Sellers Need Right Now?
Keep your current business as motivated as you can, stay informed of their thought process, and think of what they are going through from their perspective.
- A seller wants to find a buyer as quickly as possible, especially with fears circulating of a real estate market crash and possible recession.
- Your buyers probably want to take advantage of the historically low interest rates and use it to purchase a new home quickly.
Whether you’re dealing with active buyers or sellers, you have to continue to adapt your business the same as you have been over the past two months. People are going to continue to want to be off the streets and not in public as much as possible. But for those clients who still want to move forward with the process anyway, you have to figure out a way. I hope you haven’t gotten tired of Zoom call meetings, virtual tours, or virtual open houses, because you will most likely have to continue those for the foreseeable future.
Adapt and find ways to help your clients. You have to be the rock that assists them in moving through this difficult time. Stay in contact with your active business, and for those who still want to buy or sell, make it work.
How to Maintain Your Real Estate Database during COVID-19
- Call everyone in your database
- Become a helpful resource for the community
In addition to continuing to communicate with and provide solutions for your active business, you have to develop a plan for your database. Again, this is something that you hopefully have been doing over the past several weeks. Despite the reopening's, actively maintaining your database is something you should continue to be doing constantly.
What does that plan look like? Calling everyone. That’s right, call everyone in your database. No excuses, no exceptions. Without in person meetings, showings, or open houses, you have plenty of extra time on your hands that you may not have for too much longer. If you’ll still be hunkered down working from home for the next few weeks or months, then jump into your database.
What you shouldn’t do, however, is be pushy or ask your database for business right now. Times are tough, people are still scared, and if you come off even slightly salesy or self-serving, they will most likely shut you down quickly. Instead, you want to simply check in with them.
Ask them how they are doing, if they need anything, if you can help them with anything—be a resource and a source of positivity now, and they’ll remember you in the future.
Help Other Businesses, Too
Basically, your goal is to be a community connector. In addition to reaching out to potential real estate clients, you should also contact other business owners in your area.
Ask them how they have been affected, see how business is doing, inform them of any possible relief or resources that are out there for small businesses—be that person in your community that people can count on. Build a reputation of being the person that people can turn to and they will when this is all over.
Conclusion: Being a Real Estate Agent during COVID-19
The key to dealing with this ongoing situation as a real estate agent is to keep moving forward. Find ways to adapt your business to consumer needs, focus on helping your clients work through this crisis, and get creative about how you develop and go after new clients. In spite of all the uncertainty and nervousness, people still need and want to buy and sell homes.
We’ll all get through this and life and business will go on. Follow these tips to help your clients power through.
Founder and CEO