The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things about the way real estate agents conduct business. From day to day operations to overall marketing strategies, the Coronavirus outbreak has forced changes on agents in every market across Canada. Working from home and meeting online has become the standard, as the entire industry shifts towards less in-person interactions.
One of the best ways you can stay on top of the competition is by leveraging technology throughout this period of social distancing. Here’s a look at how some of your everyday tasks can be better accomplished with technology right now.
1. Team Meetings
It’s important to maintain relationships with your team members during these extraordinary times, even if face to face isn’t the norm anymore. Come up with strategies that keep your team close and on the same page, like daily video chats or messaging software with both desktop and mobile applications. We’d recommend using a service like Zoom that offers nearly no lag time, meaning that your team will be able to have conversations with ease.
Video conferencing keeps everyone motivated and focused on their goals, while also making sure that you aren’t depleting your sense of connection as a team.
2. Property Pages
Even the way buyers and sellers are searching for homes has changed during the pandemic, and agents should lean on technology to meet the needs of their potential clients.
With a lack of traditional showings and open houses, online listings need to display even more details than before the pandemic, with virtual tours being some of the most requested features from buyers and sellers. REW has worked hard to include virtual tours on property pages, giving your potential clients the ability to view your listings in detail without ever stepping foot in a home. Be sure your property pages include these virtual tours, both during the pandemic and beyond. They help you drive more engagement on your listings and create more excitement amongst your potential clients.
3. Virtual Showings
Virtual showings are becoming more common during the pandemic, as sellers are wary of holding open houses, and buyers prefer to research from the comfort of their own home. For this reason, you should invest some time in learning the basics of lighting, sound recording, and filming with your mobile phone, which is likely powerful enough to capture high-quality photos and videos.
For those who want to level up their photography, a DJI Osmo or similar piece of technology with a gimbal is an excellent investment. They make sure your video footage is smooth, and are especially useful for live videos when reshooting isn’t an option. If you’re going to shoot video in one take, you should do everything you can to prevent potential mistakes.
4. Client Meetings
Seeing people face to face is still the best way to sell, and if you can’t meet in person, technology can help bring you closer to your clients. Video conferencing is a fantastic way to stay in touch and build a relationship, in particular when compared to telephone or email. Whether it’s through a simple FaceTime call or in a more formal Zoom or Google Meet conference, you should make yourself familiar with at least one of the major video conferencing platforms and schedule your client meetings with video turned on.
One of our favourite tools on REW is the “request to video chat” feature, which allows buyers to schedule calls with listing agents directly from property pages. It helps agents set up virtual meetings with potential buyers, and sets the stage for a video call where you can introduce yourself in a more personal way than through email or telephone.
5. Open Houses on Hold
Open houses are on hold at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host an event to promote your listing. Try setting up a live video on Facebook or Instagram and scheduling your virtual open house on social media. Walk viewers through the house, offer a narrative to go along with the visuals, and look to entertain your audience in a quick 10-minute video.
Once you’ve recorded your video, you’ll be able to save it or post it to your social media page for post-live viewers. Don’t be surprised if more people attend your virtual open house event than usual!
6. Building Custom Resources
Don’t let the pandemic take away your communication points. Be sure you use video to stay connected with your clients across your marketing channels, whether they be on social media, in your newsletter, or on your website. Take this opportunity to begin a video-based market update series, answer common questions about neighbourhoods, or do question and answer sessions with experts in a real estate adjacent industry. Building up your free resources, blogs, and increasing your online following will help you not just during the pandemic, but also in the long term.
7. Nurturing Leads
One of the best ways that agents can lean on technology to increase their business during and after the pandemic is by putting more time into their customer relationship management (CRM) software.
A good CRM software makes sure that you’re on top of your referrals at all times, which is going to be extremely important when things begin to open up. Keep track of your referrals and lead sources and give them proper thanks, gifts, and attention at specific times throughout the year. CRMs make it easy to stay on top of these types of tasks.
You can also use this kind of software to take notes on people who engage with your content, ask you questions, and reach out to you during the pandemic. Make notes of your interactions with people and use them as an opportunity to follow up with more information at a later date. Using CRM software makes sure that you don’t miss any potential sales opportunities.
Investing in the strategies above will help you during the pandemic, but they’ll also carry your business forward when things return to normal. Taking the time to learn how to use new kinds of technology like customer relationship management software or video conferencing tools makes you a better agent. These tips will benefit you for years to come, so take advantage of this time with less in-person meetings and educate yourself on new tools similar to those listed above.