COVID-19 has made it impossible to stay in touch with clients in person, but there are many ways to keep your relationships strong during these uncertain times. One widely available tool you can use to stay connected with your clients is video, which can be used in numerous ways and on multiple platforms.
Here are six ways you can use video to stay connected with your clients. They're great for the coronavirus pandemic, and will still be useful long after things get back to normal.
1. Conduct Expert Interviews
Your clients have a lot of questions right now, many of which are directly related to real estate and its adjacent industries.
If you’ve been in the industry for more than a year, you’ve likely built some great connections with mortgage brokers, notaries, home inspectors, and other professional service providers. Consider partnering with a local expert (who preferably has their own social media following) and conduct an interview with them on their area of expertise. Come prepared with questions surrounding the current market conditions and the near and long term outlook.
Be sure that your guest shares the interview on their social media accounts and ask them to tag your business pages in any post. This is a great way to reach a new audience.
There are many platforms you can use to conduct an interview, with Zoom being one of the most popular options available. You can also use a live video feature from Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram - we’ll talk more about that below.
Example Idea: Ask your favourite local mortgage broker to join you on a Zoom call to discuss the news that the six big banks have delayed mortgage payments. Ask them how to inquire about the new programs, who’s eligible, and what other policy changes homeowners can expect in the near future.
2. Try a Live Video
Live videos may seem daunting, but don’t let them scare you away. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to communicate with your clients quickly and effectively. Unlike other video production, there’s no editing, no obsessing over a script, and no searching for the perfect shot. All you need to do is get comfortable with your on-camera skills and you’ll have an easy way to reach your audience.
There are a ton of platforms that offer live video publishing and each has its own features, but Facebook Live is a good place to start. Facebook Live videos tend to jump the algorithm and reach a large portion of your audience, as your page followers will be notified you’re live. You can even set an air date for your video and have people schedule a reminder to watch.
Practice going live on your Facebook page by limiting your audience to just yourself until you get the hang of it. Then, when you’re ready, be sure to share the video with any of your personal or business pages the moment you go live.
As we discussed above, you can bring in and conduct an interview with another person on Facebook live. Once your expert interviewee starts watching your live video, you can invite them to chat and conduct a split screen interview. Again, test this out with your guest as the only audience before you go live, just to make sure you work out the kinks.
Example Idea: While many of us are stuck inside, interior design has become increasingly on the minds of homeowners. Set up a live video with a local interior designer and have them run through a few tips for maximizing space or setting up the perfect home office. REW is also working on ways to connect agents to clients via live-streamed open houses - watch this space for more information soon.
3. Market Updates
Market updates are commonly used in newsletters and blogs, but they’re not often covered in videos. We’re not saying you have to switch to only using video for your market updates, but at the very least you should transform your blogs and newsletter posts into video content that can be shared across your social media platforms.=
We’ve seen some amazing examples of market updates in video form. Most local news coverage right now focuses solely on the COVID-19 pandemic (as it should), but this is leaving a gap for real estate agents to fill with video content. People still want to know what’s happening to the market, and market update videos are a great way for you to provide that data to your clients. Make a 5-minute market update video every month to start and go from there if you see strong engagement numbers.
If you have a market update newsletter, try including your video in the newsletter and give people the option of consuming your information in video format. You’ll be surprised how many of your clients prefer video.
Example Idea: Get a whiteboard, write down the important statistics and data for your local community, and run your clients through the biggest percentage changes and the implications of those changes and other factors on the market.
4. Local Spotlights
Getting involved in your area's business community is a great way to build a local presence and become the go-to realtor in your community. Showing off your favourite places, whether they be restaurants, boxing gyms, or coffee shops, is a great way to reach a larger audience and provide educational content to your clients. Always be sure to let the local businesses know that you’re mentioning them either by phoning, emailing, messaging or tagging them on social media, and reserve your local spotlight for businesses you love. You’ll get the best engagement if your recommendations are heartfelt and sincere.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious effects on the real estate industry, and while you may not be able to go into a restaurant to conduct an interview or get photos and videos of their operation, it’s still possible to hand out video recommendations and spotlights from your living room.
Example Idea: Record a video highlighting your three favourite restaurants in the local community, provide your followers with the restaurant’s contact information for takeout, and notify the businesses of your recommendation.
5. Q&A Sessions
Wouldn’t it be great to know what questions your clients have about the real estate market? Good news: There’s an app for that.
Instagram’s “Question” feature is a fantastic way to get a roundup of questions from your followers. If you post the Question sticker on an Instagram story, your followers will be able to submit questions that you can answer within your stories at a later time. You’ll be able to see who asked what, but to your followers it will be anonymous.
Here’s how we recommend conducting a Q&A session on Instagram:
Post an Instagram Story video early in the morning explaining that you’re going to be answering questions about the real estate market, your business, and anything in between. Remember that it’s completely up to you which questions you choose to answer. Ask people to submit their questions on the next Story, and then post the question sticker on the next Story with the caption “Ask Me Anything.”
Either that evening or the following morning, answer the questions you received in an Instagram Story (be sure to take videos). People who asked questions will watch to see their answer, along with a good portion of your following who is interested in what’s going on in the market. This is a great opportunity to connect with your clients when you can’t visit them in person.
Example Idea: At 7am, post to your Instagram Story and ask people what questions they have about COVID-19’s impact on the real estate market in your city. Tell them you’ll answer their questions anonymously and to check back on your Story for answers at 7pm.
6. Offer Virtual Tours
While open houses and private viewings may be impossible at the moment, virtual tours are filling in the gaps and making it easy for sellers to show off their properties. On top of that, they make the home search experience more enjoyable, giving buyers a much more in-depth look at listings.
REW’s new Virtual Tours make it easy for buyers to evaluate a potential home while staying inside and following social distancing policies. If you want to stay in touch with your clients who are actively searching for a home, Virtual Tours are a must right now.
Thanks for reading! We hope these tips were helpful and have you feeling ready to embrace video as part of your real estate business. If you have any questions or want to know more, get in touch with us at [email protected].