How quickly things change. Several weeks ago, we were coasting through a red-hot housing market and home prices were heating up, with January marking eight consecutive years of home price growth in the United States. Then came the coronavirus pandemic.
While the full effects of COVID-19 on the housing market remain to be seen, the time will come when this current situation subsides and the housing market will return to a sense of normalcy. The steps you take to prepare now will position you to return to a strong and sustainable book of business when social distancing is over.
While your traditional marketing efforts may no longer suit the current environment, we’ve put together some tips on how you can stay in touch with clients during social distancing.
1. Be an advisor to your community
Uncertainty can be scary. Chances are, many of the people in your community are asking questions about how this crisis will affect their home values and future plans to buy or sell their homes. As a real estate agent, you are uniquely positioned to act as an advisor for your clients during these times.
Keep your clients informed with updates on the state of your local real estate market. Anticipate the needs and concerns of your clients and provide them with information on local resources that may provide the help they need.
Since sales pitches in times of uncertainty are not ideal, now is the time to invest in lasting relationships with your clients. The value you provide to your community now will pay dividends when real estate opportunities arise in the future.
2. Send postcards to stay in touch
Direct mail is a tried and true way for agents to reach members of the community. While you may be used to using postcards and direct mail to promote Just Sold or Just Listed properties, they are an excellent way to check in on clients and add value with meaningful information and resources.
One of our favorite benefits of sending postcards is that it is the only medium that offers you a 100% open rate! With folks staying home and direct mail down across the board, now is a great time to reach out and let them know that you are here.
3. Host virtual events
It is unclear how the effects of this pandemic will linger in our consciousness, but buyers and sellers alike are likely to be wary of in-person interactions for the foreseeable future. Virtual tour services like 3D tours, aerial photography and walkthrough videos will play an even more critical role in showing properties. Adopting these services early will allow you to encourage and promote social distancing in real estate while keeping buyers, sellers and agents safe, limiting in-person showings to serious buyers only.
Conducting virtual showings and virtual open houses present a great way to engage live with an audience while maintaining appropriate safety measures. Schedule a video meeting in place of your traditional open house to engage with buyers and answer their questions. Make sure to record your session and make it available after the event to maximize your audience!
Live video tools on social media platforms are also a great tool for real estate professionals during social distancing and after, as many of today’s homebuyers first shop for homes on the internet. Beyond open houses, these tools can be used to conduct online seminars or informal Q&As with the community.
4. Embrace your role as a connector
Real estate agents are the ultimate connectors. With homeowners spending extended periods in their homes, home projects are bound to rise to top of mind. And with record low interest rates, refinancing activity is likely to stay strong for the foreseeable future. Give a shout out to your favorite contractors, lenders and repairmen – the information is bound to come in handy for your clients!
5. Maintain your marketing efforts
No matter the tactics you choose to use during this time, one thing holds true. Marketing efforts should be an ongoing practice. Take the time to create a marketing checklist of how you plan to adapt in the current times, and how you plan to evolve when social distancing impacts subside.
Relationships are among the most valuable resources you have in real estate. Double down and let your clients know that you are here through thick and thin. The work you put in now will allow you to hit the ground running when the market returns.
HomeVisit is here to help
Whether you’re looking to design a direct mail postcard campaign or schedule a 3D shoot to enhance your listings, HomeVisit is here to help you do more with your marketing. Now and in the future.