If you’ve been in real estate for any length of time, you probably know the importance of having a written plan and defined goals for your business. A business plan can help you prepare for the inevitable downturn in the market. Challenges can arise from time to time that may impact how much business you are able to do.
But a pandemic? It’s safe to say, few agents or brokerages had a plan B in hand when the coronavirus spread began, yet it has impacted not only how much business you can do, but how you do it.
Just as with the Great Recession of 2008, there will be some agents who will leave the business. But if you’re in the business to stay, there are a few things you can do during this time of social distancing, as long as you choose activities that are allowed in your area.
1. Be sure you understand your state’s executive orders. Pay attention to the executive orders coming out of your governor’s office. Understand which business practices are allowed and which aren’t, including open houses, in-person showings and client meetings. If you’re unsure, ask your brokerage or local MLS board leadership.
2. Work your sphere. When was the last time you worked your way through your sphere of influence? If you’ve been busy with showings and listing presentations, use this down time to re-connect with your personal and professional network. Check in simply to ask how they’re doing. By reaching out, you not only show compassion, but remind your contacts that you’re in real estate.
3. Call those leads. If you always had trouble setting aside time every day for lead generation, this is your moment. You’ve got extra time on your hands, so why not use it to get into the habit of lead generation? Call FSBOs and offer your assistance in getting their homes in front of buyers. Contact distressed homeowners and suggest they look into requesting a mortgage loan adjustment. Reach out to expired listings and suggest some alternatives if they fear a bunch of strangers are walking through their house. Most won’t be ready to sell today,
4. Offer a video open house. If you can’t or won’t hold a traditional open house, use video to hold a virtual one. Be sure your buyer prospects and other agents have the link. Plan your narrative ahead of time and be sure to include your contact information. Host a watch party on Facebook.
5. Allow buyers to choose a live video tour. It’s true—even in states where in-person showings are still allowed, buyers may shy away from walking through a stranger’s house right now. Offer to bring the house to them through a live video tour using Skype, FaceTime or whatever app they prefer. You can take them through the entire property and allow them to interact with you along the way with questions or requests to zoom in or out. Be sure to provide some commentary on the general ambience of the home as well as point out any defects that might not be obvious on the video.