There is no normal. We constantly adapt to changes that we learn from this and past experiences and apply it so we can succeed in the future. Don’t waste time and energy doing things like you used to. Here are some suggestions that we put together for you to consider:
This is a great time to get involved in helping your local community. Go to your town or city government website to see what you can do.
If you have no symptoms contact your neighbors and offer to pick up and deliver groceries and prescription drugs for them. Follow common sense (leave items at the front door, keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands when you return home).
Post personal stories about your quarantine experience and the things you are doing to get through it. (In one of Governor Cuomo’s press conferences he spent a great deal of time personalizing it by talking about his family and their experiences. It was very moving). Be a resource not a pushy salesperson.
Give homeowners some suggestions on what they can do while they are quarantined. Homeowners can go through their house and throw out all the junk. If they are handy they can paint some rooms, change HVAC filters, clean windows and screens and organize closets and cabinets.
People are fleeing large cities for the suburbs. They are looking for short term rentals for now but could become future prospects. If you know about an empty house for sale in your area contact that agent and see if the owner would be interested in renting.
When markets are up, business is easy. Contact agents who are not committed to the business and try and secure future referrals from them.
Getting listings virtually:
Email prospective clients a presentation that explains why they should use you. List things like how long you have lived in the community and how familiar you are with the neighborhood. Provide them with a list of the homes you have sold. Facetime with them so you can walk them through the presentation and you can connect with each other. Make it a 2-way conversation. Be a good listener. Try and determine why your owner is selling and what are their top priorities. They will usually say price but that is not all. It may be financial, personal or for business reasons. Timing may be more important than price. It’s your job to hear their concerns.
Once homeowners are interested in listing with you, email them the paperwork for signature. Once you get it and If you are symptom free drive to the house and take pictures of the exterior. Ask the homeowner to take pictures of the interior and if possible do a virtual tour.
Ask the homeowner to share what they love about their home and neighborhood. Share this information with prospective buyers.
Update your social media accounts – Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Now is the time to develop and put in place online marketing.
If there are issues or delays ask for an extension on the closing date. Have your buyers and sellers sign a power of attorney in case they are ill or quarantined. You don’t have to physically be at a closing. If you or your client want to participate do it by phone with the attorney.
You may experience delays, price reductions and cancellations. Be prepared. Things will eventually get done. People have to buy and sell, lease and rent.
This is a great opportunity for those of you who are willing to work hard. There will certainly be less competition in the future. Those that aren’t committed are going to leave the business. Now is your time to shine. Remain calm.
We are in a business that allows flexibility. We are especially fortunate to be associated with a virtual real estate brokerage company that does everything remotely. This never could have happened years ago.
Be prepared. Showings may grind to a halt. Closings may be delayed. Municipal offices may remain closed. The good news is that many things can be found and completed online.
This will also pass soon and things will get back to normal just not the normal we are used to.
We are in an industry that will always be around. People need a place to live and work. Buying and selling will continue and opportunities will arise. Stay positive and stay engaged.
Remember we are family and are always here for you.
Richard & Steve