Let’s face it, these are testing times, the way we live and do business has been completely upended. It’s a time of uncertainty and panic, but it doesn’t have to be.
What you do now and in the next three months will control what happens in the next six to 12 months. How you react will separate you from others who don’t react so well.
So what do you do?
The first decision you need to make is how you will work and at what level you will work.
At Real Estate Brilliance we have made the decision to work remotely using Zoom, Voxxer, video, email, phone, email etc. We have family in the high risk categories and have decided this is the right move for us.
You may decide to follow a similar path or you may maintain some face-to-face contact with clients. It is totally up to you; understand the risks, take any necessary precautions and do what you feel is best. You can always step back later if you need to.
Then you need to decide how you will deal with existing business – buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants, and future business. Personally I think it’s not the time to deal with future business, you need to work with your current clients.
I’ve developed a three step system to do this.
Contact ALL your current clients and find out where they stand, how they are likely to be affected. Make it personal, use Zoom or a conference call. Talk to them, reassure them, share circumstances worries and concerns.
Use the following process to grade your clients and work with them to find the best solution.
- Identify who is potentially going to have a problem. For example a tenant who has lost their job and might not be able to pay the rent or a buyer in a similar situation who might not be able to proceed with a sale. You need to be aware of where there might be a problem so that you are ahead of the curve. Then work with all parties to try and find a solution, be the link between the buyer and seller, tenant and landlord. You may need to freeze transactions. For example, if the buyer still wants the home and the seller wants to sell but is in no hurry to leave, you may be able to delay the transaction until the situation improves. If people decided to pull out of a contract I don’t think there will be a lot you will be able to do about it legally in these unprecedented circumstances.
- Find out if they are in a position where they are happy to continue, either selling or leasing out their property. Let them know if you are going to be doing things in a different way now, such as virtual tours, by appointment only, limiting home open attendance, having hand sanitiser and disposable gloves at home opens etc.
- The seller or landlord is in a position where they can sit and hold. They can be put on the shelf until this blows over, but this doesn’t mean that they are forgotten. You need to be clear with them, let them know things are likely to get worse before they get better, that if they want to sell or find a new tenant for a vacant property they should act. If they are still happy to wait, keep in contact with them once a fortnight. Don’t lose them as a client, relist them for 12 months so that you don’t have to do all the leg work again.
Put your energy into those who need to sell, there will be buyers out there. Real estate does not stop for anyone.
Once you know what your connection and collaboration are and the problems you will face you need to control the environment, those things that you can control. How are you going to map this out?
We can ride this out. I’m putting together a system to help guide agents through the situation we are currently facing, and that will change as the situation changes. These are just some of the things to think about. Contact me if you would like help with your situation or read through other recent blogs for some ideas.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine.
When you’ve dealt with the present, you need to plan for the future. Register for my upcoming Real Estate Brilliance seminar for systems, strategies and processes to structure yourself for success.