OK, let’s assume the worst has happened. The coronavirus has sent the industry into a full shutdown, you can’t go out and list homes, you can’t open homes, you certainly can’t hold auctions and you can’t meet buyers at all not even to show them the home one-on-one. Business as we know it has come to a standstill. So it’s time to chuck this real estate thing in and give up, or at least pull back and take bit of a break – after all there’s no point in doing anything because you can’t do business.
It may come as a surprise, but you can do business. Whether it is three months from now, six months or a year, things will return to normal. And you need to be ready to hit the ground running.
The agents that will survive and eventually thrive are the ones that are there and ready to pick up the pieces, not those that took an extended holiday.
What can you do?
You might not be able to sell, but you can still maintain your profile, keep in contact with your database and build relationships. People like to do business with people they know and trust and if you have kept in contact with your community during this crisis you are setting yourself up to be the first person they call when they want to buy or sell.
- Maintain your social media presence.
- Maintain contact with your database, through regular updates and newsletters – if you don’t have one, start one just make sure it is consistently sent out
- Advertise to maintain or build your profile. Look at print as well as web. I’ve mentioned before that people think print media doesn’t work. It does and with fewer agents using it, now is your chance to stand out from the crowd, who knows you may even be able to get a good deal with the papers and people may read more if they are stuck at home. They may also spend a bit of time on the net looking at property they’d love to buy when the lockdown lifts.
What can I tell people?
So, I hear you say, I can’t sell and all my listings are on hold, what is there to say to people. There’s lots.
Follow my give-to-get principle and share relevant market information. REIWA, CoreLogic, realestate.com.au etc will still be publishing stats. Or create your own market update. Just keep people informed with what is happening in the market. Use local stats too wherever possible, they want to know what’s happening in their backyard. Be honest, prices may fall. You can tell the truth, but avoid the doom and gloom.
Offers tips and suggestions for selling. Reassure them the market will get better and if they are thinking of selling now is the time to prepare their property, talk about garden preparation, interiors, clearing the clutter and even staging/styling if you have that experience or access to those tips.
Prepare buyers. Let them know the market will get better eventually and that it might be a prime time to nab a bargain, good first home or investment. Share tips for finding finance, if you have them, and how to get their finances in order so that they can buy when they are ready to buy.
Deal with the worst. In this time there may be people who need to sell due to financial hardship. Outline the steps they may have to take, offer general advice and invite them to call you at any time to discuss their personal situation.
Share the good news. Let people know where you go to get your takeaway coffee, or which local restaurant offers great takeaway in your experience. When restrictions start to lift maybe mention which cafes/bars are open again.
If you are known for having a fun or very personal online profile share what you and your family are doing during a lockdown. It could be family board game nights, Frisbee in the backyard, cooking with the kids.
Competitions. You can still run competitions online and electronically. Email out colouring in competitions forms, they can be scanned and returned or probably even mailed. You can display entries on social media (with permission and without personal information) – even if you choose not to, you can still announce and promote a winner. You can still do various Mother’s Day and Father’s Day competitions – just be adaptable.
A shutdown is not the time to maintain radio silence and these activities will help you survive and capitalise should one occur, but in reality, you shouldn’t be waiting until then – you should be doing this now!
To find out more about ways to build and communicate with your database, make sure you register for my upcoming Real Estate Brilliance seminar.