The real estate industry is undergoing rapid change like never before. The pandemic has significantly reshaped how agents, third-party providers and clients transact. Clearly, the need for digital real estate tools has quickly escalated from a “nice to have” to a critical “must-have.”
From the West Coast to the East Coast, agents and brokers are reporting more buyers looking to flee the cities and move to the suburbs. But with inventory as tight as ever, multiple bids are increasing while days on market linger in the single digits.
Today’s buyers and sellers don’t only expect a frictionless, digital transaction experience — they demand it. With nearly every product and service available digitally on demand, consumers are used to clicking to transact, from reserving travel and buying a car to ordering coffee.
Recently, we polled top agents and brokers nationwide and asked them how they’re delivering that ultimate customer experience in today’s fast-changing environment. Here are their top tips:
1. Expedite the Offer
In California, Daryl Rogers, President of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Reliance Partners, Roseville, CA, finds well-priced, quality homes are listing for an average four days on market.
With social distancing regulations now largely in place across North America, many agents are prohibited from holding open houses.
But rather than sit idle, there’s much you and your clients can do now to prepare for the day when the wheels of commerce start rolling again. Buyers can improve their buying position, and sellers can get their homes list-ready with a few proactive steps.
While it can typically take two to three weeks to get a property on the market, some brokers are telling their agents to use this time to get homes list-ready now.
That way, once the shelter in place and stay at home orders are lifted, you and your clients can hit the ground running.
Be the first to market with these helpful agent tips and downloadable checklists for buyers and sellers.
1. Enlist sellers to take video tours
Ask your sellers to take a video of their homes now. For helpful video-taping tips, see downloadable Sellers’ Checklist (downloads as zip file). There are many easy-to-use digital platforms for creating virtual walkthroughs and 3D scans in addition to simple videos recorded on a smartphone.
These are rare times, when you’re forced to work from home and no commute! How could you spend your time? You could read Hemingway, tend that garden or binge-watch Netflix.
Or, you could use the time to polish your sales and tech skills, set up a lead nurture campaign or record a video email. Maybe find a new perspective on your business approach.
If you can’t show or sell houses right now, why not use the time wisely in other ways? Here are eight ideas.
1. Sync your CRM
Tag your As, Bs and Cs and note their sources of lead origination. By integrating your CRM with your transaction management system, you can leverage synced contacts to reach out to past and future clients in new, personal ways while better tracking your ROI.
As agents and brokers try to make sense of the new normal with social distancing regulation in place, customers will increasingly look to you for solutions and support as they navigate the possibilities of buying and selling a home.
3D scans and video walkthroughs, virtual staging and video emails, social content and, most of all, lots of clear communication are just a few of the ways you can help your clients find home as we ride out these turbulent times together.
If you’re a real estate agent suddenly tasked with the challenge of transforming a high-touch business into a fully remote, digital operation, here are six ways to make it work.
Objection: “I’m too nervous to buy a house right now.”
As a real estate broker/owner, you have a lot on your plate… from recruiting and retaining agents, to fielding countless vendor calls a day, to attending board and MLS meetings and more. It’s overwhelming. On top of all of that, technology advancements are creating new threats you may not even know exist.
1. Innovation is Outpacing Compliance Regulations
Your documents, data, and even private agent/client conversations live online now in a way they didn’t five years ago. With this new reality comes a variety of new compliance issues to keep on your radar.
Ada Compliant Website
Make your website easier to use for visually or hearing impaired visitors by implementing small tweaks, like adding alternative text for listing photos and transcripts for audiovisual content.
Hosting a client appreciation party is a great way to show your appreciation for your clients’ business while encouraging future referrals.
“There’s a concept that says, ‘Business goes where it’s invited and stays where it’s appreciated,’” says author of the best-selling book Giftology John Ruhlin.
Client appreciation events show existing clients how much you appreciate them while drawing new clients to your business. Here are a few tips to help make your client appreciation events and gift-giving a success:
1. Cater to Your Clientele
The type of event you sponsor will largely depend on the demographics and culture of your sphere of influence. Families, for example, might enjoy a holiday photo-themed event.
Today’s consumer is mobile-first and more educated than ever about real estate. Likewise, they expect and demand that their real estate agents deliver personable, responsive and tech-savvy experiences with complete expertise in their market.
Here’s how to create compelling client experiences before, during and long after the deal has closed.
1. Cater to Your Clientele.
First impressions are mission critical for real estate agents trying to capture the hearts and minds of potential new clients.
Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report research shows that sellers use these initial impressions to shape and inform their decisions. Specifically, 86 percent say trustworthiness and 81 percent cite responsiveness as “extremely or very important” qualities they seek when selecting an agent. Also, 80 percent favor agents who can serve as experts within a local market.
As any real estate agent and broker will attest, response time is key to earning you a spot at the top of the buyer and seller pyramid. In today’s world of instant gratification, brokers and agents have to be quick on the draw if they’re going to earn their clients’ business.
Our partners at dotloop understand the importance of being first and efficient. Here are four simple ways to help you take those hang-ups off hold and hit go.
1. Text Messenger
Our latest mobile features help streamline transactions to improve client response times and help you get deals done faster when you’re at the office or on the move.
Now imagine that same buyer sees the same house on your Facebook Live video. She wants to know how big the master closets are, so you walk her through the master suite in real time on a virtual tour. She books an appointment to see the house in person. After the open house, you post your video on your site for additional engagement, and you get two more offers.
A virtual open house is a game-changer, especially when you factor in weather, compressed sale durations and picky sellers who may be averse to hosting a flood of strangers into their home.
Fallacies about the buying process keep many renters from exploring the possibility of buying a home, but savvy real estate agents know a little education can go a long way in turning many of these would-be renters into lifelong homeowners. Many renters consider home ownership out of reach, have concerns about economic uncertainty and fear of a housing downturn as reasons to sit on the sidelines, with many preferring to watch the market before making a move to buy.