The pandemic changed how people work and live. Real estate agents needed to get creative to remain productive during the quarantine. The new normal means different protocols to make clients feel safe and comfortable. Now agents must help clients combat their fears to enter the housing market to buy and sell homes again after coronavirus.
Showing homes has changed dramatically post-COVID-19. Wearing masks, disinfecting surfaces, putting on plastic suits, and sanitizing the hands are all crucial to remain per social distancing requirements. As a result, showings are more time-consuming and require more significant preparation. Let the sellers know about appointments at least a day ahead when possible, so they are well-prepared to have people in the house. Encourage buyers to follow the rules of social distancing, and enter the home fully prepared by wearing all necessary gear. Keep plenty of extra masks, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer handy to show a house anytime.
Virtual open houses and showings are an effective way to generate interest in properties for sale. Today people prefer to see the home online before scheduling showings, knowing the preparation involved to see an available property. Prepare robust presentations that include compelling descriptions, professional photos, and video tours. Implement innovative technologies, such as 3D tours and aerial photography, to showcase large properties’ interior and exterior. When possible, include a blueprint of the home with measurements to help potential buyers imagine themselves in the space.
Blast on Social Media
During the quarantine, people stayed connected with friends, family, community, and business online. Communication often occurs through social media, as well as forums and virtual meeting sites. Harness the power of social media to generate interest in properties for sale. Post links to listings, blog entries, photos, and descriptions of the house, Include upbeat messages focused on the lifestyle buyers can have in the home. Take time to interact with visitors. Consider using tools such as Facebook Live to share a live tour or open house with clients. Better Homes and Gardens® affiliated real estate agents can tap into a vast social media network to get the word out about properties. If in-person meetings are impossible, schedule virtual ones to stay in touch and provide meaningful updates about the current housing market.
Focus on Features
After the quarantine, people recognize a new normal will take over the world. Many people expect to work remotely for a long time to come. Others are homeschooling their children rather than putting them on the bus to attend classes. With that in mind, buyers want a house with areas for working, studying, and recreation, such as exercising and backyard barbecuing. Focus on the features a property offers, and the lifestyle it can provide. Look for flexible spaces that can be transformed into a home office or school setting. Describe them as areas for expansion and comfort. Highlight backyard areas that can be turned into vegetable gardens or a playground for kids. If the yard is big, mention there is room for a swimming pool and hot tub. Encourage people to imagine themselves enjoying their new lifestyle at the house.
Communication is Key
People have been quarantined for months, social distancing, and talking online. Now they are reluctant to emerge from their homes and enter public places. Communication is critical when working with anxious buyers and sellers. Clients are eager to talk about their concerns and want an agent who is willing to listen. Be compassionate and empathetic to clients, letting them know you understand their feelings. Outline the process to show and see homes, so everyone feels confident about what will happen. Most importantly, reassure them about their safety and that all protocols will be followed during the showing and sales process.
Tap Into a Network of Professionals
It takes a community effort to come back after a crisis such as a pandemic or natural disaster. Work with a network of local professionals to provide the highest level of service to your clients. From mortgage bankers who understand financial disclosure during COVID-19 to cleaning companies that can prepare homes for showing, have a team ready to serve clients. Let clients know some people are prepared to help them every step of the way. An agent who can handle these days of uncertainty is building trust and establishing relationships that will be productive for years to come. Encourage reciprocal referrals to keep the leads coming in after the pandemic ends.
Entering the housing market after coronavirus is a shaky process for many buyers and sellers. A well-prepared agent who understands clients’ concerns about finances and safety will be remembered when the pandemic ends. Work with clients to help them feel safe and confident during a new normal to buy and sell homes today and in the future.