Valerie Garcia leads a panel of agents in discussing what the “new normal” means for the real estate industry, specifically listing agents.
What are the needs and expectations of customers going forward?
Going forward is now about going back to the beginning. Relationships and communication are key right now. You do not have to be face to face in order to foster your relationships. Check in virtually by calling, texting, emailing, or even sending a video. Agents participating in the panel have delivered masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies to their clients during this time of need.
What is expected to change for listing agents?
The expectation right now is that by the time a buyer is walking through a home, they should have had a virtual tour. In doing so, in-home showings should be kept for those truly interested and even possibly pre-approved for the purchase. Agents are using tech such as BoxBrownie and Matterport which allow for virtual staging, tours, and floor planning. Additional tech can help allow agents to vet potential buyers before an in-home tour. Videos don’t always need to be done professionally. Getting back to the basics can mean an organic video showing the ins and outs of your listing. Give buyers as much information as possible. Spend time screen sharing or walk through the tech you are using with them.
Sight unseen buyers are more frequent during COVID. As the panel discussed how to ensure buyer satisfaction, three pieces of advice were shared:
1) Become a community advocate.
2) Keep written documentation ensuring that the customer is comfortable purchasing property, although you suggest they see the home first.
3) See if there is a friend or neutral third party who is able to see property before purchase.
What about newer agents who don’t have a sphere of influence to lean on?
- If you are an up and coming agent, spend time marketing to what you know.
- Submerge yourself in the community.
- Think outside the box.
- If you have a passion for fitness, offer a virtual work out class.
- Get yourself in front of people.
- Spend your time marketing and building your social media presence.
- Reach out to veteran agents and ask if you can share their listing for content.
Final pieces of advice?