The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way almost all businesses operate, and that is especially true for realtors. Social distancing guidelines and shelter in place ordinances limit the amount of people that can be in a space at one time, and people are generally more cautious about their health.
The changes brought by COVID-19 have greatly impacted open houses, walkthroughs, and client meetings, and realtors have to adapt in order to continue running their businesses. While many real estate agents have shifted their focus from selling to service, there are some buyers and sellers with a real need during this time.
With that being said, here are 5 ways to be a successful a realtor during COVID-19:
1. Keep Your Clients Informed
Service is crucial during this time, and it will likely be the divider between successful real estate agents and businesses that suffer. A large part of your service and customer care activities should be focused on communication. Keeping your clients informed about any changes in processes can help them feel secure and less anxious.
Update your social media and website regularly to share how you are protecting your clients during COVID-19. From hand washing and social distancing to disinfecting and virtual appointments, provide peace of mind that you are taking the coronavirus seriously.
If plans have to change due to COVID-19, update clients as soon as possible. From canceled inspections to altered open houses, make sure your clients are always in the loop. You should be reaching out with relevant information before they even have to ask.
2. Record Virtual Tours
Open houses and walkthroughs have decreased significantly due to COVID-19. Many sellers are uncomfortable with people in their homes at this time, and many buyers do not want to be exposed to germs. Realtor can continue serving their clients by recording virtual tours or offering video conferences to discuss properties.
Start by driving through the neighborhood and taking videos and pictures of important features, such as playgrounds, pools, or community centers. You can also record a complete walkthrough of the exterior of the home with the seller’s permission. Schedule time to tour the home on your own and record a virtual tour. Follow the seller’s requested safety precautions, wear a mask and gloves, and bring disinfecting wipes to clean high-touch surfaces before you leave.
Your virtual tour should highlight various features of the home, offering as much detail and description as possible for each room. If you are working with the seller, ask if there is anything specific that they want on camera or any areas that they do not want recorded. If you are working with the buyer, compile any questions they have about the property ahead of time and focus on those areas in your tour. You can even schedule a video conference or FaceTime session to virtually walk through the house with the buyer.
3. Limit In-person Walkthroughs
If an in-person walkthrough is absolutely necessary and allowed in your area, take extra safety precautions. Communicate with the seller for a list of safety guidelines while in the home and limit your walkthroughs to just one or two other people.
If you are working with the seller, you can encourage the buyer’s realtor to answer screening questions ahead of time. Ensure that the people walking through the home have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and are not experiencing any symptoms. Have masks and gloves on hand as well as disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. Sellers may also prefer to only allow buyers that have already been preapproved to walk through their home.
4. Adapt to Changing Inspection Processes
Inspections are another area of real estate that has changed drastically. As a realtor, it is important to understand your local stay at home order. For some areas, home inspections are not deemed essential. For others, they may be classified as public works. Review the local ordinances so you can provide up to date information for your clients.
During COVID-19, most home inspections are done without the buyer or seller present. Realtors may wait in a vehicle outside of the home if necessary. Ensure your client that the inspector will provide a detailed report, and schedule time to go over the findings together.
When working with a seller, ask for a list of rules they want the inspector to follow such as wearing a mask or gloves. Contact the inspector to ask for their process during COVID-19 and have soap, water, and hand sanitizer available onsite. It is also a good idea to provide disinfecting wipes and ask the inspector to wipe down high-touch areas as they leave a room, including light switches.
5. Invest in Professional Cleaning Services
Homebuyers want to move into their new home with peace of mind. As a real estate agent, you can attract new clients and better serve existing clients by investing in professional cleaning services. Offer this value-added service before buyers move into their new home. Professional cleaners know how to properly clean and disinfect a home, removing germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Your clients will appreciate the attention to detail, and they may be more willing to buy despite COVID-19. By offering one additional service, you can greatly boost customer satisfaction and prevent anxiety or fear from causing buyers to back out.
Are you selling a home? Don’t hesitate to contact Hellamaid today!