Best real estate practices during the pandemic
As a professional, how do thrive during this volatile situation? On the one hand, realtors must find creative and alternative approaches to resonate with their clients and shift toward online and technology. Photographers, on the other hand, should exploit their techy side even more, and work toward improving their skills. Here are some handy tips:
Invest in your online presence: if you don’t have a website, now is the perfect time to build one. There are plenty of tools freely available that can help you create and personalize a website with minimum effort.
Study the market: stay on top of government regulations and share tips for home buyers and sellers. Finding ways to adapt could mean the difference between losing business and getting through.
Pay attention to what other realtors are doing: watching your competition is never a bad thing, especially during a virus outbreak. Even if real estate seems like everybody’s on their own, we’re in this together.
Build a social media presence: reach out, be friendly, and post meaningful content on your social media channels. Let people know that you are available and able to answer their questions.
Catch-up on those files: there are bound to be mountains of files lying around the office, begging for your attention. There’s no better time than now to dig into all those old transactions, study them, and carefully sort files into boxes.
Search for alternatives: what if this takes longer than expected, and you cannot financially sustain a real estate business? How will you be able to cope with all those bills and future expenses? Try not to panic, but invest your energy into coming up with a plan, one that can sustain you and your family until this situation calms down.
Study and learn new skills: come to think of it, this COVID-19 might be a blessing in disguise and offer you the perfect time to brush up on communication and negotiation skills. With so many free online courses, there’s no excuse if you plan to improve.
Practice physical distancing: there might be times when an in-person meeting simply cannot be avoided, but you should always wash your hands afterward with a lot of soap and water. Don’t shake hands, stay a few feet away, and ask if someone is ill on the property before entering.
Reserve the right to cancel shootings: although it might seem counterproductive, you should always feel safe on the job, especially during these times. If you arrive at a location and think that your health might be endangered, reschedule, and leave.
Call before taking a job: reach out to your clients and ask if it’s safe to photo shoot the property. If there is even the slightest possibility of someone being sick, cancel. You can offer to waive the cancellation fee, too.
Always sanitize your hands: take a disinfectant with you and use it as often as possible. Also, try to wash your hands every time you finish shooting.
Ask homeowners to disinfect all surfaces: and to not be present when you’re photographing. Social distancing plays a significant role here, too. Every homeowner should clean all cabinets, floors, door handles, and stay at least 20 feet away from you. Better yet, they should leave before you arrive and keep a safe distance until you’re done.
Take as little equipment as possible: pack a light bag and only use the essentials. Ask agents or homeowners to turn on all the lights and prep the house for the photo shoot.
Use your free time to practice: remember all those online courses that you’ve promised yourself that you were going to attend? Now is the perfect time for that. After intense studying, apply the newly acquired skills to your business.
Update your social media accounts and your website: let everybody know you’re in business, and available, but clearly state your conditions.
Back-up files: remember all those memory sticks lazing at the bottom of your bag? Dig them out and start going through the data. Make a thorough selection of the best images and transfer them to a virtual account. Don’t forget to make an extra copy on your local machine.
While things are slowly beginning to take the shape of a new “normal,” there are many industries yet to be financially impacted by COVID-19. Unfortunately, real estate scored high on that list from the very beginning. Staying safe is the most important thing, but so is keeping in-tune with your market and moving in the right direction. Now, the most important thing is to invest in the right digital tools and embrace change!
Julia E. Miller
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