With over 80 percent of Americans ordered to stay home and avoid all forms of physical interaction during the coronavirus outbreak, agents have been finding innovative ways to stay connected to clients while abiding by social distancing. From drive-by architecture tours and informative interviews to humorous tours of their own homes, here are six ways real estate professionals are leveraging the power of video and livestreams while sheltering in place.
Sue Pinky Benson, a Florida agent known for her innovative use of video and social media livestreams, has been driving around Naples, Florida, with her husband and discussing the homes in their community without getting close to them.
“I am doing social distancing while showcasing some amazing properties here in Naples,” Benson says in one video, as she sits in a convertible and points around her. “[…] This is one of the coolest little up-and-coming neighborhoods.”
Interviews with experts
Many other agents have been using video to provide their clients with information about the housing market in the face of coronavirus. German Hernandez, a Realtor at MVP Realty in Florida, did a livestream interview with mortgage expert George Voukitchevitch. He asked him some of his clients’ most pressing questions about mortgages in the face of unemployment.
“Don’t automatically assume that your lender or your finance institution that is holding is going to put your loan into [postponement],” Voukitchevich said in response to Hernandez’s questions. “You need to contact them and explain why you are looking to put your loan into forbearance.”
Todd Hetherington, the CEO of Century 21 New Millennium in Virginia, has been posting regular videos about how the virus is impacting the real estate market while Abraham Walker of Keller Williams in Virginia makes market updates simple in a weekly video update. His whiteboard drawings may take you back to your high school economics class.
Parody home tours
Humor helps in even the worst situations. Some agents have been posting parody home tours in masks and making joke videos of themselves staging their own house while quarantined.
Monica Bullington of RE/MAX Rising in Bloomington, Illinois, invited viewers into her home for a lesson on how to stage it while under quarantine. “Step one: Pour yourself a glass of wine,” she joked, while wearing a bathrobe over a RE/MAX t-shirt. “It’s important that you use plastic because you’re going to be drinking a lot and you might break it.”
Meanwhile, Daphne Quay, a Realtor in Austin, shot, or at least tried to shoot, a home tour while wearing a mask.
Just-for-fun music videos
Other agents, meanwhile, have been learning how to master new social media channels. An Australian agent named Steven Tabban posted a funny TikTok video of himself dancing in an empty office to cheer up his real estate team.
And finally, some agents have been using video to do good in the communities where they work. Along with posting his usual weekly YouTube seminars about the industry, Craig Veroni of RE/MAX Masters Realty has started highlighting local businesses affected by his pandemic in his hometown. In his first video, he talked to a boxing and fitness studio owner who has not been able to host classes.
“As long as these physical distancing restrictions are imposed upon us because of this COVID-19 pandemic, I’m going to be sharing stories of local businesses here in our community making a difference,” Veroni says in the video. “[…] I want to do my part in helping support those local businesses.”