In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This April, go Back to Basics with Inman.
Sheltering in place? Practicing social distancing? In a relationship-based industry like real estate, isolating yourself physically doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected with your sphere.
As brokers and owners of Better Homes and Gardens Vogler Feigen in Riverside County, California, we’re actively communicating with our agents — not only with tips for managing and maintaining existing relationships, but also with ideas on how to generate new leads in the time of the coronavirus. Yes, we said it: new leads.
Despite the current landscape, business must continue. We’re still closing deals and serving clients who need to move during this time. We’re also very focused on cultivating clients in the early stage of the homebuying or selling process to keep them engaged.
We firmly believe there’s ample opportunity to acquire new customers now. So, here are four ways to generate leads during this downtime.
Keep the communication flowing
It may seem counterintuitive, but with the majority of people staying at home, now is a great time to reach out to your sphere. It’s more likely to spark engagement. Contact your sphere with email drip campaigns, property alerts, direct messages on Facebook and even phone calls.
Check in on people, and see how they’re faring. Swap survival tips, and ultimately, ask them to keep you in mind for any referrals. Have buyer clients who have put themselves on the sidelines? Schedule standing update meetings to ensure they’re in the best position coming out of the gate.
Get social — from a distance, of course
Increase your activity and posts on Facebook to take advantage of a more engaged audience. Right now, people need useful information about the market and home values, as well as changes to mortgage, title, inspections, bank policies and more.
This is an excellent way to reinforce your role as trusted adviser. We recommend skewing your profile so that 80 percent of it is helpful information and 20 percent promotional posts. Don’t forget to actively comment on posts made by friends in your “sphere.” This increases your relevance and makes it more likely that your posts will show up in others’ feeds.
Now is also a great time to update your friends list. Upload your contact lists as a CSV file, and Facebook will locate each contact’s profile. While you are at it, take advantage of Facebook’s ability to create different groups to deliver the most relevant content. These groups, for example, could be: “first-time buyers,” “potential sellers” or “happy clients.” The more purposeful and thoughtful you are in creating content for each group, the more likely you’ll be able to engage and cultivate relationships.
Leverage your home and lifestyle expertise
Share your tips on how to organize a pantry or increase curb appeal. Talk about inexpensive ways to spruce up an interior and maximize outdoor spaces. Maybe even post about great recipes to try. Being a resource for someone who might not be in the market yet creates an impression and puts you top-of-mind for when they do get off the fence.
Our agents benefit from our connection to the Better Homes and Garden Real Estate network. We have the advantage of being part of a highly recognizable lifestyle brand and have exclusive access to tips and insights from our media partner.
Broaden your support network
Now, more than ever, agents need the support of a brokerage’s tools and technology. We’re in daily contact with our service providers on the mortgage, title, inspections and insurance side. We want to be up to speed on any new changes so that we can communicate effectively to our agents and connect the dots for them. The goal is to help them keep their businesses moving and their deals closing.
We’re also actively reaching out to agents at smaller, unaffiliated firms to see if they need more support. We want to ensure that no one is left behind or in the dark, so when the world gets moving again, we’ll be ready!
Loni Vogler is the broker and owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Vogler Feigen, assisting clients throughout Riverside County, California. You can connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.
Sonya Feigen is a broker-owner with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Vogler Feigen in California. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.