In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This April, go Back to Basics with Inman.
In times of uncertainty, the person who brings the most clarity adds the most value. I know you’re probably getting a lot of questions about the coronavirus. So, what I want to do today is share some talking points that you can use with your clients. This will help you be the calm in the storm.
During this time of global panic and fear, we’re faced with a very important choice. We can all choose to give in to the fear, panic and stress. We can opt to pull away and give up, to act irrationally and out of emotion.
Or we can all choose to come together — to build community, create, innovate and come up with amazing solutions. We can use this as an opportunity to educate ourselves and grow, not only in business but also as human beings and as a greater collective.
Now is a great time to buy a house, which is why we’re actively working to make sure our agents are best positioned in their market to speak to the buyers who need to hear it the most.
We hope this guide will help you to be seen as an expert in your community and to bring goodwill and calm among your friends and family. So, here are the top five things you can do to not only make it through this pandemic — but to thrive.
1. Go all in
Many agents ask us about advertising during the pandemic. Should they hold off until the economy stabilizes? Sadly, most agents are just sitting around hoarding their money like it’s toilet paper. Do you know what agents who will survive and thrive in this time are doing? You guessed it. They’re going all in.
Why do this? Because everyone else is turning off ads or scaling back. This translates to you having the means to corner the market with higher visibility and drastically lower cost per acquisition.
Also, more people will be home, bored and surfing social media for hours on end. Whose ads are they going to see? Not your scared competitors who are “waiting for the storm to pass.” No. They’ll be seeing your ads. You will be the agent they call.
This is the best time ever to be running ads. People are home from work and glued to their phones. Easily closed deals are happening all day long.
2. Be the authority
If we look back to 2000, when we had the dot-com boom and bust, that was really the catalyst of the rotation of money coming out of the stock market and into real estate. That’s what led to the boom that we saw.
In times like this, agents who add the most value really have a unique opportunity. Bringing clarity in a chaotic situation gives you the chance to set the table for gaining market share and the trust of your clients. People will go from knowing and liking you to actually trusting you.
3. See the economy as working for your buyers
When we look at volatility in the stock market, typically what happens is, we see an exodus of money coming out of the stock market. People just get tired of riding the roller coaster. When that happens, then we’ll see that money rotate somewhere.
Money doesn’t typically sit on the sidelines for too long. It wants to look for yield. It wants to look for opportunity. Historically, that money has moved into hard assets. One of the biggest hard asset classes is real estate.
So it would make sense that, as the money rotates out of the stock market, it will look for yield in real estate and bring in more demand. We’ve already got a market that has strong demand. This could be what adds fuel to a fire we already have.
4. Leverage these historically low interest rates
We have historically low interest rates. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be a point in the next five years where people will look back and say, “I can’t believe that I could’ve gotten a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at this time in the 2 percent range!”
It’s unbelievable to think how cheap money is right now. If we were in a situation where everything was normal and we had these rates, it would be a boom for real estate.
The fact that we have low interest rates, plus money rotating out of the stock market, means that right now, there’s a recipe for a boom. It’s a chance for us to see some growth in our real estate market.
5. The stimulus package
The federal government just approved a$2 trillion stimulus package. Now, the stimulus package money typically takes time to really leak out into the economy. That’s typically a six-month time period. So, what does this mean?
This means that by the time summer comes around, the money will begin to stimulate the economy in full effect, just in time for the summer boom for real estate.
Right now is an opportunity for us to add value to our clients by being the person who brings facts to the table, not just hearsay. We need to be that person who looks at long-term benefits for their clients, not just the short-term. When you add value to your clients, those relationships grow deeper, and your business begins to build. This is a unique opportunity.
Are we concerned about the future? Yes, but we’re not fearful. Instead, we’re diligent. When we look at the near future, at how all of this will play out over the next three to five years, there’s an opportunity to set the table for a really good time in the real estate market.
I hope this gives you the opportunity to share some things with your clients that helps you grow your business.
Coronavirus action steps
1. Over-communicate with clients
Don’t wait, and put this off. If they reach out to you, it’s too late.
- If you have less than 20 clients, call them individually, and check in with how they’re doing and how their families are. If you have more than 20 clients, send out an email blast with an encouraging video. Make sure it comes from a place of support as well as authority. Your clients are relying on you to be the calm in the storm.
- Let them know what solutions you’re coming up with to serve them during this time.
- Educate them on how interest rates have never been lower, and why now is the best time to buy a home.
2. Create resources for your clients
- Email them personalized videos about the current state of the market in your community.
- Instead of meeting clients for coffee, meet them over a video Zoom call. Then, mail them a $10 Starbucks gift card.
- Conduct open houses via live stream, and make it an event! You can have buyers join in, comment, like and ask you questions about the home.
- Send a bottle of hand sanitizer as a little thank-you gift to your clients. It will make you instantly memorable.
3. Time to go on the offense
- If you haven’t started running paid ads to get appointments with potential clients, now is the time. Ads are going to be on sale, so take advantage.
- If you’re running the same cold email campaigns, ads and direct messages, shift the messaging to align with what’s going on today.
- Build a brand new offer that helps local businesses around everything happening, and push it hard! At Altas Real Estate, we’ve already created brand new campaigns addressing this situation. We’re offering engagement campaigns for our agents to establish you as the authority and expert in your community.
- Most importantly, now is the time to step up as a Realtor and innovate your product or service so that it’s a solution to some of the problems your clients are facing.
I know that’s a ton of info — and there’s so much more. So, if you want help executing on all of the above, we have the resources available for you to:
- Establish yourself as the expert and authority in your community.
- Be the voice of calm and assurance to the buyers that need to hear your message the most.
- Get your current clients to stay and recommend you to their family and friends by staying top-of-mind and relevant.
- Reach out and inform your current and past clients about why now is the best time to buy.
- Stay ahead of the curve by doing live-streamed open houses and online meet-ups.
Don’t forget: Chaos equals opportunity for those who strive to provide solutions and clarity. Some real estate agents will not have solutions. Some agents will not have clarity — and they will fail.
If you act now, you will end up growing massively. Buyers need assurance and a leader in their community more than ever. They’re just as nervous about this situation as you are, and they need your help.
It’s your time to step up as a Realtor. It is time for you to step up as a leader. It is your time to dominate. You’ve got this.
Victoria Kennedy is CEO and founder of Atlas Real Estate. Connect with her via email.