In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This April, go Back to Basics with Inman.
With government-mandated shutdowns forcing offices to close their doors, real estate agents could be working from home for months. For teams that conduct most of their business on-site, rapid adjustments must be made.
Fortunately, running a real estate business remotely is easier than ever.
Last week, Daniel Ramsey of MyOutDesk joined us on my podcast to discuss services and strategies for keeping your team on track during these uncertain times. As the CEO of a company that’s helped businesses hire virtual assistants for more than a decade, Ramsey knows what it takes to run a remote business.
For Ramsey’s tips on running your real estate business remotely, read on. For additional advice on leading a team in times of crisis, including tips on what to cut during a recession and an overview of the biggest marketing mistakes to avoid right now, listen to the complete podcast below.
Be the leader your team needs
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. If you were in real estate during the global financial crisis, you know how bad things can get for agents in a recession. However, you also know what it takes to make it through difficult times.
A lot of newer agents don’t. For most of them, sales have slowed to a crawl. Many are worried that their business won’t recover.
As an experienced real estate professional, now is the time to lead — to reassure your team, to offer assistance and compassion. To do that effectively, you need to be in constant communication with your agents.
In recent weeks, Ramsey has increased communication with his team tenfold. He’s making every effort to ensure his employees aren’t overwhelmed by the rapid changes they’ve had to make to continue operations remotely.
He’s also doing whatever it takes to give team members the tools needed to stay productive.
For instance, one of Ramsey’s employees had her headset stolen right after the MyOutDesk office closed down for quarantine. Ramsey shipped her a new headset so that she was able to continue working.
As your team adjusts to working from home, you might need to make additional efforts to keep them on track. Roll with the punches, and be ready to make adjustments as the situation evolves.
Get the right tools for running a remote team
With lockdowns in place, you might feel limited in your ability to lead. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to manage teams and transactions from home.
Slack is a great service for text-based team communication that’s easy to use and free for small teams. For group video calls, Zoom is one of the best options and can serve as a substitute for in-person team meetings until your office resumes normal operation.
And if you’re worried about certain tasks falling through the cracks, there are several great services for tracking and managing collaborative projects remotely. Ramsey uses Monday.com, which is affordable, but not free. If you’re looking for a free service that offers similar functionality, check out Trello.
Regardless of what you use to communicate with your team, you must make yourself available. Now, more than ever, team members need a calm, confident leader who is present and engaged.
Communicate with clients and contacts
Ramsey also recommends ramping up communication efforts with clients to offset the uncertainty they’re likely feeling. Even if there’s nothing new to report, reaching out regularly will let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them.
And you certainly can touch other contacts during this time, but your message must be empathetic. Send information regarding what’s still open, where to find essential services. If you have the means, offer to help local contacts with grocery runs.
These aren’t your typical touches, but these aren’t typical times. The value you bring is what sets you apart from other agents, and the altruistic efforts you make now will be remembered later.
Learn more about running a business remotely
In addition to expanding on everything covered in this article, Ramsey offered dozens of other tips on running a remote business in his podcast interview. Plus, he covered other pertinent topics, including what to cut during a recession and marketing mistakes that could cost you clients and your reputation.
Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.