In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This April, go Back to Basics with Inman.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

Last week, we asked you to share a simple truth you’ve rediscovered during these uncertain times. Some of your answers dealt with the financial side of things, which is an important factor for any business. Others explored the value of education.

But the answer that kept cropping up the most had a lot to do with communication — a core pillar in a business that’s built on human interaction. As these responses prove, when things get rocky, sometimes the best thing to do is often the simplest — like, picking up the phone, checking in and doing so with straight-from-the-heart sincerity and care. Here’s everything you had to say:

  • Everything in life is about the power of positive thinking. Once you start thinking negatively, everything goes downhill. But if you try to see the silver lining, life will be better in every way. People will be attracted to you, and good things will come.
  • If you don’t sincerely care about your clients, you are in the wrong business. Now more than ever, it is time to reach out, reconnect, show you care and enjoy the connections you’ve made with good people over the years. 
  • Low overhead and low expenses are key. Always manage costs to do business! 
  • My mom told me to save for a rainy day. Dave Ramsey promotes having three to six-months’ worth of expenses set aside in cash.
  • The basics have always resonated with my business. It’s all about those personal interactions and conversations. Picking up the phone for a quick call to check in and see how clients are doing, rather than a text or an email. Showing genuine care and making this a human interaction, rather than a real-estate-related call. Direct mail is a huge part of my business as well. People are at home right now. They’re checking their mail. Light bulb! I utilize the Adwerx sphere campaign where an ad of mine will follow them around on the internet and social media — just like that pair of Jimmy Choos you were looking at last night! These are three tried-and-true activities that can put you right back in front of people’s faces or in their hands almost daily.
  • The need to stay connected with our friends,family and faith is one of the most replenishing things we can fill our days with right now — and always. Once the pandemic fades, I will keep these things a priority in life.
  • This business is all about personal relationships. We have to keep in contact with our buyers and sellers and be that voice of reason and calmness they need.
  • Real estate brokers who are in it for the right reasons will remain.
  • There’s no substitute to human contact. Technology is here to supplement it — not to replace it.
  • I’ve rediscovered the fact that we can adapt to radical change.
  • Seeing someone’s face during a conversation is more important than ever. A phone call to hear someone’s voice is better than a text.
  • Pick up the phone, and reach out to your friends, past clients and core group. Let them know you are there for them. If you sense there’s worry, ask, “How can I help?”
  • Professionalism and trust in an agent is still appreciated by your clients and sphere even during a pandemic.
  • Focus — both in work and life — on what’s really important.
  • Having communication skills.
  • To stay in the now. When we look too far ahead into the unknown, we tend to create stories, which can create fear.
  • You don’t eat the vegetables on the same day you plant them.
  • This is a relationship business. You can still build relationships whether times are good or bad. If you are waiting for this to end to get back to loving on your people, you are missing out.
  • Do you want to be high-tech or high-touch? Relationships will always be the king of entrepreneurship. You can always make your presence felt whether virtually or in-person. People will feel it! 
  • Be real and honest! Clients still trust you when you tell it like it is, without any sugarcoating. We are all in this together, and they know it when you show them trust through communication and action.
  • One simple truth? Earn the relationship first, and always come from a place of contribution. It’s that simple.
  • It’s all about education. Be educated — not just informed — on topics relating to our industry, markets and economics. Being educated means you dig deeper. You search for certainties in your sources. You don’t just see a catchy headline and share it in hopes to illicit panic, fear or excitement. When you are able to intelligently explain to your sphere and potential clientele what you’re seeing and why, that’s when you become credible. Credibility builds trust, and trust develops into relationships. Educate yourself and your network, and you’ll build a business that will stand the test of time. 
  • Learn one new thing every day. Do two kind deeds that don’t pay a darn dime. Get to know three new people every day. (I prefer to do this through sharing knowledge and learning about them.) Send four handwritten letters to people you know from the past — even if you are only saying, “thinking about you.” Send five letters, emails or direct messages to people you want to meet. 

What did we miss? Please share in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state. 

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