As more and more states begin to lift certain lockdown restrictions, it’s time for real estate brokerages to begin implementing strategies now to set themselves up for success in the future.
Ben Kinney, CEO at Ben Kinney Companies and Wendy Forsythe, chief brand officer at Fathom Realty, shared their advice for agents at Thursday’s Inman Town Hall, during a discussion titled “Business Survival Strategies That Work Now.”
The most important thing right now is for agents to stay in business and not treat this like two months off from their business, according to Kinney, who shared his advice on how, exactly, to stay busy.
“We have to make sure that we do whatever it takes so we can survive our way through these challenging times,” Kinney said. “This is not a snow day where we get to kick back. This is a season of our lives.”
The world is never going to be the same, according to Kinney. There are some things that are going to end forever. It’s perhaps a daunting statement, but not as much so when you consider that it can also be the beginning of something new, if you are prepared.
“What is this going to be the beginning of for us?” Kinney asked. “How do I use this time to set this stage so when I emerge out of this, it becomes the beginning of something brand new for my business, for my family?”
Kinney explained that agents need to call their sphere with a simple phone call that leads with asking, “how are you doing?” Agents can then pivot to pointing out all the chaos that the market has experienced and ask their client a simple question.
“Has this created any real estate related questions for you and your family?”
The theory being, that many people are checking their investment accounts daily, why wouldn’t they also want to know how much equity is in their home. Many people may actually be in a position where they need to draw on that equity, or transact quickly.
Agents need to be filling their funnel with two types of clients right now: people that physically need to transact and those that are waiting for the gates to open.
“We need to make sure during this time, we’re filling our funnel with both,” Kinney said.
Kinney said he goes into every conversation with four metaphorically full pockets.
The first, has roughly 10 properties he knows are for sale at any given time, in different price ranges and different area and of different sizes.
The next pocket is full of housing market data. Many consumers think that real estate transactions have ceased completely, but you can show them that’s not the case if you can quickly rattle off the number of new listings on the market, the homes that went under contract for the week.
The back pockets are reserved for information to convince both buyers and sellers to hop into the market. That includes information on low-interest rates, the amount of competition for each home, price trends and other data.
“Fill your pockets with great conversations you can have with people,” Kinney said. “You’re going to find that motivated people are all around us waiting to transact.”
As a real estate advisor, you should also be aware of what’s going on in places like China and Europe, so you can let clients know what to expect.
Forsythe, who spent most of the conversation asking questions, also took some time to offer agents advice: stay in touch with loan officer, at a time when financing terms and options are changing almost daily.
“It’s never been more important now than to stay in touch with your loan officers and the people you work with on the mortgage side,” Forsythe said. “Keep up to date with your loan officers, they are a wealth of information on how to get things done.”