In challenging times, it’s a smart idea to revisit the fundamentals of good business. This spring, go Back to Basics with Inman.
In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: ways to grow your business amid COVID-19.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Inman Town Halls, a series of informal conversations between industry professionals filled with great insights and advice. While watching the Town Halls, I was struck by the immediacy of the questions and answers.
We usually talk about real estate marketing and branding as a long-term strategy, with little focus on quick fixes. Of course, right now, people need short-term solutions. They need leads. They need to get something moving.
Here are the three things you can do today to start a conversation and get your business moving forward. These are the things I see great agents and brokers doing all over the country — things that they started doing instinctively as soon as the first stay-at-home orders went into effect.
How should I reach out to my sphere of influence?
Dig in and update your CRM, if you haven’t already. Make sure that you know everything about everyone there. Take a tutorial (or two) about how to use it, and optimize every aspect of your contact strategy.
Determine how you’re going to reach out, and do so on a consistent basis. Send a weekly email blast or market roundup to let people know that the market is still active. Make phone calls, and check in on people. Find out what they need, and become a resource to connect them with information and community agencies that can help.
Spend time writing notes by hand, letting people know that you’re thinking about them. Celebrate the good things going on in your neighborhood, and offer a word of thanks to people who are helping.
If you haven’t already connected directly on social media, go through your CRM, and ensure that you’re connected on LinkedIn, following on Instagram and Twitter, and friends on Facebook. Spend some time looking at posts to get a sense of where they’re active and engaged.
Keep track of the questions you’re asked in the conversations you’re having, and use them to develop social media posts, blog posts and video content over the days and weeks to come. Answer the real-world questions people are asking in your area, then distribute your content across your social media platforms and in your email blasts.
How should I approach online workshops and video?
Schedule streaming workshops on first-time homebuying, market updates virtual transactions and more. Co-host with a lender, and offer information on preapproval, improving credit scores and mortgage refinancing.
Love to read? Host a Zoom book club, and get to know people better. Share insights and ideas with your SOI or your colleagues — and learn something new along the way.
On your YouTube channel, answer a question a day or provide recordings of your livestreamed workshops. Offer personal finance and budgeting advice or instructions on home repairs.
Consider creating content around the way we’re living right now — cooking, sewing, crafting or DIY projects. Provide tips on working from home or homeschooling.
People are lonely and looking for a new, friendly face. Let them see and hear from you, and you’ll become part of their post-quarantine life as well.
How can I use geographic farming?
Many of the people who reach out to me are looking for letters and cards to send to their farm. This is a great time to develop messaging around COVID-era virtual transactions and why now is a good time to buy or sell.
Consider value-added information like the contact information for local nonprofit organizations who are providing assistance in your area. Keep in mind that many people are experiencing financial crises right now. Be sensitive, but let them know how you can help.
Invite homeowners in your farming area for a virtual cup of coffee and a longer conversation about their real estate goals. Direct them to your website, blog or video channel, and provide your social media handles. Seek them out on social media as well, and reach out there.
Transactions are still underway right now, and most analysts expect an explosion of activity in the months to come. Become top-of-mind with your sphere, farm and followers, and stay there so that you can help them both now and in the future.
Do you have questions for the Marketing Mastermind? Send them here.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr
After 25 years, Inman Connect is coming to you. We’re transcending our legendary events in a live digital event, Inman Connect Now. Get ready for the top industry leaders plotting the path forward, new business ideas and opportunities, networking like you’ve never imagined it, and tons of exciting new magic, all straight to you. It’s all part of an epic new Inman experience, Connect Now, June 2-4, 2020. Click here to save your seat.