Virtual open houses, digital closings, conversations from behind face masks — what productivity looks like for real estate agents this summer covers new terrain for all of us. All June, Inman surveys the New Productivity: the tools, skills and insights needed to make it work now.
Cities in the U.S. and around the world are already reopening, and we’re just starting to adjust to the new normal. But it’s pretty safe to say that this summer is still going to look very different from what we’re typically used to.
People who usually plan international trips over the summer are deciding to stay a little closer to home in the U.S. We’ve already seen an uptick in our second-home and vacation rental markets in Malibu, Park City, Aspen, South Florida and the Caribbean, to name a few. We’re anticipating that momentum to continue through the summer and beyond.
As agents, we’re also firing on all cylinders and readying ourselves for business to not only return to pre-COVID-19 volumes, but also to grow beyond and surpass that. Because we’re entering uncharted territory this summer, here are three points I will be encouraging my team and our agents to take into account.
1. Maintain new practices
There’s no question that COVID-19 changed the way we do business. While there will never be a replacement for in-person meetings, interactions and one-on-one face time, there are some practices my team and I adopted during this time that I’d like to maintain.
We found virtual tours for clients to be incredibly useful in the buying process. While it’s important to see and experience a property firsthand, a number of our clients were able to eliminate or decide to move forward on a property with a virtual tour.
Although we had conducted these in the past for our international and long-distance clients, saving time for local clients is always a great idea. Additionally, an impromptu video tour for a client at a house you may be previewing may also be a great opportunity.
My team and I also realized the importance of having a polished, professional social media presence during this time. We’re going to make sure that the time we spent curating, interacting and posting on social media remains a focal point. I firmly believe that social media will continue to play an important role in our business.
2. Find new ways to network
Networking is a large part of a real estate professional’s business. In the past, this was done in person through participating in fitness groups or events, volunteering, and attending alumni meetings, conferences and professional mixers.
Now, we need to look for alternative ways to network, and I believe the following three basics will be paramount.
- Make phone calls. There’s no better time than now to pick up the phone. People are happy to connect and will always appreciate a check-in. Don’t forget — a friendly call to past clients is always a great way to network.
- Network virtually. Most of these social groups have transitioned online, so make sure you’re keeping up with them and joining new ones, too.
- Stay on top of social media. As I mentioned above, social media will continue to play a big role in real estate, and it can be a great networking tool if you put in the time and work.
3. Take a break
Summer is typically when we all take a break and use the opportunity to explore new parts of the world and reconnect with our loved ones. Travel might look a little different this summer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow yourself to take some time off.
Although it may not be an exotic destination, plenty of relaxation and enjoyment can be found closer to home. Even at home, you can find time to unwind. Putting the phone down or stepping away from the laptop does wonders for your mind.
Work on a schedule for the coming months with your team, and stick with it. Give each other some time to unplug and recharge your batteries. Short breaks will not only boost morale, but also productivity in the long run.