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During these unprecedented times, real estate professionals have had to think quickly on their feet. For the Erin Krueger Team at Compass in Nashville, the past few months have been a time for switching gears and implementing new ideas. From offering to help at-risk clients to overhauling their CRM, Krueger’s team has been busy making adjustments in the face of an uncertain future.
The Erin Krueger Team was ranked third for medium team transaction sides by Real Trends + Tom Ferry in The Thousand rankings this year. Krueger herself was also named Top Selling Agent for a Team by Greater Nashville Realtors four consecutive years in a row, from 2016 through 2019.
Krueger recently took some time to chat with Inman about how her team has adapted over the course of the pandemic, and how it’s poised them for future success.
Inman News: What’s the biggest challenge your team has faced during the pandemic?
Erin Krueger: I think the biggest challenge that we had was changing so quickly to new protocol, new systems and processes. With the shelter-in-place happening so quickly, almost overnight we were paired with a different way of selling property than we had ever before. I think one of the hardest things off-the-bat was that it was so immediate. But I think that was one of our greatest strengths too — that we were able to pivot and help buyers sell homes virtually.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your market as a whole, or just among individual clients over the past few months?
Our biggest change is that buyers were more willing than ever to buy homes completely virtual, sight unseen.
To put it in perspective, last year we sold nearly 550 properties and five were done virtually with most [buyers] coming in during the inspection period to view the property. This year, we had 10 buyers under contract that we sold to that were done completely virtually, and they never saw the place until they owned it. It was a completely different way to do business.
But I think by basically recreating the showing experience as though they were in the car next to us, through FaceTime, video, third-party vendors to do inspection, walkthroughs on their behalf and really keep[ing] an open line of communication, they learned as much about the property as possible.
How do you think having to operate your business during this time will change how you do business in the future?
I think that we are going to be offering so many things now to set up virtual buyers. We also, on our listing side, are now prepared to do 3D walkthroughs and so many things we didn’t do before.
My mindset before COVID was, “I don’t want to give them too much because I want them to come to the house!” Now, I want to give them as much information as possible if I have a buyer in New York, for instance, so they can make a judgement call to make an offer.
At this point, have you met with your team at all in-person?
We do team Zoom calls throughout the week and do weekly trainings. We do all of that virtually, however small groups within the team have gotten together in-person, still practicing social distancing. Nothing beats being in-person with somebody … whether it’s a buyer, a seller or a team member.
However, we need to be able to pivot and still be able to do our job at a high level, regardless of the circumstances handed to us, and I think my team has done that flawlessly. It’s put us in a really great position and our pipeline is really great and really full because of what we’ve done during shelter-in-place.
What advice would you give to new teams that have just started working together this year?
I think the biggest thing is just getting to know your team on such a personal level. You want to know what their ‘why’ is and what their goals are individually so you can see how they fit into team goals. I think it was important for myself to do those wellness checks. A lot of change was being thrown at us quickly. I think making sure everyone, mentally, is strong and being there as a leader to support them, and being able to support clients is so vital to our ever-changing marketplace.
Another incredible thing our team did during shelter-in-place is refine our CRM. We really dug deep. We categorized those that may be in a more mature category to reach out to them and ask if they needed anything, like someone to go to the grocery store for them.
We also sent out quarantine packs out to clients that were fine-tuned — like, we didn’t send out sidewalk chalk to someone who had a kid five years ago who’s now a teenager — and that effort has that touch-back. Making sure our clients are doing well, and to be of service to them, has allowed us to fill our pipeline. We definitely had to be creative and figure out solutions to still do our job.