Learn how to conduct virtual listing presentations by mastering the techniques and talking points that top real estate agents use to provide a higher level of customer service by taking their businesses online.
I’ve been working with Jillian Bos for ten years. Jillian is the top producing luxury agent in central California. I caught up with Jillian to talk about the way things are changing in our industry, especially in light of the Coronavirus crisis. We talked about how to conduct virtual listing presentations, too. You can watch our video call below.
As troubling as the COVID-19 crisis is for all of us, it is creating a lot of what will likely be good changes within our industry. The crisis is forcing agents to progress their business in a way that we all knew we were headed. Looks like we will get there sooner rather than later, which is a good thing.
Jillian is in central California and she is in the middle of a stay at home order issued by the California governor. Regardless, she has been listing property and putting property under contract, all while remaining in complete compliance with the regulations and guidelines. Jillian has clients that need to sell, as many of us do. You don’t have to talk them into it – they need to sell for a variety of reasons. If you are able to service them in a safe and compliant way, you can stay ahead of the curve.
Real estate of the future
We are being forced into this new age: real estate of the future. It’s an exciting time because in many ways, this is good for our industry. We are starting to see the benefits of doing business virtually. The virtual listing consultation is so important in this whole process, and we’re going to break down how to conduct virtual listing presentations in 6 steps.
1 – Introduce to the new process of how to conduct virtual listing presentations to your client
When a seller calls, give them the option of doing a video conference with you from the get-go. On this video call, they will ask a lot of questions because this is new for a lot of people – and it’s new for us too! Tell them about your new process, and that it is 100% virtual. “We don’t even have to set foot in your home!” Explain that you can help them with this process while everyone stays at home. You will be surprised at how open and positive sellers are about this.
Walk them through what to expect from start to finish. Touch on how things are different now, and how everything can be done virtually.
2 – Educate your client on technology that will be used as you conduct virtual listing presentations
See if your client is familiar with any specific video conferencing software. Zoom, Uber Conference, Google Hangouts, or even FaceTime will work. If they are familiar with a specific software, use that one! Meet them where they’re at, and where their comfort-level lies with technology. Maybe they talk to their grandkids via FaceTime so they have a better grasp of using that for video calls. If they have no preference, pick your favorite method and walk them through the process of how to go about using it.
Educate your seller on how to show the property to prospective buyers and buyer’s agents in a video conference scenario. They need to be prepared to answer questions in a group video call setting, where the listing agent, the buyer, and the buyer’s agent are all on the call.
Another great tool that you can provide to your client is the use of Matterport technology. You can drop it off and instruct your seller on how to use the device. For those who aren’t familiar, the Matterport device a high definition video that provides a 360 degree view of the house, allowing prospective buyers online to virtually walk through the home. It is a pricey system, but it is revolutionary and provides a huge value to your client. It is very high-end, and they are becoming popular and more widely used today.
3 – Offer the home inspection process up front
Prior to putting the house on the market, you may want to talk to your client about getting their home inspection out of the way. It helps make a more pleasant, smooth transaction, when you know that the house is completely ready to go. It helps you ensure that everything is fixed and in good working order before listing the home. Get the termite report up front, too. All of this allows you to be in more control of the process while limiting the times that an inspector will need to access your client’s home.
4 – Troubleshoot now to make the virtual listing presentation smoother
Now that your client is on board with the process, it is time to troubleshoot. Make sure they know how to turn the camera around. Show them how to adjust the volume. Remind them to pan the camera slowly as they tour their home. Always a practice run.
While we’re on this topic, you also need to help the other agents on your team adopt these same practices and get comfortable promoting these virtual presentation methods to their clients. Everybody on your team must be getting comfortable with these systems. Beyond the agents on our own teams, we need to share this process with real estate agents across the nation. This will help our industry not only survive but thrive during this time of change.
5 – Email your client a digital listing presentation
At this point in the process, you should email your client a copy of the listing presentation. Normally, this would be a printed packet. Now, you will send them a PDF version of the listing presentation. They can print it off if they want or they can view on their screen.
At Icenhower Coaching and Consulting, we provide our clients with a pre-listing presentation packet in a fully editable format. Our clients can download it and easily edit it to use for their own business. This is an important part of how you will conduct virtual listing presentations. Having something like this makes you look very professional and tech-savvy, while also giving your clients something to review on their own time. And of course if they want to print it off, they will have something physically to represent what you are doing for them as your client.
Now, you schedule your virtual showing appointment with your client!
6 – Virtual Showing appointment time: game time!
Finally, you proceed with a virtual showing using your mobile device or computer. Your client can show their home with their phone via whichever method you decided on when you were running through the process with them while troubleshooting.
Realtors must adapt because this could last a while
The Coronavirus will run its course. We don’t know exactly how long this will take, and they are saying there may be flare-ups of the virus even after we go back to “normal” life. This means things are going to be different for a while, maybe up to 18 months.
People are going to be weird about shaking hands for a long time. We’re all going to get used to this new way of interacting. All this to say, if you don’t offer your services virtually like this, you’re actually being socially insensitive. Regardless of when and how things go back to “normal,” you must at least make a virtual listing consultation via video conference available to your clients. You must be able to conduct virtual listing presentations.
Even post-COVID-19, some clients will still be uncomfortable meeting in person
Each client will become comfortable with meeting in-person again at a different pace. We must be sensitive to our client’s comfort level. If in a few months, things are looking better and a client is ready to meet in person, fantastic! We will still offer face-to-face appointments. That said, some clients will not be ready. Some will still be very fearful. And, we all have clients that we work with who don’t live in town. For these clients, we will have a system in place to provide all of our services virtually, and this is a huge added value for them!
I don’t think we’re ever going to go back to in-person buyer consultations again. This is why we must learn how to conduct virtual listing presentations now. People are going to get used to this virtual way of doing business and I think they’re going to be excited about it. It will free up a lot of time for everybody involved. I’m actually very excited about this facet of the change we are seeing.
Change can be frustrating; we need to be patient
I’ll date myself a bit here, but I remember when we went off of the MLS from books into the online listings – that was brutal, too. I feel like we’re going through a mandatory switch and there will be a lot of kicking and screaming – people do tend to resist change. We must be patient with those people.
Some of our agents will have difficulty with this change, too. Some may not be equipped with the new technology that is available to make this change easy. And if they do have the right tools, they may not know how to use them properly. So, we must educate our clients and our agents on how to do business virtually … and we must be patient throughout the process.
Right now there is a lot of anger between agents. Many agents are doing a lot of business because they know how to do it virtually, and they are already comfortable with the technology involved. The agents that aren’t comfortable with this change are very frustrated. They may not know how to conduct virtual listing presentations. We can all work together and help each other adapt.
Other virtual services to tell your clients about
We are seeing a lot of drive-by appraisals and virtual notaries being utilized. Sellers will find that this process feels more streamlined, as they are going to be bothered a lot less as these processes move to virtual. I think many people are going to like that.
Residential real estate is the security for over 80% of the world’s debt, so if that debt falls … well, we know what happens when that debt falls. That happened in 2007 and 2008. The last thing we need right now is for housing values to decline, so that’s why government agencies and institutions like the National Association of Realtors is pushing so hard to make Realtors “essential.” These real estate sales must continue to happen. We must learn how to conduct our business virtually, and that includes virtual listing presentations.
Quality of homebuyers during the COVID-19 crisis
One more plus side to all of this change is that the homebuyers that are looking right now are high quality. These buyers are serious. They’re not “just looking”. Not many looky-loos are going to look at properties right now. These buyers are likely pre-approved and ready to go. We are dealing with low rates right now so these buyers are very hungry and serious about making a move.
Conducting virtual listing presentations now will help your future business
Adapt to these changes in our real estate industry and adopt virtual business practices now. For daily updates, relevant content, and downloadable resources that will help you with your real estate business now, join our Real Estate Agent Round Table Facebook group. Good luck to all of you – hang in there, and don’t give up. See this time as an opportunity to grow!