Use these Realtor video conferencing techniques to pivot your real estate business by taking your customer service to the next level.
Realtors should be using video conferencing to pivot their businesses in a changing market. So far in this PIVOT series, we’ve talked about engaging your sphere of influence and how we’re going to work our SOI to really connect with them at a very high level. We also talked about how we’re going to do a lot of that connecting through social media. This is all a result of the recent changes in our industry and the world with regard to the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. We have been forced to move our business into a virtual age.
In this PIVOT series, we’ve also discussed how to embrace making real estate marketing videos part of our strategy. So many people on social media are streaming live video and uploading video content, because we as humans need to connect and see each other’s faces. We are focusing on doing more marketing and connecting on the lead generation side of things. It is crucial for agents looking to grow their business.
Realtor video conferencing to service our clients
Now we’re going to focus more on the business servicing end of the real estate industry. Video conferencing has become paramount to being able to service our current (and future) clients. Real estate agents must learn to video conference.
Realtor Video Conferencing Techniques
Making video conferencing a large part of our real estate business is going to change things a bit, even after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Communicating with our existing clients via telephone may die off a little, and that’s because video is more effective. It’s almost like a face-to-face meeting. Having the option to do a video conference will also affect how many in-person meetings we will be doing in the future.
Convenience and efficiency in an on-demand society
People want convenience. They want everything faster. If a client must wait to physically meet you for a few days, it’s just easier to do a video conference right now. Especially as millennials become a much larger percentage of our clientele, we will see more and more of our clients asking for the immediate gratification of a video conference.
Realtors will find that many clients would much prefer video conferencing to going to your office and sitting down and meeting for a buyer consultation. A lot of these changes that we are seeing today are definitely here to stay. We were forced into these changes by the Coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing laws that resulted. But it does make a lot of sense, regardless.
One of the things we’ve seen from our clients here at Icenhower Coaching and Consulting is that video conferencing is becoming the new norm.
Better customer service
Would you want to drive across town for a listing presentation when you could just see it from the comfort of your own home? Your client will perceive your virtual listing presentation as higher customer service because they don’t have to get their whole house ready for you. They don’t have to dress up – they can just do it right now. It is much faster. We don’t have to wait till Thursday when everybody’s available.
So, there are a lot of instances where having video conferencing as an option will increase the customer service that you provide to your clients. In 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, doing everything from home could be considered “lazy,” and agents that proposed video conferences instead of meeting in person maybe just did not want to put in the effort. Now, post COVID-19 outbreak, it is socially irresponsible to not offer these virtual services.
Listing consultations via video conferencing
Here’s an example of how that dialogue might go. “Hey, I can easily come to your house for this listing consultation, or if you think it might speed things up, I could just shoot you a link quickly, especially in light of everything that’s going on with COVID-19. We can at least start there.” If you don’t think you can get the listing secured in the video conference and the client says, “Oh, I’ve got to think about it,” that’s when I would move to an in-person meeting. Now we’ve actually got a second listing consultation with them and then the likelihood of them agreeing to you at that time is much higher.
If you must meet with them in person at their home for a second listing consultation, you have a few advantages. You’ve already walked through their house with them on their phone, and you’ve talked to them a bit. You have a rough idea of some of the objections or concerns that they may have beforehand. It makes you more prepared before you go into the actual in-person listing consultation. This is all a lot more effective than just a phone call.
Next, you can then easily send them a DocuSign and you can walk them right through it by sharing your screen. Realtors – this can all can happen via video conferencing!
Your client will be so impressed, and they’ll think this is the easiest thing since sliced bread. They won’t think you’re lazy because you’re not there in person. Not anymore. This is all changing. Your client will love the fact that you can actually meet their needs by doing it all virtually. This gives hope to the job of the Realtor surviving.
Let’s help our real estate industry survive
If we can adapt during this turn in the market, and we can do these new, innovative things, we can make sure of our survival. Clients still want someone they can hold accountable, and someone local that they can talk to. They want someone who will make them feel safe and secure. I think that’s very important.
Two types of pending business: active sellers and pending contracts
Active sellers have signed a listing agreement and either their home is about to go active on the market or it is active on the market and it hasn’t received an offer yet. Or, we don’t have a buyer that has signed a contract on it yet. These active sellers are represented by us, but they have not gone under contract yet. They have not gone pending yet.
Pending contracts are either buyers or sellers that have written an offer that has been accepted and they are moving from contract to close. They are right there.
Video conferencing with your active sellers
When it comes to your active sellers, you used to call them every single week. Now, Realtors will begin using video conferencing every week, instead. On that weekly video conference, you can share your screen. This is a big advantage to moving to video conferencing because this is something you could not do via your weekly telephone call. You can show them the number of online views they’ve had on realtor.com, Zillow, the MLS, and your website.
Additionally, we can show them a CMA and what their competition is doing on MLS, as well as how many houses they’re competing with, what the price per square foot is for those other homes, and how they compare by way of amenities. Video conferencing allows you to have a business meeting where you can show them things every single week. You can show them when lower-priced homes go under contract. And you can get them ready for price reductions. This is a huge increase in customer service for your active sellers!
Increased communication is better for everyone
Remember the chief complaint among all clients about their agent is a lack of communication. If every week you have a video conference with them where you update all of your active sellers, this goes away. Think about how patient they’re going to be with you. Your clients will start contacting you for a price reduction. They will understand that they need to take the price down and they know it’s not your fault. Your clients will have a better understanding of the market. They will know you’re doing your part to get their home sold. This is next-level stuff.
Video conferencing is so much more personal, too, because now they see your face. You’re building rapport, and you are getting to know each other better.
Video conferencing with your pending contracts
Same as with your active sellers, Realtors should be having a weekly video conference with pending contracts. Whether it’s sellers or buyers that are under contract, you can share your screen and host a weekly meeting with them. You can show them MLS pages, agent detail reports, viewing reports, any documents you need to show them – even a timeline of the closing process.
This is how you give your pending clients updates and provide them with a look at what you are doing for them. Go over the last three or four things that you accomplished and checked off on the contract to close the checklist. Having your contract to close the checklist for that transaction up on your computer screen is easy and helps guide your conversation, and then you can remind your client of all the important upcoming dates. When is the inspection scheduled? What about the appraisal? When is the closing?
Success leaves clues
If you wonder how high producing agents generate so much business, it’s because they go above and beyond the “normal” level of customer service. This is how you get referrals and repeat business. Once you work with an agent that has this level of customer service, you’re going to tell everyone you know. Clients are not used to this, and likely they have never experienced it from other agents they worked with in the past.
Virtual showings by video conferencing
Another popular way for Realtors to use video conferencing right now is for virtual showings. This is ideal in a circumstance like the one COVID-19 has put us in, and it’s also perfect for out of town buyers, too. The seller walks through their home and provides a video tour via video conference from the camera on their phone. The listing agent can be on the video call as well. No one needs to leave their house to do this.
In unique situations, virtual showings can work well. Eventually, at least sometime the transaction, someone’s going to want to get into that home. For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, when people have been really reluctant to go out and show property or even list property, the number of showings has been very limited. Realtors have been providing a virtual showing first and planning to get the client into the home at a later date.
Real estate team meetings via video conferencing
Realtors are always moving. Usually, real estate teams might meet once a week. Realtors should have their teams meeting via video conference twice, maybe three times, each week. These can be shorter meetings. Everybody can log in from their houses, so they can do it earlier in the morning. You don’t have to get dressed up for every meeting! Get used to seeing your team members in their natural habitat. It’s good for the group.
Keep it casual because if everyone feels like they need to dress up or prepare for each meeting, it may be too intimidating and people won’t show up.
Presenting offers via video conferencing
Realtors are now using video conferencing for presenting offers. Before the advent of video conferencing technology, you would present an offer to somebody in person, at their house. Wouldn’t it be easier to do this via video conference? You can share your screen, take the cursor, and point to different parts of each contract and explain each offer to them. The next step is walking your client through DocuSign, getting everything checked off, and you’re done.
All of this, and one ever leaves their house. It’s so easy, and it’s a higher level of customer service. You can present offers that way, and the same exact thing works for any required repair requests. Stop using the phone. Transition to video conferencing. You’ll look better, build more rapport, and increase the likelihood that your current clients are going to refer you because of how high tech you are. You are proving how dedicated you are to customer service.
Open houses via video conferencing
Many different video conferencing apps will allow Realtors to invite people to your virtual open house. One example is Zoom. It kind of looks like the Hollywood squares. You can even post those on Facebook Live where you’re walking through the house, showing people the home. This allows viewers to ask questions either in the comments section, or live in the Zoom group.
You get to see their faces on there too, and it feels like they are all in the house with you. It’s a neat way to do an open house. So, you can either do your virtual open house via Facebook Live by itself, or you can do it through something like a Zoom conference and connect it with Facebook Live.
Incorporate video conferencing in your business
Make sure that you are embracing video conferencing in all these different aspects of our real estate business. Start with your checklist. Go to your listing to contract checklist and your pre-listing checklists (we give you these as ICC coaching clients) and replace all the instances of “phone call” that we talked above with “video conference.”
Action steps: keep yourself accountable
Now, you need to hold yourself to start using video conferencing more. Pretty soon, video conferences will seem so easy. You won’t want to go back. You’ll find out your clients are much happier with your level of customer service. Your clients will argue with you less. They’re going to feel like they know you better. Because of the positive experience you are giving them, they will spread the word and give you more business by referrals. They will feel much more connected to you than the agents that only use a phone call.
Revise your pre-listing, listing to contract, and contract to close checklists. Realtors must replace those existing steps with video conferencing steps and force themselves to get uncomfortable. Change your routine and start using video conferencing when you handle your existing clients in these transactions. This way, you can continue to pivot your business to adjust to a changing market.