Realtors need to shift their mindset and embrace virtual meetings.
Conducting virtual meetings via video conferencing has never been more important to real estate agents than it is now as we deal with the Coronavirus crisis. We’re seeing a lot of people isolating, whether to keep themselves safe or just to comply with orders from our government. We are still able to do business as real estate agents. In fact, in a lot of ways, we can enhance our business during this time, and a big part of that is getting very comfortable with video conferencing software.
Video conferencing software for real estate agents.
When it comes to our own clients here at Icenhower Coaching and Consulting, we are urging them to switch over to using video conferencing software if they haven’t already. One of the most common and most popular is Zoom. We use Zoom here at ICC with all of our clients. (Note: I do not own stock in Zoom or get any kickbacks for promoting it here. I just think it is great and universally easy to use.)
We have been using Zoom for a very long time. We use Zoom for webinars, for staff meetings, for hosting masterminds online, and a lot of our clients have used it for a while as well. We’ve had agents perform listing consultations and buyer consultations on Zoom. Millennials, and the younger age group in general, love to do buyer consultations via Zoom. They don’t want to come into an office. We can move more quickly if we conduct our buyer consultations over a video conference.
The Coronavirus is pushing us to grow as Realtors.
The fact that the Coronavirus crisis is forcing real estate agents to adopt video conferencing now might be a good thing. It may be a nudge in the right direction, pushing us as real estate agents to learn how to embrace technology and increase the customer service that we provide to our clients. We have to learn the software and get comfortable with it ourselves.
Share your screen and walk them through signing.
We must embrace this change now and perform our buyer consultations and listing consultations via video conference. That’s pretty much a no-brainer, as opposed to physically being at an office on a certain day and at a time. Now we can send our clients a link to our video conference, and then we schedule a time to log on. One neat thing about using video conferencing is that now we can share our screen with them and walk them through signing digital contracts as well.
How to conduct a Virtual Showing.
I know that showing property is probably one of the scariest issues facing real estate agents right now. How do we show property at this time? Realtors are finding a way to do it through Virtual Showings, so business has not shut down. You can’t get face to face in person with your clients because of the Coronavirus, so Virtual Showings allow you to show property safely. Using video conferencing technology like Zoom, real estate agents can easily and efficiently continue to serve clients.
Running your real estate team meetings via video conference.
During this time, we need to get increasingly close and speak to each other, and only video conferencing will enable you to do this with both our clients and members of our teams.
If you run a real estate team or you’re on one, usually you have a team meeting. Usually this happens at your office at a regular time each week or at some regular interval. Now it’s time to really make sure you are doing this on a regular basis, and obviously since we’re not meeting together physically in the same office, we want to switch to video conferencing. We also should consider meeting more than once a week.
You may want to have a daily huddle with your team. Even if it’s short, a quick 15-20 minute Zoom conference every single day will help keep them close. They need to hear you. Members of your team are feeling very uncertain right now. There are a lot of rumors circulating, and a lot of fear as a result. Be a calming voice so they have a group outside of their own family to talk to on a regular basis. It’s a good outlet to have. Make sure you’re talking about your transactions, changes that are happening with government regulation, and just see how they are doing on a personal level. Check in with your people.
Host a video conference with your clients often.
It’s a very good practice to call all of your active sellers each week to keep them up to date. That is something we teach our real estate agents to do. We want to keep our sellers “in the know” so they start to realize what the markets are doing, and if the property doesn’t sell, they become aware that it is the market conditions rather than your lack of effort. You, as their real estate agent, need to stay in constant communication with them.
All that said, we need to increase the voltage right now. As real estate agents, you should be video conferencing with all of your active sellers and your sellers that are under contract, every single week. Same with your active buyers and your buyers under contract.
I would constantly be in video conference mode with them to stay engaged. It will also help you take their pulse, and help you make sure they feel connected and are moving forward. A lot of your clients are also forced to be at home right now, so it’s a good time to stay in constant contact with them via video conferencing.
Educate your clients on how to use video conferencing.
Some of your clients will already be familiar with how to video conference, but you will need to educate some on how to use this tool. You’ll need to email them a link to join your video conference, and tell them to click on it. You might have to tell them how to adjust their microphone and their video camera. You can also tell them to download the app on their phone, which is probably the easiest for many. Tell them it’s free and easy to use.
Start video conferencing all these people once a week. Reach out send them a link and tell them, “Hey, I just want to touch base with you at least once a week. This way we will make sure we see each other’s faces.” Tell them they don’t need to dress up.
Set yourself up for video conferencing success.
Do your video conferencing in your home office, or in a well-kept spot of your home. Maintain your professionalism, even if it is more casual than usual. If you’ve watched any of our videos, I’m usually in my home office. It’s easy for me because I have this set up and I’ve been doing videos here for a long time. I have good lighting. I have the screen behind me. Having this space set up makes it more comfortable for me. I can sit down here and shoot videos as quick as I could make a telephone call. I just make sure my appearance is clean, and I’m good to go.
When it comes to equipment, a decent webcam with high definition quality like the one I use is probably $80-$100. You can order one on Amazon and have it within three days. A simple business investment like this can make a huge difference in how you adapt the way you do things as a real estate agent. You can use your phone to shoot your video too. Most phones have such good resolution and audio, so you don’t need to get any special equipment if you don’t want to.
So it’s clear, now is the time for real estate agents to embrace video conferencing, if you haven’t already. You are going to have a lot of time on your hands while we shelter at home or self-isolate during the Coronavirus crisis. It’s the perfect time to force yourself to start learning how to convert appointments to video, whether it be listing appointments and buyer consultations, or regular team meetings.
Communication is a part of your job as a real estate agent, now more than ever.
As this Coronavirus crisis gets more serious, and people are taking it more seriously, and the stock market is taking it seriously, people’s emotions and financial situations are changing daily. Families are forced to live together in close quarters, and they are on a roller coaster ride of emotion.
As real estate agents, it’s our job to remain as the calming force and the positive presence that gives them up-to-date information, and video conferencing gives us a way to effectively do that. We need to dispel a lot of rumors, and be constantly in tune with their best interests. We need to communicate early, often, and consistently.
Elevate your customer service.
You can enhance your customer service as a real estate agent by reaching out to all of your buyers and sellers every single week with a video conference. That is better communication than 99.9% of agents were doing before the Coronavirus crisis. When we were able to meet in person, most agents were out there talking, answering the phone calls of their clients, and solving their problems when they have a question. That’s a low level of customer service. We’re going to bump that up now.
If you are proactive and set times each week to meet with your real estate clients via video conference, you’re proactively scheduling and forcing communication with them. If we’re always just responding to their questions, their needs, and their concerns, we’re already behind. That isn’t seen as good customer service.
The best defense is good offense.
Consider this scenario. If you have a product or service and their customer service team is only there to receive your complaint or your issue, that gets frustrating as the consumer. As real estate agents, we need to be meeting with our clients and communicating with them so that we can be preventative. They should know that if they do have a question or a concern, they’re going to speak to us this week anyway.
You are constantly preparing your clients for what’s coming next and you are giving them peace of mind. Provide them with up-to-date information on what is going on in the world today. That is good customer service. As real estate agents, we need to get on offense. We must get on our toes and the balls of our feet, not back on our heels. We are getting aggressive with our customer service.
Shift your mindset and embrace this change to the real estate industry.
You need to be open to change. In many ways, we’re not going to go back to the way it was before. You will find a lot of real estate clients who prefer video conferencing for buyer consultations and listing consultations. I know I would. I like to move fast and I really don’t feel like you need to be in my house on the buyer consultation side. I don’t need to go to your office. It’s more convenient for our face-paced world.
We will probably do more virtual showings in the future, especially with out-of-town buyers and sellers. We’re going to go back to showing property in person, without a doubt, however you’re going see a lot more of your clients opting for a virtual showing. People will begin to get very comfortable with virtual showings, and that will change their preferences.
Real estate agents: Welcome to the turn.
Adopt the mindset of a professional racecar driver. These professionals believe that “legends are made in the turns, not in the straightaways.” As a racecar driver circles around a track, the straightaways are where they are going really fast. It’s really impossible to tell who’s the better driver during the straightaway. You might have a slightly faster car, but you’re just driving straight so it’s really hard to tell.
It’s in the turns where great drivers distinguish themselves and advance their position. As real estate agents, the turns are where we define our legacy. It’s where we show up and write our own stories. Welcome to the turn, you guys. Here we are. We had a turn in 2007-2009. We had a turn when 9/11 happened. And now we are facing a turn, yet again. This is where the great ones move forward.
We are going to lose a lot of people in the industry right now, because they’re not going to do well in the turn. You will see a lot of real estate agents make excuses and jump into other businesses, because they’re not going to do well in the turn. You are going to see a lot of people shift blame, or say “I can’t do anything because the government said I can’t,” or “I’m just going to go around and police all the other agents that shouldn’t be showing property.”
Focus on your own real estate business.
Let’s not concern ourselves with how other agents are conducting their business right now. Let’s focus on your business. You need to circle the wagons and lead by example. Embrace technology so you don’t have to do face-to-face when it’s unsafe for our families, or when we can’t because of restrictions by our government.
Embrace the turn.
The best thing we can do is embrace these changes to the real estate industry, and embrace the turn. We are going around that turn on that racetrack, so let’s adapt and maneuver. Let’s get better and use this time to hone our skills as real estate professionals.
Stay connected and surround yourself with like-minded agents, even virtually. Join our community on our Facebook group, Real Estate Agent Round Table, for daily updates and relevant content that you can use in your business during the Coronavirus crisis. Let’s ride this turn together!