Real estate agents need to get creative: build your business and support your community.
Let’s talk about some things that Realtors can do to help their communities during the Coronavirus crisis. As we move deeper and deeper into the spread of this virus, more geographic areas across North America are starting to lock down. Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing varying degrees of sheltering in place.
A lot of these regulations are based on the spread of the disease in your particular area, to limit movement among the residents. Oftentimes it is determining whether real estate agents are deemed as “essential services” and thereby allowed to continue to operate. The restrictions that they are establishing on how we can work will likely increase in severity as the numbers of the infected and dead increase due to the virus.
As real estate agents, we still have to earn a living. We are our own business. It’s very hard for us to “go home” – we’re not collecting paychecks. But we have to do something to continue to generate business.
Keep it together for your current clients and be proactive for future clients.
We need to service our existing business and try to hold that together, and try to keep our transactions together so our clients are supported. We are an income. It’s very important that we don’t leave a gap in our production down the road, either. We need to be proactive. We must continue to do some activities to generate business, so that we can continue to close transactions, or at the very least, pipeline transactions.
When this crisis is over, we should have a queue of clients that are now ready to list their house for sale, or get out and start showing, start looking at property again. If we as real estate agents don’t do this, and we have to start all over once this Coronavirus crisis is over, it could extend the gap in between us earning income and paychecks.
Keep calm and carry on.
It is essential that we remain active during our time off. Our coaches here at Icenhower Coaching and Consulting are talking to our clients across North America about this unique opportunity to stay active.
Many agents are coming to us right now, realizing that they do need help during this time, so we’re getting a lot of coaching inquiries and bringing on a lot of new clients right now. Realtors are worried about how they’re going to get through the Coronavirus crisis, and they are investing in their business at a very scary time to invest in anything.
Real estate agents can be a pillar of hope in their communities.
We are telling everyone we talk to, including our current coaching clients, that this time is a unique opportunity for us as agents to become community advisors and leaders. So much of real estate is based on transactions done from the people that we know as real estate agents, and the people in our sphere of influence.
We coach our clients to systematically stay in contact with members of their sphere of influence over time, so that we’re constantly staying first of mind with them. We do this through emails, mailers, social media, telephone calls, client events, pop-bys, etc. However, due to social distancing and restrictions on what we can do as agents, a lot of these points of contact are limited to telephone and social media communication.
Realtors need to get creative.
As a result, we must get creative with ways we can add value and come from contribution. Right now, we are in uncharted territory. In North America, we’ve never dealt with something like this before. We are dealing with a pandemic and we are very isolated.
Realtors are trying to think of unique ways that we can add value and enhance our local communities during the Coronavirus crisis. This is really the name of the game right now. We need to brainstorm ways that we can stay in contact and stay in front of our communities so we can preserve our mind share and keep generating business. Not only that, but there has never been a better time than now to give back to our communities.
Few professionals are in a position to be community leaders. Yes, of course we have our health care workers that are on the front lines, trying to fight this thing. Police officers, fire fighters, grocery store clerks, etc. These are essential services. What can we do as Realtors? We can be the communicators, the messengers, the information providers.
Spread hope, not fear.
We have already seen Realtors stepping up to support their communities during the Coronavirus crisis. They are spreading positivity and hope, and they are trying to make a difference through their connections. That is one thing we have that other essential services do not. We have the connections, the communication pipeline, through our sphere of influence and vendor relationships.
One of the hardest things we are dealing with right now is hearing so many mixed messages, and flat out wrong messages, on social media. We can combat that with ensuring that our messaging is positive, informative, and full of hope.
Now is the time: organize your database.
If you do not have client database, something that contains and organizes your sphere of influence with contact information, if you’re not connected with them on Facebook and Instagram, this should be a top priority for you, right now. While you are stranded in your own home during these shelter in place orders, you can be getting your sphere of influence organized and inputted into your CRM. Maybe you need to get a CRM. If you don’t have this set up already, this is probably the best time. We always say we’re too busy for tasks like this – well, now you’ve got time.
We should grow that database because that extends our reach. The more people in our communities that we are connected to as real estate agents via email and social media extends the reach of our communications. The agents who have spent a lot of time building and cultivating their database can be very effective, even though we’re very isolated.
An example of giving back: Scholarships
We take inspiration from our clients all the time. A few of our clients created scholarships. I thought this was really great – this is exactly what we need. Offering a scholarship to a child in different age groups, or maybe the top five students at a school district, or in a certain neighborhood, or in a certain school. Maybe even in a soccer club or a sports club.
Use your database! Reach out to your sphere and announce that you’re offering scholarships in your community for children that demonstrate what they have done in a safe compliant manner during the current crisis. This will also help inspire your community! You can ask them to submit what they are doing in their local community – and that may be limited to what these children are doing online to raise spirits in their area. Let’s get the kids to be creative and in return, we are doing something for the kids and their education.
Your vendors can and will help you.
Reach out to your vendors to help you with this! When we give a scholarship away, your vendors will chip in. If you provide a $2,000 scholarship to the to the first place winner, $1,000 to the second place, $500 to third, $250 to fourth, etc., you can get some of your vendors to contribute.
Home warranty providers, lenders, title companies, escrow closing companies, attorneys, home insurance agencies, etc. can all pitch in. This makes it so that it’s not too big of a financial burden on any one of us, and we all get an opportunity as a team to support the community.
The team of people you work with when you close transactions as a real estate agent will want to help you with this community outreach project. They want to give back to the community, too.
Not only are you helping by giving away scholarships, you are also demonstrating to the local community that you are a pillar of support. You are trying to make a positive impact while keeping the kids of the community engaged and focused on ways that they too can help.
What are you doing in your community?
I’m picking the brains of all of my clients, my coaches, and all of their clients. We’re trying to uncover what you, as Realtors, are doing to foster hope, inspire, and support your communities during the Coronavirus crisis. How are you leading and being a positive light in your communities? Even in our limited roles right now, we can continue to make contact while working toward giving back. We can all get through this. Let us know what you are doing! You can call us at 805-980-7027, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with us: we want to support you through the Coronavirus crisis.
If you are enjoying this content, you can go to The Real Estate Trainer and subscribe to our newsletter. We are putting videos out on an almost-daily basis, in an effort to keep you up to date and help you guys get through this.
Make sure you are in our Real Estate Agent Round Table Facebook group! Our group has been sharing a lot of great ideas, and we post a lot of updates there, too. The group has a lot of good content that you can share with your people – keeping your sphere of influence up to date is part of the equation! Tell them what they need to know to get through this crisis.