Agents, brokers, and basically all real estate companies are finding these times to be a bit trying. Some are really struggling to adapt, while other agents are finding ways to stay afloat during such tumultuous times.
With many brokers and agents forced to work from home, it’s a bit more difficult to balance life and work. Other stringent measures have also been put in place making it hard to help home buyers and sellers in a traditional way.
Some of the best agents across the country are finding ways to adapt. Let’s look at some of the tools and strategies they are using to make their real estate business successful during COVID-19.
Avoiding Traditional Open Houses
Open houses can certainly benefit a real estate agent in many ways. However, the coronavirus has pretty much shut down the traditional open house.
Some agents are turning to social media and online to hold virtual open houses. While a virtual open house certainly isn’t the same as a traditional open house, you do have the ability to show off the property and attract a larger crowd.
Another benefit of a virtual open house is the ability to share the videos after it’s over. You can give all participants access so they can check out the property over and over again, in case they missed something. The videos can also be shared on social media to create even more buzz around the property.
If you want to hold a virtual open house, RIS Media has seven tips you might find helpful.
Virtual Home Tours are a Listing Must Now
Before COVID-19, a virtual home tour would help set a home listing apart, but it wasn’t vital to selling the property. In today’s quickly changing world, virtual home tours are almost required if you want to get a home sold.
Smart agents adapted to using virtual or video home tours as soon as they realized everybody was going to be stuck at home. Even with things opening back up in some areas of the country, virtual and video home tours are more important than ever.
Not only do these home tours help you show off the property safely to those stuck at home, but they also make it easier for homebuyers to shop for a home.
While things start to open up, many people will still look for ways to minimize contact with people they don’t know and with properties. If they can use virtual home tours to thin out their list of potential homes they might want to buy, it means fewer actual showings are needed.
For real estate agents, virtual home tours are actually a huge time-saving tool. If your listings have video or virtual tours, you’ll be able to keep the looky-loos satisfied without giving them a tour of the home.
The most interested buyers will be the ones calling to schedule an appointment instead of anybody even considering the home as a potential option.
Stricter Buyer Requirements for Showings
Showings have transformed into a bigger job for home sellers and agents because of COVID-19. The home needs to be thoroughly cleaned before and after a showing for safety reasons.
One of the ways the best agents are coping with this is by requiring buyers to be highly qualified before they actually do an in-person showing. A pre-approval letter or other documents showing the buyer’s financial ability to purchase the home are necessary to receive access to the home.
Since agents can show the home through virtual and video tours, in-person home showings are a bit further down the line of steps for buying the home. Instead of allowing a dozen people to walk through for showings, only the most qualified will get to see the home in-person to keep foot traffic to a minimum.
Other steps will be taken during showings, as well, including:
- All doors and windows will be open and knobs will be sanitized before and after all showings
- Cabinet doors will likely be opened before the showing so potential buyers have less to touch
- Lights will all be turned on to keep potential buyers from needing to touch switches.
- Carpooling to the showing will no longer be normal
- Buyers may be asked to wear shoe coverings or booties while touring the home
- Hand sanitizer can be placed throughout the home to keep everybody clean and safe
- Buyers might be asked to refrain from touching surfaces
Virtual Staging Makes Listings More Attractive
When possible, good agents are using virtual staging to create better listing pictures. Instead of dealing with the safety issue of bringing in a professional stager, agents are recommending virtual staging companies to their home sellers.
The rooms are easier to stage if they are already empty, but virtual stagers can work with many types of pictures to create a sense of a staged home. Virtual staging is often less expensive than traditional staging, as well.
Drive-Up & Electronic Closings are the New Normal
Sitting across from other people at a closing table isn’t really happening right now. Many title companies and lenders are using drive-up and electronic closings to make the process safer.
Agents are providing buyers with the necessary documents ahead of time so they have time to review them. Then, when it’s time to sign, they will either do it through a drive-up or right online from home.
Agents are Moving to Online Brokers
Before COVID-19, a trend of real estate agents moving to online brokers was already starting. Online brokers offer plenty of benefits outside of the huge benefit now of not needing to go into an office.
At Elite Agents, we provide you with a personalized real estate website, all kinds of marketing materials, and virtual tours for your properties. We were using virtual tours before COVID-19, which helped us better prepare for the times we live in now.
Our ability to adapt real estate technology to our business benefits you. As one of our agents, you’ll be given all the tools you need to help buyers and sellers in today’s changing real estate market.
While times are difficult and rather unique, the best real estate agents are finding ways to adapt. Technology has made it possible to show homes, help buyers find homes, and get homes sold, even without traditional open houses and nearly as many showings.
If you’re ready to step up your real estate game during COVID-19, the right online broker could make a big difference. Elite Agents is ready to help you become successful, no matter what’s going on in the world.