Eugene is the Founder of The Litvak Team @ Compass — one of the top producing and largest teams at Compass.
I know from my regular communication with fellow agents that, for the most agile and creative among them, deals are still happening, but in new and exciting ways. Tried-and-true skills, like excellent communication and client service, are paramount. And when paired with smart data, tech-savvy tools and flexibility, opportunity can be found and deals closed. Moreover, there are lessons that real estate professionals are learning now that will serve us well into our post-pandemic futures.
Leveraging Information And Data
With the type of market volatility we’ve seen so far in 2020, data and research are indispensable for guiding clients. By monitoring the increase in online searches for larger homes with outdoor space and pools, agents can advise sellers on how to position their homes while encouraging buyers to make fast decisions when the perfect property becomes available. A market that ebbs and flows quickly is also a great reminder to use our time wisely. Focusing on marketing and organization in slow periods will mean you’re fully prepared to grind when business increases.
A Bias For Action And Stellar Service
Real estate professionals in every market have had to maneuver around strict regulations for in-person contact and showings. That means that every facet of the business — from the initial client meeting to the closing process — is entirely different now than it was just months ago. Flawless client service, communication and patience are a must for putting buyers and sellers at ease.
Amid a nationwide lockdown, large homes in wide-open spaces and cities with fantastic quality of life have attracted potential buyers. As a result, agents who can craft new methods of introducing newcomers to their prospective homes and neighborhoods, knowing they may be buying without visiting in person, prove invaluable. For example, agents could record videos of the actual commute between a listing and a buyer’s place of business or local schools to give a realistic view of daily life. Theses kinds of tactics not only are a great exercise in creativity but also allow agents to sell homes completely virtually and serve relocators in the post-pandemic era.
Innovating The Future Of Real Estate
Over and over again, we’re seeing that a bias toward service and creativity is keeping agents successful. You have to be willing to try new things. Experiment and fail. Embrace change and rise to the challenge. I believe, in many cases, the solutions we’re creating now will become the future of how real estate is done.
In one stark example, some in the industry think open houses should be permanently de-emphasized, not only to minimize human contact but also to recognize that they’re not always an ideal environment for making connections and selling homes. That idea, which would’ve seemed revolutionary a year ago, makes sense when considering the leaps and bounds virtual listing tools have made. With virtual staging, 3D floor plans, Matterport renderings, drone photography and Skype tours, prospective buyers have the opportunity to see a property from every angle before they ever leave their couch. That means that in-person visits can easily be pared down to the most serious prospects. By eschewing mass open house events, we allow for more effective one-one-one service. Furthermore, it saves everyone’s time — our most precious commodity in any market.
Do I personally think open houses will go away entirely? Not necessarily, but I do appreciate the willingness to abandon we’ve-always-done-it-this-way thinking in favor of working smarter and better. Throughout my career, I’ve seen real estate as a vehicle for serving others. With or without the coronavirus, our job is to educate and advise our clients. If creating long-term industry changes from the lessons we learn in this challenging time can do that, I’m in. No matter how the market evolves, the strongest agents consistently demonstrate the fortitude and flexibility necessary to serve clients effectively.