The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is affecting businesses everywhere, and real estate is no different. Most real estate transactions rely on interactions between buyers, sellers and their agents. But now, with the focus on social distancing, it’s important for everyone involved in the homebuying process to find alternate ways to complete their daily activities and minimize contact with other people as much as possible.
While some buyers might lose interest as they manage other concerns, many of them won’t put their lives on hold forever. So, it will be important to be there for them and find a way to continue to close deals in the coming months. With this in mind, we put together some tips on how to handle your real estate business during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure you’re able to continue your activity safely:
1. Host open houses online
If you have a smartphone and a social media account, move all of your open houses online. This way, you can limit social interaction and still offer prospective buyers a tour of any home. For instance, video call or FaceTime with prospects to show them around the house and create a personalized virtual tour. Or, for larger groups, host an Instagram or Facebook Live, where hundreds of people can watch as you show them around and even respond to their questions and comments.
2. Add high-quality photos for your listings
Have you never quite had the time to download those good shots of a house you’re trying to sell? Do it now and take time to edit the brightness, contrast and colors before posting them online. The way your listings look online will matter now more than ever before, so make sure they stand out.
3. Brush up on your descriptions
Take time to update your online listings and try to add as many as details as possible. This will allow potential homebuyers who are browsing online to imagine living in the home. Plus, by adding more details and formatting your descriptions in an easy-to-read manner, you’ll also improve the likelihood that your listings will appear in advanced homebuyer searches.
4. Use virtual tour options
Increasingly, real estate agents are moving toward offering virtual tours for homebuyers. And, because most online platforms already have this option, make sure you take advantage of it. For example, listings added on point2homes.com through Point2 Agent will have the Point2 Virtual Tour enabled. What’s more, you can also use third-party tours, such as Matterport, YouTube video tours and so on.
5. Sign documents electronically
There are plenty of e-signature apps out there, like DocuSign, which you can use to obtain signatures on any pending documents. Moreover, you can send the documents to all involved parties and minimize the number of in-person meetings, even when things get back to normal.
6. Get ready for the long haul
It’s a tough time for everyone, and although the way we normally do business might change, we need to be patient and focus on what we can do. In the meantime, prepare your sellers for longer waiting times to sell their properties, and advise buyers that they may have to be more flexible with their move-in dates, which could be delayed.
7. Stay safe, work remotely
Social distancing is your best defense right now, so work remotely as much as possible and utilize all of the online tools available.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that Point2 Agent is now compatible with all mobile devices, so you can do all of your work remotely. Specifically, it stores contacts, messages, reports on the performance of your listings and advertising options. As a result, you can stay in full control of your business – no matter where you are.
We’re hoping Point2 Homes and Point2 Agent are helpful to you during this time. Remember, you can add your listings for free on point2homes.com and increase your exposure now, when more people are likely to be online. Similarly, if you’re in need of additional online marketing tools, start a free, 28-day Point2 Agent trial. On top of that, all subscriptions and advertising options are now 25% OFF until the end of April.
Do you have tips for your fellow agents? If so, leave them in the comments below!