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Thriving in the new ABnormal

Three new skills to help your business post-pandemic.

When will things return to normal after the pandemic? This often-asked question assumes our experience was some sort of cyclical event such as daylight automatically following darkness. But what if there were structural changes caused by the pandemic? What if these changes are the new abnormal? Here are three new skills required to thrive:

1. Virtual viewing. Due to the lockdowns, buyers became very comfortable viewing properties online—even making offers without physically seeing the property. Here are the facts according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • 63% of buyers last year made offers without ever physically viewing the home.
  • Buyers viewed an average of nine homes before writing a contract.
    • Five of these were virtual viewings.
    • Four of them were physical viewings.
    • How a home shows virtually often determines if it “makes the finals” and is viewed physically.

Strategies in the new abnormal:

  • When working with buyers, have the knowledge and the tech skills to serve them virtually.
  • When working with sellers, make sure your listings “shine” online.

2. Bring your “A Game.” Due to virtual viewing and contracts, listings need to shine online. Homes that received the most views and contracts were staged and had professional photography, video and virtual floor plans available with the listing. These homes received more views, more contracts, sold faster and had fewer cancellations. 

In one study, homes where real estate professionals brought their A Game were viewed online for 90 seconds on average, whereas homes that did not have staging, professional photography, video, and floor plans were viewed for only four seconds. 

Your next listing is embedded in your current listing. Because of virtual viewing, future sellers are now more often picking their listing associate based on how the associate’s listings show up online. Who is bringing their A Game? Sellers want to list with those Realtors.

3. The three-step listing launch. The obsession with “speed to market” is a trap. Putting a home on the market before it is properly prepared (staged) and the marketing materials (A Game) are ready results in a lower sales price and hurts the seller. The best associates in our industry follow the three-step listing launch.

  • Step 1: Package. Package the house well (staging) and prepare your marketing materials (professional photography, video, floor plans, etc.). Take the time to get the home as move-in ready as possible
  • Step 2: Price. Develop your pricing strategy. This is based on the condition of the home, as well as current market conditions.
  • Step 3: Promote. Launch your marketing program – MLS, online, open houses, social media, outreach to potential buyers, neighbors and Realtors, etc.

Follow your “marketing syntax.” Syntax is the order and sequence of words. For example, “The dog bit Johnny,” and, “Johnny bit the dog” are the same words. But when you change their order, the meaning changes—and therefore so do the results. The same is true with your marketing syntax. Follow the “package, price, promote” order, and you will get the results you are looking for. Unfortunately, some associates do the right things but do them in the wrong order. The most common mistake is promoting (Step 3) before they have packaged (Step 1). 

Develop your three new skills and you will thrive in the new abnormal!

Larry Kendall is one of the founding partners of The Group, Inc., a real estate company that is owned equally by its sales associates and staff. He is also the author of “Ninja Selling.”

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