Today is the day to take action and help your brokerage thrive.
During a six-week period from mid-March to the end of April, Andrea Tuell sold 10 houses. This was a period when showings were either prohibited or limited in many markets due to COVID-19. Some described it as a lockdown. Andrea, as well as her buyers and sellers, were not going to wait for the storm to end. They learned to dance in the rain.
Similar stories from other top sales associates have flooded in from throughout the country. As a result, the real estate market survived and thrived in COVID-19 better than many expected. There are three key lessons offered here.
- The Power of Mindset. The sheer determination and courage to find a way to get things done is a testament to the human spirit. Despite the limits placed on sales associates and their customers, many found a way to move from the life they have to the life they dream about. Meanwhile, others are still in hibernation, waiting for the storm to pass. Mindset is the key difference.
- Virtual Viewing. All 10 of Andrea’s contracts (six listings sold and four buyer sales) came after the buyers viewed the properties virtually. In each case, the buyers felt comfortable writing a contract subject to being able to physically inspect the property later. This process may become the new normal.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, buyers physically looked at 10 homes last year before they wrote a contract. With buyers now becoming more comfortable with virtual viewings, look for this number of physical showings to drop—potentially in half to five or six homes. More of the elimination process will be done online.
Coming out of COVID-19, buyers, sellers, real estate professionals and their associated service providers are more comfortable in the virtual environment than they were six months ago. They are using Zoom conferences to buy, sell, finance and close their transactions.
- Bring Your “A” Game. Virtual viewing is only effective if the listing real estate agent presents the property in the best possible light. This includes staging, professional photography, video (sometimes including drone video), floor plans and detailed neighborhood information. All 10 of the properties Andrea sold had these marketing tools working for them. In all 10 cases, the listing agents brought their “A” Game. Listings that didn’t have these tools were left sitting
on the sidelines.
Prior to COVID-19, the market was so hot and the shortage of inventory so great that many real estate professionals would cheap out on their marketing. As one agent put it, “I can put this house on the market today and have multiple offers in 72 hours. Why should I spend money on staging, photography, video, floor plans, etc.?” Their question is answered in three ways:
- You owe it to your seller to present their property professionally.
- Potential sellers will see how you market and will want to list with you. Your next listing is embedded in this listing.
- COVID-19 and virtual viewing have changed everything. Virtual viewing is now the new normal. Unless you bring your “A” Game, your listing will be overlooked. It won’t make the finals. And you (and your seller) will be left standing in the rain.