As the world strives to recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate agents are becoming more innovative and digitally adaptive in order to continue to thrive over the long-term.
Over the past months, Australia’s entire property industry is being confronted daily with challenges to many facets of business and ways of working, so much so that traditional ways of selling homes are no longer viable, according to RateMyAgent co-founder and executive director Mark Armstrong.
“Agents are becoming more innovative and digitally adaptive, particularly with online marketing tools and social media has been on the rise,” Mr Armstrong said.
“As seen in RateMyAgent’s most recent Price Expectation report, the market has seen a slight decline in overall vendor satisfaction nationally. While we are expecting the industry to recover in the coming months, we must continue to thrive and adapt.”
RateMyAgent rounds up tips and insights from property experts Lisa Novak, Bonnie Hollander, Josh Tesolin and Adam Sacco which will help the industry build resilience, practical abilities and techniques, “ultimately making them undisruptable”:
The industry has had to adapt to COVID-19 just as we’ve had to pivot in response to many other situations in years gone by, like pre-elections, the GFC, interest rate hikes and tightening on lending. It’s how quickly you respond that’s key.
During the crisis, I’ve buckled down harder on social and video marketing, communicating live updates on what’s happening in my market and providing positive reviews via RateMyAgent and results from clients during this period. From this early adoption, I closed 48 deals in April and May. While we lost physical sales techniques like door knocking, I found I was able to personally invest harder in developing relationships to remain relevant.
I thrive in a market of uncertainty because it’s an opportunity to grow your market share. If you can produce results and good quality ones for your vendors in a time of need, that’s when you stand out.
Finally, qualify your buyers in terms of financial approval and seriousness to buy – this will stop time wasters and leave you with valuable relationships that hopefully convert to sales.
What we’ve seen over the past three months is a dramatic change in how we sell homes – something I believe was needed.
I’ve always felt that the real estate industry has been stuck in a time warp – the pandemic has truly encouraged agents and businesses to innovate for the better.
Our business has continued to succeed in the face of adversity thanks to the early adoption of social media, which allows us to push out content not only to vendors but also the industry, positioning us as leaders in the market. I also make sure that when we do use these channels, we communicate factual and concise information to avoid uncertainty from key stakeholders.
As we find ourselves on the other side of the pandemic in a very different market, consistency, convenience and innovation are key to saying undisruptable. The rate of change internally in your organisation needs to be greater than the rate of change externally. This extends to your sales staff and vendors, you must ask – how can you innovate to meet vendor needs for future success?
In the face of uncertainty, like many people, I don’t thrive. I have good and bad days, but I keep getting up and moving forward – creating lists, prioritising tasks, staying focused, giving myself a rest when I need it and still trying to have fun and keep things simple. Routine and stability are so important for being adaptable and acknowledging the new world order.
A key move we implemented at agents2go is using this time to rebrand – sending a clear message of strength and confidence. Our goal is to show more community engagement and support, refine our business and take a look at what’s working and what’s not working.
Agents who set realistic goals, keep positive, show strength and give back to the community as much as they can, continue to be undisruptable.
The key to remaining resilient in a changing property market is to first make sure you have trust and understand the industry. Your belief in the system helps ensure that you can critically develop a game plan that converts home sales whilst still positing your brand as a market leader.
As a medium-size branch, it’s important that I look at my sales team and their behaviour. Ensuring that I instil confidence in them, especially when they might feel uncertain about their position. This job demands long hours and a lot of time away from home – help your team feel supported and, in turn, they will support you and deliver favourable results and sales.
Finally, we need to be aggressive with how we qualify our buyers and ask key questions – do they intend on buying, are they pre-approved and have they considered key timings? By vetting buyers like this we can ensure that our valuable time isn’t misused.