If you plan on starting a business in the real estate industry at this moment, you may want to think long and hard before you dip your feet. Real estate businesses aren’t exempted from COVID-19’s rising numbers. Although the strength of the damage in the market is still unclear as of press time, realtors have already been hounded with questions from understandably concerned clients.
If you’re reading this, you may want to stop writing that business plan of yours for a while. As cases in the United States continue to climb, the industry has no choice but to hit the snooze button. How can your business grow in the middle of a pandemic?
The Current State of Real Estate
Last March 9 to 10, the National Association of Realtors surveyed home sellers, which had over 2,500 responses. The survey discovered that 1 in 4 home sellers nationwide are adapting new measures, such as hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers. It also revealed that some sellers had placed a limit on open houses and showings. Additionally, 34% and 44% of sellers implement these practices in California and Washington State, respectively. If you’re wondering about the state of buyer interest, the survey has some news for you: 78% of the surveyed realtors believe that it hasn’t budged. However, Washington State and California are experiencing significant decreases in interest; on top of that, more and more homes are being removed from the market within those two states each day.
How to Grow Your Real Estate Business in Spite of COVID-19
Realtors are challenged by COVID-19’s effects as the pandemic rolls on. The industry may have slowed down, but it hasn’t exactly come to a screeching halt. Here’s how you can still work on your business’s growth.
Be Efficient With Your Time
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, especially at times like this. This point is especially important for real estate newbies. As much as it’s awesome to close multiple deals right off the bat, it just isn’t feasible with the way things are going right now. Growth is impossible if you’re forever trying to tick every box off your checklist. Instead of playing catch-up, set your sights on things that can elevate your business. Distractions are your biggest enemy here, so make the most of your time doing something that benefits your real estate venture.
Learn to Generate Leads
In real estate, leads refer to people who are looking for property to rent, sell, or purchase. Your odds in closing deals will be better if you have a lot of them. Lead generation can be done in various ways. You can use real estate lead generation services such as Zillow and Realtor.com to find interested parties. Social media is also an option you can look into for a more modern approach. You can also go a little old school and use direct mailers. Although it’s a dated strategy, they’re still quite effective. A 2017 Direct Marketing Association report revealed that direct mailers outperform all other digital platforms in response rates.
Use Social Media Effectively
Every entrepreneur knows how powerful social media is as a tool. It’s their ticket to heightened visibility, new connections, and a great business image. An estimated 2.8 billion people are on social media. And at a time where social distancing is mandatory, you can bet that most of your present and future clients are active online. Since you can’t see them face-to-face, use your social media profiles to reach them. Use your Facebook and Instagram accounts to do live video tours. You can even start your own YouTube channels and upload house tours to catch clients’ eyes. Since the videos will stick to your profiles forever, people can access them easily.
Build New Relationships
Professional relationships are the lifeblood of realtors. As your client list increases, so does your chances of getting referrals. The more referrals you have, the more successful and sustainable your business will become. Every realtor will not stop gunning for these two, especially in current circumstances. Building new professional relationships start with proper communication. Take advantage of the technology you have to present yourselves and your ideas to your clients. Because communication is a two-way street, clients are expected to deliver their messages with equal clarity as well. With constant proper communication comes trust. Once that trust is established, you’re well on your way to meaningful working relationships.
Use Proper Tools
By the time you’re reading this, you’re probably working from the comfort of your home. Since you’re out of the office, you’ll need all the tools you can get to continue your job. Cloud software is extremely useful nowadays. Google Suite has essential Google tools (Drive, Hangouts, Gmail, Docs, etc.) in its system. Since it has all you need to carry out your business process, you can take your work anywhere with you. Trello is another nifty addition to your tool stash. Its features allow you to sort your projects into boards, making it easier for you to track each one’s progress.
Establish Your Brand
Real estate is a highly competitive industry. Stand out from your competitors by building a brand that’s uniquely yours. A good thing about building your brand is that you can march to the beat of your own drum. You don’t have to follow what everyone else does, and you can focus on the things you want to highlight. If there’s one rule you should follow, it’s this: be knowledgeable enough when carving your own identity or niche. We’ve already talked about social media as an essential marketing asset. Elevate your branding further by having a blog or website. You don’t have to do anything fancy with it, as long as you have the basics in place.
Present circumstances have made business growth extra challenging. Work doesn’t stop for realtors, even in the onslaught of COVID-19. As you work towards elevating your real estate business, apply each strategy above with the necessary precautions. Business may be important, but your health comes first.