Following the Playbook That Doesn’t Exist

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How to Thrive in the New World of Selling Real Estate

So how is everyone doing coping with this new normal in real estate sales?  I know we’re all focused on everything ‘virtual’ (i.e. showings, tours, document signing, Zoom meetings, etc.) right now, but probably in a relatively short period of time, we will be getting back to some semblance of how we conducted business in the past.

During my quarantine period, I’ve read a lot of articles and listened to a bunch of podcasts about how the real estate market has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will more than likely emerge on the other side of this crisis.  While no one can claim to be one hundred percent spot on with every prognostication they make, there are enough positive signs that indicate once we get through this period, real estate will probably be one of the shining beacons that gets this country back on stable economic grounds.

As a real estate agent, how will you emerge from this crisis?  Are you using your time wisely and honing your skills or are you reading and watching every negative newscast and reading online articles that cause you to go into a deep depression?

Years ago, I ran a number of marathons to test my endurance, strength and will.  One thing I learned during the training process was that in order for you to get stronger and run farther, you had to put stress on your body and mind.  There were days that I wanted to quit my training because it was taxing me beyond what I thought were my physical and mental limitations.  But I carried on because without the stress, I couldn’t improve my chances of completing the race.

Same thing applies in these uncertain times in real estate.  We are being stressed right now – probably more so than at any other time in our lifetimes. You have a choice on how you can react to negative events and stress that happen around you.  They can either let it consume you or you can look these events in the eye and prepare to fight and get stronger.  What is your choice going to be?

Here are some ideas to help you power through these next couple of weeks.  I don’t think you will find anything surprising on this list; however, their significance during this time has increased exponentially.

  • Get personal with your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) – You do have a CRM, don’t you?  If you’re like most agents, you know how to enter basic info into it like a client’s name, address, cell phone number, and email address.  Now what?  CRM’s have features that most agents don’t even know exist.  Ways to help you become more productive and stay on top of your business.  Open up the ‘Training’ section of your CRM and start at square one and complete ALL the training.  Your excuse in the past has been, “I don’t have time to learn all the bells and whistles.”  What’s your excuse now?  In case you need a starting point, here are some popular CRM’s for you to consider:
  • Find your inner movie star – Now is a perfect time to learn to get comfortable in front of the camera.  We are all carrying around an incredible marketing device in our smart phones; a built-in video camera.  This versatile device makes it easy to record and publish short clips of you exhibiting your real estate knowledge while shining a light on your personality.  “But I’m uncomfortable with how I look in front of a camera.”  Get over yourself.  No one cares.  The more you hit the ‘Play’ button on your camera and talk, the more comfortable you’ll get.  BTW – throw away that script or teleprompter.  If you know your topic and speak from the heart, you’ll get much better results.  BTW#2 – Don’t expect perfection.  You’re going to mess up and get tongue tied, have fun with it.  Here are some video apps for you to consider and help you get started:
  • Reach out and touch someone – . . . as long as you are practicing safe social distancing.  Humans are social creatures by nature.  When we are forced not to socialize, we become a little antsy.  During this time of ‘Stay at Home’ mandates, learn to socialize in different ways.  Pick up the phone and call a past client and ask them how they are making out being forced to stay in the home that you sold them.  It sounds a little funny, but it’s true.  They’ll appreciate not only the humor, but hearing your voice.  Is there someone in your neighborhood that is elderly or experiencing tough times?  Contact them and ask how they’re doing.  Older Americans are especially susceptible to being adversely affected by COVID-19 and could be afraid to make a routine trip to the grocery store.  Offer to make the trip for them.  Set a goal of at least five phone calls a day like this.  It’ll not only raise their spirits; it will raise yours too.
  • Social media’s new importance – Over the last three weeks, traffic on social media sites has skyrocketed.  Facebook experienced bandwidth issues last week because of the explosive numbers it was experiencing. With more time on their hands, people are learning to use social media to connect, interact, sell, buy, and just about anything else you can imagine.  As an industry, we are going to emerge from this time to find out that not only has social media increased in importance, but will now be essential to our business.  If you have been an infrequent user of social media for your business, take the time to learn the various platforms and start an implementation plan.  If you are using social media, take it to the next level.  Most platforms have tips and training links right on their sites.  Immerse yourself in the ‘How to’s’ and get up to speed . . . and do it quickly.

As you begin to see the numbers for COVIG-19 cases flatten out across the county and our country, emerge from it stronger and better prepared because you embraced the stress.  The famous movie actor, John Wayne, once said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”  Let’s all saddle up.

All the best!

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