Safety, certainty and empathy: How real estate agents can help buyers and sellers during COVID-19

As part of our suite of tools for managing the business of real estate during COVID-19, Claudio Encina and Matt Lahood joined Sam McLean to share their insight into how agents can help buyers, sellers and their communities during COVID-19

Key points covered in this webinar:

Empathy, resilience, focus – Go through your day with those three things in mind and chances are you will strike royal in the next three months.

Look at it like preparing for a marathon or the HSC. The date is three to four months from now, what do you need to focus on now for three to four months time?

This too shall pass – But consider what you need to do to come out in 90 days. Have a plan, stay focused, keep your ideal week going.

Three types of agents – There are three types of agents emerging…

Those who are fear-focused, very emotional and overwhelmed, and consumed by the media.

There are those sitting in the middle playing the waiting game.

Then there are the strategy-focused agents saying how can I see opportunity now, how can I get involved in the community, how can I serve at the highest level in the marketplace?

If you choose to be above the problem and serve at the highest level, that’s what people are looking for. Buyers and sellers are looking for the people who are giving direction.

It’s a new day one – What if today was your first day in real estate? What would you do differently, how would you act? It’s easy to kick and squeal and say that’s how we used to do it. But the person who is more resilient and adaptable will run over you.

After this drama, we will have a number of ways you can sell a property in the future.

Be relevant – If you’re doing the listing presentation you were doing four weeks ago today, then you have your head in the sand. Instead consider the three dangers for your vendor.

The three dangers – Identify what the top three dangers are for a seller right now? One is certainty – is this the right time? Number two is safety and number three is they want to feel comfortable with the process.

If you’re able to build some sort of dialogue or framework around this discussing safety and transparency, you’ll make them feel comfortable. You need to make the seller feel safe.

The tough conversation Although this will pass, in the interim stay real with your clients, don’t sugarcoat things, have empathy and be ready to have the tough conversation.

Throw away the box – Don’t just think outside the box, throw it away. A new box is being built. If you see opportunity seize it. Get out there and implement it. It’s now about speed of execution. In the process don’t let perfect get in the way of good.

Reach out to your community – Get involved in the community on whatever level you can. If you want the community to serve you, you need to serve the community.

When you do great things in your community without expectation of return, eventually the word gets out. Check-in with people, not from a real estate perspective.

For example, if you’ve got people in your database over 70, reach out and see if they need anything.

Three tech tools – There are a lot of new tools currently available in the tech space. It’s not the time to embrace each and every one.

Instead, pick the three things that you’re comfortable with and add them to your lifestyle. Look for the things that will give you immediate leverage and use it.

Effective and efficient – Up until now real estate was slow to embrace change because we were operating out of fear.

Now people are reinventing themselves. Ultimately some of these tools will stick, allowing us to be more effective and efficient, with more time at our disposal.

The crystal ball – In the next six months, people will look at their overheads, asking do they need the encumbrances they have? We will see a different space in the industry come out of this.

Best selling periods possible – People who focus on what’s going to be possible in the next 90 days will have some of the best-selling periods of their career. There are exciting times ahead for those who are focused.

The AND strategy – The new way of selling in the future will see an AND strategy. Vendors will have smorgasbord of options available and agents will need to offer choice.

The light at the end of the tunnel – Society will emerge from COVID-19 in a very different headspace. Once there is optimism there will be positivity.

That will prompt some serious re-evaluation for many and could see a lot of people to change their circumstances – upsizing or downsizing.

If you can stay in the game for the next 90 days, adapt, remain focused, embrace change and be resilient, there will be real rewards ahead.

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Cassandra Charlesworth

Cassandra Charlesworth is a features writer for Elite Agent Magazine with over 15 years’ journalism experience in metropolitan and regional newsrooms. She has a specialist interest in real estate, tech disruption and a good old-fashioned “yarn”.