What top agents, brokers, coaches, and industry experts have been saying about real estate and COVID-19
Rather than share our own thoughts (and we have many), we knew it would be more helpful for you to hear what the industry’s best and brightest are saying about Coronavirus and Real Estate.
First, we’ll share examples of what top agents are telling their markets (their videos and articles). Then, we’ll provide videos and comments from leading agents, brokers, coaches, and industry experts, all produced in the last several days. Finally, we’ll sum up the key take-aways.
Message Matters: What Top Agents are Telling their Markets
Right now, message matters more than ever. To send a postcard about “selling faster and for more money” would be tone-deaf, to say the least. Here are real-life examples of the articles and videos tuned-in Top Agents are emailing and direct mailing to their markets, right now.
Ruth Krishnan: We’re in this together
Any agent with the ability to send a video his or her sphere (which is any agent with a cell phone and computer) should create one now. Put it on your website, email it to your list, and blast it out on Facebook and Twitter. Homeowners are looking for guidance, and want to know you are here to help.
Team Forss: Here to help
In Temecula, the Forss Team published an article on the cover of their 12-page direct mail publication, which is mailed to thousands of homes monthly. In it they explain how they are changing their operations temporarily, how they are helping homeowners navigate the ever-changing situation, and the good works they are doing to support the community. Additionally, they created a Call to Action on their cover so that homeowners can call and request a 4-page guide about COVID-19 Preparedness. Click here to see his latest publication
(VIDEO) Buddy Blake: Call anytime
In this video Buddy Blake recorded for his local market, he emphasizes how we’re all in the same storm, but in different boats. This is a great message to emulate when reaching out to your own market.
Adam Cothes: Expert Advice
Adam Cothes is a top agent in one of the worst “hotspots” in the USA – Kirkland, Washington. His response? Mail more publications, increase reach, use this time to cement himself as the leading local agent. On the cover of his paper he addresses market uncertainty head-on, with surprisingly good news for sellers. He also urges homeowners to call for a preparedness guide, which Discover can custom-brand for agents free of charge.
(VIDEO) Alex Kiel: I empathize!
In this wonderful, short video, agent Alex Kiel is right on message. He’s not over zealously peddling his service, but rather sending a message of care and empathy. He’s making himself available as a resource and urging clients and prospects to call, just to talk through their concerns. And he suggests that people use their abundant spare time to learn about the market and the abundant opportunities in real estate.
Jordan Matin: Arming the Market with Information
Jordan Matin takes a deep-dive look at the Coronavirus situation locally, and how it may impact the market, on the front cover of his direct mail publication. In this article, he lays out exactly what is known and unknown, and the opportunities available to homeowners who take action today. With so many people at home (many who might be considering a move), this headline will get a lot of attention.
Coronavirus-related Responses from Top Real Estate Agents and Experts
Kevin Ward warns: Many agents will drop out.
Agents who don’t fall by the wayside will not only survive, but thrive… in a big way. Step-by-step advice from leading Real Estate Agent coach Kevin Ward. Key take-away: sow seeds, build relationships. Increase Top of Mind Awareness. Be a Farmer. Our 12-page publication is an ideal tool for setting the stage to capture all the latent demand building up.
Brandon Kekich, The Kekich Team, located in Michigan
We have a “Tale of Two Markets” sometimes in the same neighborhoods. Different buyers, at different stages in their lives, are handling this and reacting differently. Some segments are a ghost town. Some are insanely busy. Some sellers won’t list. Some are scrambling to list now.
Over communicate. Over counsel. Ask more and more about them. They’re all stressed whether they say so or not. The cream of the crop, those [agents] who care for their people, will rise during this time.
Lennox Scott, John L. Scott Real Estate, located in the Pacific Northwest
With any situation in real estate, it’s important to plan for all potential outcomes, yet have the flexibility needed to be nimble as things change. Overall, demand remains strong across our footprint. So far, we have seen a continuation of the robust spring market with low inventory and, as a result, have seen little effect on how quickly a home sells, which does put pressure on buyers to see homes and make offers on homes that pique their interest.”
Shawn Cordoza and Tami Savage, owners and coaches, The Real Estate Trainer
As real estate agents, we still have to earn a living. We are our own business. It’s very hard for us to “go home” – we’re not collecting paychecks. But we have to do something to continue to generate business. We are telling everyone we talk to, including our current coaching clients, that this time is a unique opportunity for us as agents to become community advisors and leaders.”
Marjorie Dick Stuart and Bill Stuart say: Stay Social during Social Distancing
Marjorie Dick Stuart (top DC Agent) and Coach Bill Stuart share the importance of staying in contact with your market now more than ever. Who knew it would take a Global Pandemic to help agents build connections and deepen relationships in the market!
Ben Caballero, #1 Agent in USA, HomesUSA, located in Texas
Ben Caballero reported on March 17 that his agents continue to report above-average activity. He said, “one explanation is that, in many cases, people who are considering buying a home may have more time to focus on their search. Residential real estate is a resilient industry because housing is a basic need. Agents are independent contractors and adapt quickly. To that end, they will endeavor to make home buying and selling a safe experience by all available means during this challenging time.”
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR
There will be a major fluctuation in some [home sales] data. Whatever is missed out on for a couple of months will come up strongly with a rebound in autumn, provided that this situation is of short duration and the stimulus package provides for lost income. That would be the best-case scenario. Unlike the stock market, home prices do have a stickiness; whatever their momentum is, they only slowly change from month to month. The only time nationwide home prices declined was in the Great Recession, due to loose subprime lending and overbuilding. [Today] we have tight lending conditions and underproduction. Housing wealth will hold on well. Once the social distancing and quarantine measures are relaxed, we should see this temporary pause evaporate, and will have potential buyers return with the same enthusiasm.”
Tod Franklin, DFW City Homes, located in Texas
I have many buyers and sellers that just can’t pause because they have immediate housing needs. Also, many that don’t want to miss the low interest-rate opportunity.”
By taking extra precautions, using virtual/video tours, and conducting transactions online, Tod is adapting to be able to serve clients while keeping everyone safe.
Mega Producer Ryan Seyboth encourages agents: this too shall pass!
Ryan’s community is “resting in place;” like many markets, folks are dealing with a temporary stand-still. In response, he is committed to being a resource to his entire network. And he’s looking for opportunity rather than focusing on the negative. “This too shall pass,” he assures his agents, “take this time to self-reflect, and come out of this better and stronger than ever before.”
Ali Barry, Quest Realty, located in Michigan
I think we will have a lot of people that are reluctant to list their home until things really blow over, which will further increase the lack of supply, creating an even hotter seller’s market for those that do list now.”
David Kong, LevinKong Team, located in New York City
Actually, I like [the Social Distancing] because now only more serious buyers will view homes versus anyone that’s just hanging out, wanting to look at places for fun. At the same time, the dramatic fall in interest rates may induce some potential buyers to take advantage of the better affordability condition. It is too early to assess the likely impact as to whether lower interest rates can overcome the economic and health anxieties.”
Rett Harmon, CENTURY 21 Novus Rettro Group, located in Georgia
We are all trying to protect everyone we work with and their families. There is no exact procedure for handling something like this. I think everyone is erring on the side of caution. Their kids are also home, and sellers are paranoid about the germs. It’s the same with listing appointments.”
Ben Hirsh, Hirsh Real Estate Group, #1 REALTOR in Atlanta, Georgia
One thing we know for certain: this will pass, and our community will be as strong as ever. Atlanta will continue to be a vibrant city. Traffic will return to the empty streets, and life will go on. For now, maybe we should all just take a deep breath and make the most of this rare pause in our busy lives.”
Redfin advises: make practical adjustments and protect your deals.
This Redfin Livestream video lays out a detailed plan for selling homes virtually, and provides special guidance on how to ensure deals don’t fall through.
LP Finn, Coach Realtors, located in New York City and throughout New York State
The impact is noticeable on many fronts, and I think we’re seeing that with our sellers. Homeowners on one end of the spectrum are very concerned, while the other end is saying, ‘bring on the buyers.’ We also have the same kind of spectrum with our agents. We’re really trying to show care and concern for [our clients] when working with them. There’s a lot of noise out there, so we are trying to cut through all that to provide focus and prevent inaction.”
Matt Dolan, Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty, located in Massachusetts
Social distancing is becoming our new norm. We are taking extra precautions to stay healthy and developing specific protocols for our line of work. Technology is coming to the forefront. We are using technology and providing creative solutions to bring new options to buyers and sellers.”
Daniel de la Vega, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, located in South Florida,
We have the technology, tools and culture to ensure we don’t miss a beat. We are leveraging technology, including our in-house digital texting assistant, OTTO, so agents can easily text with any questions that might arise.”
Carrie Zeier, RE/MAX Elite, located in Tennessee
This is not a time to panic, but a time to come together, stay informed and practice safe precautions in order to avoid business disruptions.”
We don’t know exactly what’s in store. But what we do know, looking back to past disruptions, is that in the real estate business the strong will not just survive, but thrive.
Swaths of market-share will open up for the taking, as less stable real estate agents recoil out of uncertainty. Fewer agents will market. There will be more room in the mailbox. Add to that the fact that right now, like no other time in history, homeowners are literally a captive audience and eager for trustworthy guidance about their next move.
Agents who commit to doing more, communicating more, and positioning themselves as the go-to expert, right now, will soar in the months and years ahead.
Here are our take-aways:
- Adjust your message. Right now, it’s about how you can help, what you know about the market, and not anything else
- Stay in front. Don’t pull back on communications; rather, amp it up. 10X it. If you can afford it, do additional mailings (but make sure you really can afford it). Do more social media – keeping it relevant and on-message. Send frequent emails to keep ahead of the constantly changing news. Call each and every past client and prospect, just to check in on how they’re doing.
- Be a resource. Arm yourself with all the information you can, and share it with your market. They want someone to lean on, to ask questions… don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
- Lean up. Take a good look at your budget, and cut out all unnecessary expenses. Cut out ineffective marketing, and keep the tools that generate quality leads and effectively build brand awareness and trust. Maximize your staff’s productivity and put them to work on tasks they might not normally do, like writing hand-written notes. Defer, defer, defer – most banks, software companies, and vendors are being very accommodating.
To learn how our 12-page custom direct mail publication can help you build connections, brand awareness, and market-share, contact us today.