As shelter in place orders are going into effect in towns and cities of all sizes across the country, real estate has been deemed an essential service. Although you’re still able to work, the way you work is drastically changing.
With so little known about the highly contagious novel coronavirus, it’s not surprising that sellers are wary about allowing other agents, prospective buyers, home inspectors and appraisers into their homes right now. Additionally, buyers are nervous about leaving their current homes to search for a new one.
It’s time to pivot away from your normal means of helping clients sell and buy property. You’ll want to move quickly to put your strategies into place. Then, communicate with your current and prospective clients the options and resources you’re offering to help them safely move forward with their transactions.
Let’s review some easy and affordable ways you can keep your business running smoothly:
Video Or Virtual Tours For Active Listings
Keep potential buyers interested in your active listings by offering digital tours of the properties.
Virtual tours are a very popular option for all parties involved. Sellers can highlight features and details that may be overlooked in photos without opening their door to heavy foot traffic. Buyers can get a better view of the property, determine if the house aligns with their list of must-haves and decide if an in-person tour is needed.
Virtual Client Meetings & Home Showings
Take some time today to determine which video tools make the most sense for you and your clients.
If you and your clients are iPhone users, FaceTime is an easy and familiar way to connect without an in-person meeting. Other popular virtual meeting options include Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype and Join.me.
If you’re visiting a property on behalf of your buyer, add your virtual meeting app to your smartphone and allow your client to join you on the walk-through.
Provide Your Clients With PPE & Safety Guideline Flyers
Some sellers will allow qualified buyers to tour their property if specific safety measures are in place. Use the opportunity to exceed your client’s expectations by providing a Home Showing Safety Kit.
Home Showing Safety Kit Essentials:
- PPE (personal protective equipment), including face masks, gloves and shoe booties
- Hand sanitizer
- A basket or container to display PPE and sanitizer right inside the main entry
- Small, hands-free waste bin and bin liners
- A flyer outlining steps the seller can take before and after a showing to maintain a safe and healthy home
- A flyer to post right inside the property’s entrance outlining visitor safety guidelines and expectations
When meeting with buyers to show a property, explain that PPE is required to tour the property and encourage them to bring PPE with them. In case a client forgets or does not not have access to PPE, you’ll want to also keep a supply of disposable masks and gloves with you.
If you have a home that is vacant or the owner did not turn on lights and open doors before your arrival, be sure to report back to the showing agent which surfaces you or the buyers touched so the seller can be sure to sanitize these surfaces when they return home.
Embrace E-Signature Software
Although you or your clients may prefer to review and sign contracts with a pen, there are documents (this will differ by state) that are valid with an electronic signature. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to simplify the signing process using e-signature software. DocuSign is a very popular and affordable option for real estate contracts.
If you’re working with a client who isn’t tech-savvy, invite them to share screens using a virtual meeting software so you can guide them through the steps to access, review and sign the paperwork.
Get Started Today
It’s common to hear that many retailers’ PPE supplies are running low or out of stock. Because the real estate industry has been deemed an essential industry, it’s still possible to find PPE suppliers in your area. We’ve heard from some agents that they were able to purchase small quantities of PPE from medical supply stores. We recommend calling these stores in advance to explain your need, check on inventory, and possibly pay for your supplies in advance.
If you don’t have time to create your own safety tip sheets, we’re happy to provide you with copies of our COVID-19 Home Showing Safety Kit guide, Steps For A Safe & Healthy Home Showing guide, and Visitor Safety Guidelines flyer here.
After getting your new tools and resources in place, if you find yourself with more downtime than usual (as many people are right now), we invite you to explore how other successful agents are managing their businesses during this pandemic.