COVID-19 has people all over the world adjusting their entire lives in ways they’ve never expected. Real estate agents become real estate agents because they like people. They like community and interaction and building relationships. But COVID-19 has made that a challenge and real estate agents across the country are finding innovative and creative ways to be productive while still practicing social distance.
Just because you can’t get out and show homes like you used to doesn’t mean you can’t grow your brand and maximize your time. We’re lucky to live in an age where we have access to people and resources with just a click of a button. We can still connect with buyers and sellers, it just may look a little different right now.
Here are a few ways real estate agents can maximize their downtime and be productive while working from home.
Wake up and get dressed
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’re spending a lot more time at home and it can be tempting to relax a little bit from your normal routine. But if you want to stay productive during this uncertain time, it is important to stick to a schedule as much as possible. This means setting an alarm and waking up at a reasonable time, getting dressed, and listing out your to-do list while you enjoy your first cup of coffee. This will help you shift your brain from home-mode to work-mode and help you be more productive throughout the day.
Create a workspace
If you’re going to be working from home, create a space designated specifically for this purpose. Whether it’s a home office or a quiet corner in your bedroom, give yourself a space where you can keep all of your documents and resources organized. If you’re at home with your family during this time, set clear boundaries and expectations about what you need when you’re on a call or in a virtual meeting. Having a specific space to make calls, check emails, and do other work-related tasks will help reduce distractions and manage your time.
Catch up on your CE
As long as you’re at home, why not get ahead of your continuing education requirements and take a few real estate CE courses online? Once things get back to normal, you’re going to be very busy with listings and closings, so use this downtime to fulfill your CE requirements and get them out of the way so when you’re back to business-as-usual you can focus entirely on that.
Step it up on social media
If you can’t connect with people face-to-face, social media is probably the next best thing. As a real estate agent, you’re probably already using social media as part of your marketing strategy. But now, you can use it to connect with interested buyers and sellers in your community. Some ways to use Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms during this time include:
- Host virtual open houses
Social distancing guidelines means having strangers walk in and out of houses is not recommended. But people still want to see what their options are in terms of buying a new home. Virtual open houses allow one person (the agent) to walk slowly through a property while filming, and narrating different aspects of the home and showcasing some of the home’s best qualities. If you host a virtual open house on Facebook Live or Zoom, you can answer consumer questions in real-time. If they want you to show the room from a different angle or if they have a question about the floor plan, you can answer their questions right away and give them all the information that they need. This allows you to share an open house with more people than would typically come on a given weekend while keeping everyone safe at the same time.
- Host real estate Q&As
Buyers and sellers in your community have a lot of questions about how COVID-19 is impacting the local real estate market. As an expert in the field, you can host real estate Q&A sessions online and connect with buyers and sellers in the community. You can schedule a weekly chat on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Zoom. These chats can cover a variety of different topics, such as mortgages, rental rates in the area, common questions from first-time homeowners, and questions about the home buying and selling process in the area. This can be a free resource that will demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the industry.
If you choose to host these info sessions on Facebook or Instagram, your followers will be immediately notified when you start a video and can hop right on. If you do it on Zoom, you’ll have to create a meeting room and either send out individual invitations or send out the link through email or social media.
Give back to the community
As a real estate agent, you are a vital part of the community. A significant part of your job is connecting with and giving back to those who live around you, whether it’s sponsoring a local baseball team or donating a percentage of your commission to a local school or charity. And while we are doing a lot more work from home these days, our charitable work and community focused giving does not have to stop.
Use this time to find a need in your community and serve. Put together a food drive, collect donations, make masks, or spotlight a local business that is struggling during this time. Just like you schedule meetings and virtual open houses and closing dates into your calendar, schedule community work as well. This will help you connect with people in your community and establish your personal brand.
Give yourself grace
If your goal is to be as busy and successful, on time and connected now as you were three months ago, you’re going to be quickly disappointed. You can still hustle and stay busy during this time, but you also have to let go of some of the control. Things are going to be different, and as a real estate agent, you are probably good at acting on your feet and quickly pivoting from one solution to the next. This mindset is going to come in very handy for the next few weeks. It’s important to give yourself and those around you grace and patience. This is brand new to all of us, and everybody is learning at the same time.
Prioritize what’s important, delegate things to other people, and be okay letting some things go. You will be more successful if you are realistic with your goals and plans during this uncertain time.
This social distancing and quarantine season will not last forever. Soon enough, we will all be back in action, filling our days with showings and closing dates and interacting with the community. Until then, real estate agents can stick to a routine, take advantage of social media and technology, and connect with the community and creative ways. Doing these things will help you manage your time, stay connected, stay busy, and continue to grow your business.