How to offer your real estate services during a pandemic
If you are studying for your real estate license, you are probably wondering how agents are faring now in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic and what you might be looking forward to once you pass the state exam. How will you service your clients when you may not be able to safely meet face-to-face in an office or in your clients’ homes? How can you take your clients around town to look at neighborhoods and open houses? And how can you get a listing without being able to spend a fair amount of time in the home to get a good feel for its value? These are all reasonable questions. But have no fear. With a little creativity, ingenuity, technology, and “PPE,” you’ve (literally and figuratively) got it covered!
Communication is Key
It is always a good strategy to be proactive. Start with communicating to your clients and prospective clients what you are doing to keep them (and yourself) safe. Let them know that you will be (and they should be) wearing a mask, whether they are visiting an open house or meeting you in your office or at their home. Assure them that you will provide them with a mask if they forget, so always keep some extra disposable masks with you. Ask them to use hand sanitizer at the door when they arrive and have it available when they leave. And, of course, you should use your sanitizer before and after you enter their home. Additionally, ask them in advance to leave all the windows and doors open to keep the fresh air circulating. That will help to protect you both.
If your client prefers to not have you come to their home, but you need to tour the property, have her take you for a detailed virtual tour. She can use FaceTime or Zoom, or one of the myriad other apps available to “walk” you through the house. You can ask whatever questions you need to ask at that time.
Talk to your clients about any showing limitations and explain how to get showings done despite those constraints. Many people will not want to go inside your client’s home to see it in person right now. But again, technology provides ways around those limitations, at least for initial viewings. Go the extra mile to explain to your client which tools you will be using to promote their listing virtually, and how you will use those tools to let buyers view your home from the safety of theirs.
Eventually, of course, potential buyers will need to enter the home, pandemic or no pandemic. Buying sight unseen is not really a “thing” for what will be an owner-occupied residence. Again, encourage your client to leave the windows open and have plenty of hand sanitizer for use around the house. Visits will likely be shorter during this time. You and your client may want to have them by appointment only, rather than hold an open house. Offer disposable flyers about the home outside, with not only details about the home, but also information regarding the safety of those wanting to see it in person. Require masks and instruct those looking to refrain from touching any surfaces inside the home. And ask that the potential buyers limit their visit to no more than 10 minutes.
Yes, these are unprecedented times, but creative solutions to keeping sellers, potential buyers and real estate agents safe will keep the real estate market moving and your career rolling.
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