Connecting with community to disrupt the disruption

Remember the days when COVID disruption was described as “unprecedented”? Since then real estate consultants have come a long way in how they operate, rapidly adapting to use digital tools for everything from client meetings and appraisals to auctions, and experimenting to find the best platforms for effective online marketing.

For listings already in the market over the latest lockdowns the news seems to be good. Most agencies are reporting a surge in inquiries as potential buyers locked down at home spend time searching for properties online then seeking more information directly from agents they might otherwise get at open homes.

A bigger COVID challenge now lies in connecting with potential vendors who are reluctant, or believe they are unable, to list in a lockdown. Some may think real estate agents can’t work remotely, or that there will be no interest in their property while potential buyers are all locked down. Others may be waiting for some post-COVID economic optimism before they make a big financial decision like selling their home.

All that adds up to the lower than normal housing stock on the market, and that can make other potential vendors put off selling, out of worry they won’t find a new property.

Where are we going with all this?

It has never been more important to have a trusted online presence, as an agent or as an agency. Use platforms like Facebook to showcase the way you’re continuing to get great results in lockdown conditions and tell your community about recent successes so they can see the marketing continuing to move properties in their area, compile some case studies around recent digital marketing campaigns and consider a personal brand campaign.

You could offer to host an online Q&A for anybody who wants to know more about how your local market is responding to lockdown. Showcase cool technological advancements in online marketing, and provide access to tools like 3D walkthroughs.

But don’t make it all about property. Use your platforms as a source of support and information for your followers. That might be updates on schools impacted, local testing and vaccination sites; suggest fun COVID compliant family activities, or bubble walking routes.

Positioning yourself as a helpful, non-political source of information in a stressful time helps build long-term relationships that aren’t based purely on property transactions. That builds trust.

Spring is in the air and by the time we are all able to move around more freely again the seasonal boost to property sales should be well upon us. Being visible in your community now helps ensure you’re top of mind when those potential vendors feel confident enough to list.

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