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Top pandemic tips for estate agents

16 December 2020 5802 Views

Described on this site as a ‘powerful disruptor’ in March 2020, few would deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the real estate industry for everyone involved. Even now as we move towards 2021 and hopes of a widespread vaccination programme, estate agents are unable to revert to business as usual with many holding little hope of a return to normal within the next six months.

Putting aside the usual concerns of house prices, stamp duty and transaction volumes, this year has shown that the industry is agile and able to adapt to almost any challenge it faces.

With this in mind, here are some of the most effective steps taken by estate agents to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our industry.

1.Virtual viewings

It seems that virtual house viewings have been the talk of the town this year, but under a relatively general term, there’s a whole array of solutions that have been deployed by estate agents across the land.

Ranging from the use of Matterport and Ricoh 360-degree cameras through to simple video tours, COVID-19 has made it difficult to show potential buyers around homes – limiting much of an estate agent’s day to day work.

With data provided by these manufacturers suggesting that 360 tours can sell homes up to five times faster, there’s a clear business case for investing in this otherwise expensive technology. For those whose budgets don’t extend to a fancy camera, even smartphones can create panoramic views and it only makes sense to incorporate these features into your online listings going forward – lockdown and pandemic or not.

2.Keep your social media updated

As people are spending more time at home, they’re also spending far more time online. That means that homeowners and potential buyers are ripe for the picking in some of the most accessible advertising spaces of all – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Even if your sales volumes are down, it may just pay to continue posting to all of your social channels to keep your audience updated. If you can provide insight into property selling trends and the latest government regulations, you could very well establish your brand as a local authority on all things real estate – positioning your firm at the forefront of the minds of homeowners that are looking to sell up.

It’s all about planting the seed for when the market recovers and potential clients are looking for an agent once more.

3.Don’t slack on marketing

In a similar sense, the pandemic has only increased the importance of marketing even despite a financial downturn and diminished sales volumes.

With physical viewings limited by social distancing regulations, it’s essential to keep up appearances and to attract more business by enhancing your online profile. This means marketing, SEO, link building and good quality listings are more important than ever.

It’s also worth remembering that as people spend more time at home, they may very well realise that their current property isn’t quite right for them. Those homeowners who’ve decided it’s time to move on are ideal target customers as we enter 2021, and it’s hard to envisage a situation where buyers and sellers don’t flock back to the market as restrictions are lifted.

4.Build an online valuation tool

For some readers, this will be preaching to the choir, but it’s now critically important to provide quick valuation indications online.

The ability to offer an online valuation to landlords and homeowners could make all the difference when trying to convert an undecided potential client. By incorporating a smart online tool into your sales funnel, you stand to provide added value to your potential clients whilst providing a talking point for your first interactions with them – even if they aren’t ready to list just yet.

The good news is that it isn’t hard to build such a tool and all you’ll need to do is get in touch with your web developer, and perhaps provide some precedent figures to ensure that the calculator tool can work.

Pandemic plans to support the future of your business

Arguably the best knock-on effect of investing time, money, and effort into your estate agency business during the lockdown is the fact that you’ll be preparing for the future. Once you’ve acquired the technology for 360 imaging and upped your marketing spend, you’ll be able to benefit from those investments long into the future – even past the horizon of the pandemic.

Naturally not everybody wants to tap into their cash reserves at the moment, and so if you’re looking to make a business investment it may make sense to take out a no guarantor personal loan. There are plenty of direct lenders providing flexible finance solutions to the UK market, and you could even use an online credit broker like Little Loans to find the lender that is most likely to accept your application.

As with anything in this industry, innovation and tenacity are the best weapons in the fight against the pandemic downturn. That might require some investment, but it’ll surely pay off in the long run.

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