As the effects of COVID-19 become more and more widespread (and more and more concerning), you may want to consider addressing it in your real estate newsletter.
However, talking about such a serious topic can be tricky. Here are three tips to help you talk about COVID-19 in your real estate newsletter.
1. Check in on your clients.
During these uncertain times, it’s important to check in on your friends, family and neighbors (albeit virtually, of course). The same is true with your clients. In your newsletter, you want to let them know that you are thinking of them during this trying time. Let them know that you are a resource for their questions and concerns as it relates to the real estate market. This personal touch can go a long way, and clients will likely remember you the next time a friend or family member asks them about choosing a real estate agent.
2. Promote CDC recommendations.
Take this time in your newsletter to stress the importance of adhering to CDC guidelines for responding to this virus. While this information will already be apparent to many of your clients, there are probably some who are not aware of these guidelines, especially since there are so many conflicting messages coming from the news and social media.
The best thing to do is to direct people to the CDC’s website. They have helpful information about the symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath), what to do if you think you have COVID-19 (call your doctor or health provider first before going to the hospital) and how to protect yourself (and others) during this time. This includes proper hygiene (such as washing your hands frequently, disinfecting common surfaces, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and social distancing. This measure is essential to “flattening the curve,” yet so many do not understand it or respect its importance in keeping the healthcare system fully operational.
However, social distancing does not mean social isolation. You absolutely can communicate with your friends and family virtually or over the phone. Offer to give your clients consultations over the phone or via Skype, give someone a virtual tour of a home. There are endless ways to continue your business operations—you just have to get a little creative.
3. Explain how this could impact mortgage payments, home values, the real estate market, etc.
As the economy worsens each day, there is a lot of uncertainty about how COVID-19 will affect the real estate market. Many people, especially those who have lost their jobs due to furloughs and lay-offs, are worried that they may not be able to pay their mortgage on time. Fortunately, some states (like New York) have suspended mortgage payments for those who are undergoing financial hardship. It’s likely that many other states will follow suit. Informing your clients about the current situation in your state will help get the message through to those who may not be aware.
The current recession has brought back a lot of fears from the 2008 housing crisis, prompting people to worry about the real estate market and how their home’s value may be impacted. Unlike the stock market, the real estate market seems to be doing OK. There is still a significant amount of buying and selling going on due in part to the low interest rates that many banks are offering; however, with so many people’s next paycheck in question, there has been some reduction in demand. This does not necessarily mean that home values are being negatively affected. Keep in mind, though, that things are changing at an accelerated rate, so this may not always be the case.
Bottom line: Be reassuring, but don’t sugarcoat reality. Overall, the tone of your newsletter should strike a balance between reassuring, but informative, and hopeful, but not misleading. By reaching out to your clients during this uncertain time, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and someone who genuinely cares about your clients’ health and wellbeing.
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