Even though the world is at a virtual standstill, there are still plenty of luxury homes for sale, as well as plenty of buyers looking to buy in the luxury real estate market.
While everyone’s health and safety should be any agent’s first priority, there are certainly ways to continue conducting business while protecting both.
Of course, it’s also important to note that there will be clients who prefer to wait for a less complicated time to buy or sell luxury real estate, and we need to respect those wishes.
However, your luxury real estate expertise is needed more than ever right now while clients try to make sense of the market and what to do next.
Since you’ll find that there are still many buyers and sellers who want to keep things moving, we want to give you a few tips and tricks to implement safer showings over the next couple of months:
Always Come Prepared
Since safety is key, you’ll need to be ready with a few supplies at every showing to make sure that you and your guests are taken care of. We suggest keeping a supply of gloves, sanitizer, soap and trash bags in your car so that you always have them readily available.
Take Extra Safety Precautions
It may feel awkward, but you and your guests must still follow social distancing guidelines when touring a home. Provide your guests with clean latex or non-latex gloves, which you can set out in front of the home before anyone goes in. Be sure to have gloves on before unlocking doors or touching light switches.
As an extra precaution, you and your guests should also remove shoes before entering the home. At the end of the showing, provide a new trash bag to collect everyone’s gloves to throw away safely.
If possible, keep showings to one sole decision maker who can either take video footage or Facetime with their partner if they have one.
To prepare your clients, make sure you discuss these measures beforehand, or email them a checklist of what to expect.
Help Your Buyers Narrow Down Their Choices First
To keep in-person showings to a minimum, help your buyers rule out homes before they visit. Fortunately, most luxury real estate listings include high-definition videos and photography that can give buyers a clear idea of what each home can offer. Most listings will even offer 3D virtual tours that can give your client the virtual experience of a walkthrough.
If your clients are local, they can still drive around the neighborhoods they’re interested in to get a feel for the community and atmosphere. If you’re working with out-of-town buyers, this is a great time to point them toward any community-centric content you’ve created.
At the same time, remember that viewing potential homes is often one of the most exciting parts of home-buying, and missing out on this step can be disappointing for some homebuyers.
Since much of this process will have to be done virtually or over the phone, any way that you can personalize the experience to make it more enjoyable will likely be met with great appreciation. Get creative!
Pre-Qualify Prospects Before Scheduling a Showing
Again, your goal should be to keep showings to a minimum. Although it goes without saying, prospective buyers viewing your seller’s listings should already have a pre-approval letter. They should have also already seen as many videos and photos of the listing as possible, including the satellite view and photos of the surrounding area.
When in Doubt, Conduct a Virtual Showing
If you service international markets, you may already be familiar with conducting virtual showings. While it’s always a good idea to include 3D virtual tours in your listing, it’s especially important now. 3D virtual tours create interactive digital renderings of the listing that allow prospects to “walk” through the home and view it at any angle.
Another way to host a virtual tour is to host a Facebook livestream for interested prospects. This completely limits the need for prospects to step foot in the home, and also allows for more viewers to “attend” the viewing at one time so that you can limit your visits to the home as well.
Keep Your Luxury Real Estate Practice Thriving in Uncertain Times
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Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute.