Plato was right: Necessity is the mother of invention. When 95 percent of Americans stayed at home, we responded with unprecedented speed and adoption of technology.
We saw this most clearly in real estate when we finally flipped the switch to embrace video fully. At 8z Real Estate, we’ve been waiting for the inflection point for video, and it’s here. House hunting has entered the virtual age!
Every generation of buyers and sellers now knows how to Zoom adeptly. The biggest obstacle to video is gone: People no longer worry about what they look like on camera.
What we have seen is the tip of the iceberg. Changes that were going to manifest in the next three years are now going to happen in the next three months.
What broker/owners do today to get in position for the rebound will determine whether they remain on the court or exit the arena.
Setting Up for the Rebound
In basketball, the best rebounders don’t wait for the shot to hit the backboard or the rim. They move to where the ball is going and jump before it comes down to maximize success.
To prepare for real estate’s rebound, you need to be in the right position in three areas:
– The digitization of the real estate transaction
– Connecting with people remotely
– Taking advantage of the return of iBuyers, as they will help accelerate real estate’s rebound
Brokers need to focus on digitizing the core components of the transaction that touch the customer. Consumers are going to expect it. Successful brokerages will digitize end-to-end, from virtually showing homes, taking earnest money deposits electronically, embracing transaction document management to offering digital signing and remote closings.
It’s going to be necessary to move anything that can possibly be concluded remotely online for the foreseeable future. Virtual services are not simply going to go away.
The car will no longer be the default; the camera will. People are no longer going to drive around to visit 40 houses. They’ll look at 20 of them online in rapid-fire, and they will see five in person.
It’s all about interacting with clients, even when those new techniques tend to be a little more remote, a little more virtual.
And don’t count iBuyers out. They offer cash, certainty and speed. Many homeowners have put off selling for a month or more. Speed will appeal to many. iBuyers already offer a mostly digital transaction. Smart brokerages need an iBuyer platform like the one zavvie is building for leading brokerages so that they have this position covered.
As a brokerage, if you are waiting for the ball to come down before you jump, you have waited too long. You need to be confident enough right now to be getting ready for the rebound. You need to start moving into position and start jumping.
If you wait until everything is perfect, you’ll find yourself benched. But if you are ready to take the steps you need to take today, you can dominate when real estate rebounds.
Lane Hornung is CEO and founder of Colorado-based 8z Real Estate, one of the nation’s most successful brokerages, and is CEO/co-founder of zavvie, one of the only complete iBuyer solution for real estate brokerages.