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Brokers and managers must be flexible to connect with agents in these times

Across the country and on an individual basis, how real estate is being conducted keeps changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current trends are favoring less restrictions and more in-person activity, but significant restrictions still exist, and agents and companies must continue to offer alternative methods of communication and commerce for both regulatory and personal reasons.

Brokers and managers need to be flexible. Some of your agents will embrace a return to business as usual (if you can call it that), while others will remain reticent about reengaging on a face-to-face basis. In either case, you must continue to motivate and support your agents by using a multitude of approaches. Here are some specific ways to accomplish that.

Hybrid Sales Meetings
You likely have been conducting your sales meetings by Zoom or some other videoconferencing service for the past few months. As regulations ease and offices open up, you cannot completely abandon this approach. Rather, implement live sales meetings—with social distancing awareness—but also offer live-streaming access to the meeting for those unable or unwilling to attend in person. Be sure to test this setup in advance to make sure that your lighting, sound, etc. are functioning optimally, and consider having a staff member added as a co-host so that they can manage slideshows and remote attendees commenting and/or promoting their listings. One tip: Consider connecting a more robust speaker to your computer so that everyone can hear remote speakers better, and keep in mind that you may need to temporarily mute yourself so that reverberation does not occur.

Responsible Office Policies
During live meetings and also while conducting routine business in the office, do everything you can to maintain as safe an environment as possible. Keep a healthy supply of hand sanitizer available in the lobby and throughout the office. Encourage social distancing in community areas and bullpen-style seating arrangements. Post instructions to wipe down office computers, printers, etc. after each use, and have your staff separately wipe down these areas on a regular basis. The main point of this is to protect your agents’ health, but another impactful purpose of doing this is to bolster your agents’ confidence in being present in your office. Those that are willing to come may not stay if you are not doing your part to protect their health and that of their loved ones.

Virtual Recognition
Hopefully you were doing this already, but if not, it is now imperative that you recognize your agents through social media and by other virtual means. Post listings and achievements to Instagram and Facebook. Send group emails with success stories. Make more calls and send more personal texts. Whatever personal interaction is not occurring on a face-to-face basis, make up for it through other means. Forming this habit will not only keep your agents motivated and appreciated during these unique times, it will enhance your impact moving forward because digital communication is irreversibly a requirement of our future business practices.

Alternating Event Platforms
Some special events can be held separately at separate times under different formats. For instance, brokers or managers can hold “office hours” for agents, with one time blocked for live visits and another being designated for virtual meetings. The same can be done for training sessions, recruiting events or any one of a number of reasons. This approach is beneficial for some events because it keeps all participants on a level playing field and allows for all agents to choose the approach that is most comfortable for then.

These are just some suggestions to help you embrace a dual approach to many of your business practices. Implementing these approaches will show your agents that you are willing to support them however they need it, and it will keep all of your agents engaged with their business, with you and with your company for ongoing loyalty and mutual success moving forward!

For a free copy of my exclusive Sales Meeting Agenda checklist, click here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Homes.com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker as an industry Influencer. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.

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