A lot has been discussed about COVID-19’s impact on our businesses. Many have questioned what the “new normal” will be like. I think the “new normal” will be a lot like the “old normal” when it comes to the real estate business.
Over the years, real estate has continually evolved, albeit slower than other industries. We went from communicating listings in “the book” to fax, websites, the MLS and then newspapers. It all drove customers to call or visit our offices. IDX, Google Earth and third-party aggregators changed all that. But we adapted, we overcame, and we evolved. Through it all, we continued curating business the same way: by building relationships and trust and delivering service. In the end, people buy people before they buy a product or service. It’s Jim Weichert’s famous mantra. People will do business with people they know, like and trust. That hasn’t changed with the 2020 pandemic. The how may have changed, but not the why.
Agents still need to contact FSBOs, but now it’s by text, private message or social media. Will open houses be held virtually? Yes. In person, too? Yes. The same could be said of showings, listing presentations, sales meetings, contract signings and where agents work. They all still need to happen; it’s just the methods that have changed. Those willing to adapt and add new hows will continue to succeed. They are the new opportunities to build relationships, trust and value in you.
Consistently adhere to an organized process and your business will be fine. Things will still be normal. Our offices are thriving right now. Why? Because they already implemented our systems for prospecting, client follow-up, recruiting and retention, lead generation, financial management, and tracking and measuring office activities, with the necessary technology. Add a positive mindset, and they were ready. Our offices continue to conduct one-on-ones with staff and associates and hold social events with them. They are in consistent contact with past clients and their SOI, delivering valuable information to them. They believe in ongoing recruiting and never stopped during the pandemic. Again, nothing radical here. Just the methods.
So, what does success look like in the “new normal?”
You lead and create a vision of success for your company. You hire people who share that vision and instill the importance of performing high ROI activities regularly. You fill your office with agents who prospect for listings, who make connections daily, who follow a plan and don’t just wing it.
You watch your numbers. You create a budget and follow it, along with your written business plan. You create a reserve fund equal to three months of expenses. You thoroughly review expenses and cut unnecessary ones. You know how many open houses are scheduled, next week and for the next quarter. You know how many closings you need monthly to reach your profit goal. Sounds a lot like the “old normal” to me.
Will things be different as real estate comes out of this pandemic? Not really. In the end, only the “how” will be different, not the “why.”
Bill Scavone is president and COO of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. For more information, please visit www.weichertfranchise.com.