Who would have thought that one of the most important pieces of insider knowledge an agent needs to have is which of the local internet companies provides the fastest download speeds? That’s just one of the ways the pandemic has changed how real estate professionals do their jobs. Even though the new trend of “COVID-safe marketing” began with ways to protect people from the virus, it has now reached into how we present homes to buyers—including utilities such as the internet and sound transfer between rooms.
The biggest increase in demand is for a home that is flexible enough to accommodate both adults working from home and kids doing online schooling without getting in someone else’s way or using up all the bandwidth. What buyers want to see first and foremost is how they can work uninterrupted, so if you’re touring a home—either in person or virtually—make sure to point out how many outlets a potential office space has to accommodate all the devices a person needs these days. This is also where staging experts need to work their magic when it comes to highlighting ways a room can serve multiple purposes. If the rooms are small, shelving that maximizes the use of vertical space will help buyers see that there is a way to create an effective workzone. Shelves can also be used to divide up the space so that two people can work in the area at the same time.
Additionally, mudrooms are now being adapted into spaces that can be used to protect oneself before leaving the house or protect the rest of the family upon returning home. Even if your listing doesn’t have a designated mudroom, help your buyers see the opportunity for a “cleaning station” by staging a shelf with hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant and plastic gloves right near an entry door. You could also have a box of disposable shoe coverings nearby if you want to convey to potential buyers that you are taking every precaution when people come to view the home.
The pandemic has created a tremendous amount of upheaval, so it isn’t surprising that marketing has also been impacted. Within all that upheaval is the opportunity to stand out to clients as a professional who is responsive to their needs. Whether it’s showing them possibilities for this “new normal” of working from home or how to integrate cleaning protocols into the layout of their living space, we can help them move up the property ladder with less stress than they are expecting.
Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom, the technology company behind DocuWalk. For more information, please visit www.docuwalk.com.