PUBLISHED 29 JUN 2020   


While some might be hopeful that we will emerge from this crisis and everything will return to life exactly as it was before lockdown, the reality is more likely to be that a lot of how we have come to operate is here to stay.

“For the real estate industry, a lot of the changes we have had to make during lockdown will help both the agent and their clients post-lockdown, as it will free up time and allow for greater reach,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Below, Goslett explains ten ways that real estate professionals were forced to operate during lockdown that are likely to stick around in a post-pandemic world:

#1 Eliminating limiting beliefs
“Many of us felt that there was no way that we could operate from home. Yet, many of our agents have adapted and evolved to find new ways to connect with clients and to conclude sales with suspensive conditions for these unique circumstances. It all starts in your mind. If you believe that you can do something differently, you’ll find a way.”

#2 Working from home
“The working world will look very different going forward. Many businesses are likely to scale down the bricks and mortar of their operations now that they have seen that it is possible to continue to work remotely. Real estate offices are likely to get smaller and smaller, encouraging more real estate agents to work remotely.”

#3 Virtual Listing presentations
“The feedback we’ve received both locally and internationally is that clients have been surprisingly adaptable to conducting business through online technology such a Zoom and Google meet. Why? Well, because it provides added flexibility around their busy schedules. This also saves agents time as they do not have to drive across town to meet various clients.”

#4 Virtual buyer appointments
“Buyers tend to take up a lot of time viewing properties they have no intention buying. Offering virtual tours and buyer appointments can save a lot of time and allow agents to get a better idea of exactly what buyers are looking for. It is also better from a safety perspective as it allows agents time to screen buyers and only allow serious buyers to view the home in person. Virtual buyer appointments also provide the opportunity to show buyers more listings, which is trickier to do when an agent is out showing homes in person and only have a laptop or iPad to flick through other options.”

#5 Virtual Open Houses
“A blend of technology and personality, virtual open homes are a way to show homes online at a predetermined time to a broad audience of your choosing. For the first couple of months post-lockdown, buyers and sellers are not necessarily going to want to be at events with loads of other people around. Virtual open homes allow buyers to see multiple homes and only view a handful of properties before they make their decision.”

#6 Virtual webinars and online events
“Just learning something new every day, every week or month will help you to develop your skills and keep you on the top of your game. In a post-lockdown era, there won’t be as many physical events, certainly not in the first few months, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t countless online opportunities for personal growth and business development.” 

#7 More video marketing
“Real estate agents need to use their mobile device and get in front of the camera so that their clients can see their friendly face, whether in the form of a pre-recorded video message or a video call. There really hasn’t been a better time to embrace video marketing than right now.”

#8 More personal, high-touch calls with clients
“The most successful agents during this season are the ones that have stayed in touch with the clients in their database. Not to force their business on them, but to call, check-in and have a conversation just to see how they’re doing. It’s going to be even more crucial to maintain this contact post-lockdown. I would recommend at least two to five calls every day.”

#9 Using the cloud to go paperless
“In this modern era, it seems pointless to print out reams of paper. I would encourage agents to use cloud technology as far as humanly possible. This allows them to access their saved presentations from anywhere, whether face-to-face with a client or via a Zoom call.”

#10 Time blocking & better time management
“If you’re going to be working more remotely, this is something you’re going to have to include in your regiment going forward: scheduling time for your business, for your clients, for yourself, and your family. It’s very easy to roll out of bed and start working at 6 am and wipe out your eyes at 7 pm and realise that you haven’t put any effort into the other areas of your life. Time blocking will help you find balance when working from home.”

“While some of these changes will be unavoidable, others will be up to the individual to decide how much of the lessons they’ve learnt from operating during lockdown will be brought with them into a post-pandemic world,” Goslett concludes.