It was Fred Rogers who famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
In times of trouble, the world needs people to step up and take action. Chances are, some people in your sphere need help in one way or another right now — whether they’ve recently lost a job or belong to a higher risk group. This is your chance to be a “superhero” agent, someone who goes above and beyond to make their lives a little bit easier in this difficult time.
Successful real estate is all about relationship building. If you can establish trust with people in your sphere, you’ll build a business that sustains itself for years to come.
I want to make a disclaimer that helping doesn’t mean you need to put your personal safety at risk. Take on as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing, and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of the people you help.
Come up with ways you can help people.
There are numerous ways you can make peoples’ lives easier at this time, both as a real estate agent and as a human being. Here are some ideas of ways you can assist the people in your sphere or even just bring them a little bit of joy while they’re stuck in quarantine.
1. Offer to go grocery shopping or run errands for people in high-risk groups.
Reach out to the people in your sphere who may be more anxious to venture to the store or run other necessary errands. Offer to go grocery shopping for them or pick up anything they might need if you’re already out.
2. Deliver homemade goods or drop off goodie bags.
Bake some cookies or a lasagna, or send your past clients a gift card to a meal subscription service. Drop off goodie bags full of fun activities to help people keep busy in quarantine — anything from puzzles and word search books to toys for the kids (bubbles, sidewalk chalk and coloring books/crayons are good ideas).
3. Fundraise for and donate to worthy causes.
Start a fundraiser to support families of local COVID-19 patients. Post on your social media pages asking people to help you put together care packages for health care, grocery and other essential workers. Order pizza for all of the staff at a local hospital or volunteer at a local food bank. There are numerous ways you can help and show appreciation for people who are putting themselves at risk to take care of others.
4. Offer to host virtual get-togethers or events.
Host a virtual bingo, karaoke or family game night. Use actual prizes as incentives to get people to log on. People are looking for fun things to occupy your time, so these events will give them something to look forward to.
5. Point people toward helpful resources.
If you read an article or see a social media post that you think could help someone in your sphere, share it with them! They’ll appreciate that you took the time to reach out and that you remembered something specific about their family or situation.
6. Offer your real estate expertise and services.
Sometimes, sticking to what you know is the best way to help people.
Nicole Duran, an agent from Chicago, has been reaching out to her contacts, offering to help them with various real estate services.
“So I'm like, ‘OK, I want to help,’” Nicole says. “The only way I know how to help is real estate. So let me look at your last mortgage statement. Let me see if you should refinance. Let me see if you should dispute your taxes, if you have your homeowner's exemption, things like that. Just trying to help everyone out. And that was a really good reaction.”
7. Help people get into their next homes.
Whether you’re working with buyers or sellers, people are anxious right now to finish out their real estate transactions. Go above and beyond for your clients and show potential clients how hard you’ll work on their behalf.
Listen to their concerns and hesitations and work to overcome them. Take extra precautions on home showings — including offering to attend all showings — and conduct business virtually as much as possible. Check out this article we recently posted with helpful tips for thriving in today’s market.
How do you reach people who need the most help? There are several ways.
- Text the people in your sphere that you’re closest to, offering to help them in any way you can or providing a specific service. Ask if they know anyone who may need help at this time. Personalize your messages so the people you contact know you’re serious about helping and not just sending out a text as a courtesy to everyone you know.
- Post on social media if you want to get the word out about a fundraising effort or event you’re holding. Encourage people to share your posts and post in relevant community groups, as long as your post is within the boundaries of the group rules.
- Send out handwritten letters or cards to past clients and other members of your sphere checking in and offering your services. In times like these, people love receiving heartfelt handwritten messages, and your letters will stand out from all the printed mail they’ve probably received from a bunch of different companies and corporations.