The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives and businesses around the world. As a result, Florida real estate agent Lisa Jones admits she’s learned more in the past year than at any point in her 25-year career.
Although the industry has long been equipped to handle long-distance dealings, the pandemic really expedited the technology involved in the process, mainly with advancements in virtual meetings and home showings.
“We always had the opportunity to do this, but now we're really kind of, I don't want to say forced to, but we get the benefit of the technology. We get to do virtual showings. My clients don't have to fly in. Not only are they not allowed right now, but they can't. You know, they're tied up where they are doing their business.”
For some, understanding the ins and outs of technology might require a dynamic growth curve, but the advancements have long been lurking in the shadows. Lisa says, “If you haven't gotten over the technology and video calling by now, this is it. You're sink or swim, baby. I mean, you're in.”
Here are Lisa’s tips on how to successfully utilize technology in today’s real estate climate:
- Adopting New Methods - Virtual showings put more pressure on the agent to thoroughly represent a property in a way clients would see for themselves if they were on site. It’s a new way of showing properties that Lisa has embraced. She admits virtual showings require a change in mindset. There’s a bit of psychology involved in selling houses the client hasn’t seen in person. The key is to get into the mind of the buyer to best represent their interests.
- In-depth Communication as a Solid Foundation - A virtual real estate sale relies on in-depth communication and a specific understanding of the client’s needs, Lisa says. From the client’s perspective, it’s also important to know what to expect from your agent. Lisa says the customer/agent relationship directs the style of the virtual interaction. She prefers live videos that allow for immediate feedback from the client.
- Reaching Out to People Beyond Her Sphere - Lisa recognizes that the current real estate climate has opened doors for agents to expand their client bases geographically. Agents who are only willing to work with local clients could be missing out on major opportunities, she says. Branching out allows Lisa to stretch some lesser-used muscles, and she encourages other agents to do the same. Even if an agent is only looking to grow their business locally, connecting with the local community on both a residential and business level is essential.
- Preparing for the Future - In addition to virtual tours, Lisa utilizes technology in other aspects of her business. From communication to marketing, she says, the digital world is constantly evolving and providing opportunities for creativity. As the country continues to shift from the pandemic, Lisa sees an opportunity for agents to relocate their businesses or expand to the far corners of the planet.
- Building Trust - Lisa has built her business on always looking for ways to deepen her relationship with her clients. She described a recent interaction with a young couple buying their first home. When she overheard them mention they may use it as a rental in the future, she initiated a conversation about what that might look like for them, based on her experience. And while that builds trust, she’s not concerned about whether she’ll make a lifelong client.
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