Ideas for a Real Estate Business to Get Through the Pandemic ?


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Real estate business owners, landlords, and brokers have, over the years, made hundreds of millions of dollars as the economy boomed across the US. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many, if not all, real estate brokers and landlords to take a hit. The pandemic fueled downturn is causing many in the real estate industry to rethink their strategy. If anything, experts foresee any adaptive changes within the industry now to last for a very long time.

The real estate industry thrives on the ability of a broker and investor to meet face to face. Meetings and open houses are a part of doing business. However, with strict social distancing measures in place, and with people choosing to remain indoors, things are challenging. How does a real estate broker continue to do business when he or she can’t meet clients? Not to mention they aren’t able to show clients homes in person. That said, like everything else, there is a way to accomplish good results, but there needs to be a good plan in place.

Prevailing Sentiment in the Real Estate Industry

The latest survey by ActivePipe asked over 600 real estate professionals about the impact of the coronavirus on their business. The results, on the whole, showed resilience and optimism. 44% of those surveyed are in Australia and New Zealand. Real estate businesses in both countries were optimistic about the outcome despite the prospect of their businesses taking a significant hit. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, 45% of real estate professionals were optimistic about the outcome.

All businesses in the real estate industry across the globe acknowledge that COVID-19 has affected their ability to do outreach. 49% of New Zealanders and Aussies have said that they are finding ways to make interactions personalized. 40% acknowledged that they are working on building virtual and online channels to interact with people. Use 3D technologies in Real Estate today. Going virtual or online, as it’s called, appears to be one of the best ways for those in the real estate industry to continue working.

What the Real Estate Industry is and Should Be Doing?

  • The industry needs to switch over to the online model of doing business.
  • Websites and social media presence should be updated.
  • Full-time social media experts should start working to market properties online.
  • Invest in high-quality 3D modeling of properties for the best virtual experience.
  • Schedule virtual tours for all prospects.
  • Brokers should receive training when it comes to making virtual presentations.
  • SOPs for online transactions, Q&As, etc. should be defined.

Going Virtual is the New Norm

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Despite the local social distancing measures, many states are allowing interested investors to buy a property during the ongoing pandemic crisis. Investors can take advantage of low mortgage rates and the fact that there aren’t many people interested in buying property. If anything, it is far easier to find a bargain today than it was two months ago.

Despite the local social distancing measures, many states are allowing interested investors to buy a property during the ongoing pandemic crisis. Investors can take advantage of low mortgage rates and the fact that there aren’t many people interested in buying property. If anything, it is far easier to find a bargain today than it was two months ago.

The National Association of Realtors or NAR, as well as others in the industry, have emphasized that brokers and clients should continue working. However, everyone should observe safety protocols. The association has said that any showings should be virtual, and the same goes for digital closings.

All meetings between sellers and buyers should be conducted via video calls and over the phone. So, real estate brokers and businesses need to reinvent the way they work. Furthermore, adapting to the new norm, i.e., virtual showings and tours of properties for sale are imperative. Many realtors should consider investing in 3D renderings and walkthroughs of properties for sale.

Virtual leasing is now the new industry buzzword. Similar to regular leasing but everything from property investment to settling upon a price and payment is done virtually. The only thing which requires going out is shifting from the old location to the new one.

3D Floor Plan renderings and Virtual Tours

Virtual leasing is made possible with detailed 3D floor plans and Panorama Virtual Tours of prospective properties. Real estate brokers now have floor plan renderings for all the properties they are dealing in. When a potential client chooses a 3D floor plan, they can then start by taking a 3D tour of the home or apartment.

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The virtual tour is so detailed that it allows the prospect to see every inch of the property. Prospects use a desktop or smartphone to see every room before they buy. A broker can also answer questions over the phone or via a Skype call. The biggest advantage of this is that clients, brokers, and landlords don’t need to meet.

The virtual tour is so detailed that it allows the prospect to see every inch of the property. Prospects use a desktop or smartphone to see every room before they buy. A broker can also answer questions over the phone or via a Skype call. The biggest advantage of this is that clients, brokers, and landlords don’t need to meet.

Many brokers have floor plans and a 3D tour that are with and without furniture. A furnished 3D floor plan allows a prospect to see how their furniture will look. It also gives them an idea of the size of each room with respect to the furniture in it.

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Unfurnished 3D Floor Plan
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Furnished 3D Floor Plan

In addition to using an unfurnished 3D floor plan and one with the furnishing, a real estate business should also have a site map, 3D animations, and 360-degree panoramic tours. All these options help prospects examine the property in great detail before they lease or buy.

Use Technology to Communicate with Clients and Educate your Team

Many people have no idea how much technology has evolved for the real estate industry. The reason clients are not aware of is that they have never had to use technology to buy, sell, or rent. Now with COVID-19, they have to rely on technology. So, who better to educate clients than the brokers and businesses themselves.

Businesses in the real estate industry are already taking the initiative by educating clients. Many companies have started to publish almost daily YouTube videos and podcasts. The advantage of this is that not only are they getting in touch with new people via those platforms but educating them.

On an individual basis, a real estate broker can educate a buyer about something like 3D virtual tours, virtually signing a document, Facetiming to see an apartment or home, and electronic escrows. Sure, some clients may not be comfortable with it, but most will.

Overnight courier services can do the job of getting physical documents to and from clients in states where a wet stamp is needed. Every step taken helps to move the needle, so to speak, which is better than not doing anything. That’s how realtors, despite the pandemic, are renting out and selling homes in many cities.

Video Conferencing Tools

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Mainly these are tools that allow you to communicate with people online. For instance, you can contact a potential seller and discuss what they need. You can also use the tool to take a virtual tour of their home. Video conferencing tools can also help you add a third or fourth person to the stream. Some popular conference tools are:

Skype: Owned by Microsoft, almost everyone uses Skype. Skype apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Macs. Not only are they easy to use, but the audio and video quality is great. However, you need to add your prospect to the list, and they need to accept it. Once that’s done, you can chat in real-time or have a voice and video chat. Pictures, videos, and call schedules are all standard features on Skype.

Zoom: It is a highly popular telecommuting and video conferencing platform that can accommodate up to 100 participants. The free version has a 40-minute limit. However, the paid version has unlimited time and more features like Zoom Rooms. That said, from a realtor’s perspective, is it allows for multiple realtors to collaborate. It also allows for realtors to show off a property to a group of clients in real-time and answer questions.

TeamViewer: It is proprietary software for desktop sharing, remote control, web conferencing, file transfers, and online meetings. TeamViewer is available for iOS, Android, Windows 10, 8, CT, and Mac OS. A realtor can use TeamViewer to share files with prospects. 3D layouts, virtual tour files, etc. can be shared amongst multiple prospects. It will also allow for a realtor to receive remote assistance from an IT support person if the need arises.

Social Networking Tools

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Real estate businesses can benefit a great deal from social media. The most important reason is that people are spending more time on these platforms. Social media platforms are some of the best ways to advertise, collaborate, and get the word out about properties.

Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn. Realtors can post virtual tours of all available properties on their Twitter or Facebook pages. That post can be given a boost for a few dollars a day. The result is being able to reach more people who may ask how to lease a property or learn more about it virtually.

3D Design Tools and Services

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Visuals in the real estate industry sell. People have traditionally made decisions after they have physically toured a property. However, that is no longer possible, perhaps for the next few months. So will people stop buying property? The answer is no; they will not! But they will approach their purchase very differently.

Virtual leasing is made possible by the power of the latest technology. Everything from 3D floor plans, to videos, and live tours allow prospects a visual experience. But it requires people in the industry to adapt.

Virtual tours are made more effective with increasing detail. The more detail your virtual tour of the property offers, the easier it would be to lease or sell it. Talented and seasoned 3D designers can add that detail for realtors. We advise having a 3D virtual tour that works in conjunction with a video tour of the property. That way, prospects can examine the property both ways.

Realtors can use a 3D floor plan, site map, unfurnished 3d floor plan and virtual tour to boost sales by posting it on their website via advertising platforms like AdWords. Also, mention it on their Facebook pages and use Facebook Ads. Prospects can then get in touch via social media, email, call, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc. That allows the realtor to answer questions and start working on leasing or selling the property.

Make the Needle Move

Right now, there are dozens of businesses in the real estate industry utilizing the tools above. Many are already seeing results as early adopters would. As a realtor or broker, you are probably new to this concept, which is all the more reason to get comfortable with it. Those who are out of the gate, ready to adapt will survive if not thrive.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is and will lead to an economic lull. However, that’s why innovation is so important. The faster people in the industry adopt, the higher their chances of surviving the economic downturn. Furthermore, investors want to seize the opportunity, and even with the current situation, they may want to buy or sell.

Investors see this as a great opportunity to get in on the real estate industry. As a realtor, you have the opportunity to contact these investors. Also, contact people who want to lease apartments and homes. The idea is to get out there while remaining indoors. Thanks to the latest technology, it is possible.

Perhaps the most important thing to note that this may eventually become the future of the industry. People are and will see the benefits of virtual leasing. That would mean that this business model would be here to stay in the post-COVID-19 world.


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