Covid upended the normal lives of everyone. For REALTORS®, the pandemic likely pushed a trend for more virtual showings and tours. Probably fewer showings and maybe more safety precautions, too (for in-person viewings). With a vaccine currently being distributed, the end may be in sight to the pandemic. However, Covid might have left lasting changes for many industries, including residential real estate.
Here’s a look at their predictions and what real estate agents might expect for the post-Covid future.
1. Drone Footage
Drones are nothing new. These handy little flying objects have been used to photograph weddings and other special events; they can provide amazing aerial shots that the typical camera cannot capture. How is this useful for residential real estate?
Real estate agents can use drones to photograph property via the aerial view. These photos are actually pretty impressive, and can be an amazing marketing tool for high-end properties or homes that offer unique vistas that need to be captured as a big picture.
2. Virtual Tours
Covid has kept many in their homes, leaving only for essential trips. House hunting during Covid likely looked very different for many parts of the country (especially those on lockdown). As travel and trips were limited, in-person visits to see homes might not have been feasible. The solution? Virtual tours!
Real estate agents likely provided video tours that gave potential buyers an inside look at all rooms in the house. Maybe these tours were offered on a video platform or just on listing sites. However agents launched their tours, the post-Covid world may continue to rely on virtual visits.
After many months of conveniently shopping from the couch, bed or other comfortable spaces, house hunters may prefer to visit homes virtually to whittle down their choices to the homes they really love. Maybe in-person visits will be limited to only a select few homes on a buyer’s wish list.
3. New Ways to Market Via Online Platforms
REALTORS® may take advantage of social media sites like Instagram or even video platforms like YouTube. Maybe TikTok videos become the source of marketing. Homes.com put together a guide for REALTORS® regarding Tik Tok. Whatever social or online platform a REALTOR® prefers, virtual may be a great option. Paper or postcard advertisements or other mailings may be obsolete. Perhaps these items are sent via email instead.
Agents can also use webinars as a tool. This also could be the year that REALTOR® creates a personal website with updates or some other type of professional content. If agents do decide to begin a social media or online presence, be diligent about the content posted. What anyone puts out in the world could lead to positive or negative results; the rule of the internet is to not post anything you wouldn’t yell out into the world.
4. Community Involvement
As many Americans huddled up in their homes during Covid, when the world gets back to normal, many may crave more social opportunities. Getting involved in the community or at a favorite charity isn’t just a good way for REALTOR® to become more known to their community but it’s also a great opportunity to make a positive impact. And perhaps those working in the real estate industry also need that outreach and sense of community.
Not sure how to get involved? Look up clubs, community organizations or charities that align with your own passions/beliefs.
5. Embracing AI
2021 will be the year of real estate automation! So utilize a system that helps homebuyers get properties that fit their needs. REALTOR® may embrace a system that automates their content or messaging. Those looking to automate content and messaging could research different software programs.
When REALTOR® are Out of Ideas!
Many of these marketing options also can make the real estate job easier…and help them reach more potential clients while also keeping in touch with current/past clients.
Some REALTOR® might not feel comfortable jumping into social media. Maybe this is a privacy concern or just a lack of understanding about platforms. One type of outreach doesn’t work for everyone, and REALTOR® may wish to branch out to different types of marketing strategies.
Do all agents need to be on social media? Need isn’t really the right word. If there is discomfort, maybe email or other strategies would help to bridge the virtual distance. However, if the trepidation about social media is simply rooted in lack of knowledge, research is the best way to figure out the virtual social world.
Talk to colleagues about what platforms they use or prefer. Twitter could be a simple outreach tool. Or maybe Facebook is the platform that most clients use. Instagram provides options to post videos and is very oriented to visual; it is, after all, a platform focused on photos and video.
REALTOR® may wish to make their pages or accounts private so they aren’t accessible to just anyone. Again, research is key to figuring out the social media outreach tools that fit an individual’s marketing needs and comfort zone!
What about Paper!?
Those who have been in the industry for decades may be used to tried and true methods of marketing, including, but certainly not limited to, listing postcards. Many still mail them and rely on them to reach potential customers.
So is paper dead? Probably not. If it works, then it may be worthwhile. However, if the cost of mailing and postage is just getting frustrating, then virtual postcards or emails may be a cheaper option. Of course, REALTOR® don’t want to spam random potential buyers, so there should be a strategy for email marketing. Sending blast emails to individuals who don’t know a REALTOR® could end up in the dark pit of the spam folder.
No matter what online site, platform or social media option a REALTOR® utilizes for marketing outreach, creative touches can go a long way. Get creative with video tours or other virtual offerings. Make marketing materials—whether they are paper of virtual—a signature style that differentiates from others in the industry.
Maybe agents provide voice overs for a video, explaining layouts or different home features. Online materials also could include some unique details about not simply the home but the neighborhood or town, too.
Differentiating from the competition helps an individual REALTOR® stand out for the crowd. Some use a slogan, others rent out billboards. Get creative!
Post-Covid, the real estate industry may look different. While open houses and home tours may be back to normal, home buyers also could embrace the virtual world as a way to whittle down their choices to their top picks…their potential dream home. REALTORS® also could utilize drones to capture the overhead views of unique properties and expand their marketing outreach to social media channels. Maybe 2021 is the year for more email campaigns. Whatever marketing endeavors REALTORS® choose to help boost business, research the options and find the tools that work for each individual.