Obviously, it’s an unprecedented time for everyone right now, including those in the real estate industry. Since it is yet to be seen how much COVID-19 will impact the real estate market in the long-term, and with most Americans at home, now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the downtime to check off a few lingering to-dos. This way, when things open back up in your state, you can focus on renewing your real estate business.
Can’t think of where to start? Below are six ways to use this time to grow your skills. Many of these will come in handy, especially if in the next months and years, the industry itself pivots permanently.
In the wake of COVID-19, the biggest shift in the real estate industry is the change from in-person showings to a heavy reliance on virtual video tours. With more prospective home buyers than ever relying on video to get a feel for the essence of a home, it would be beneficial to spend this time learning how to get the most out of video shoots, from camera angles and lighting to staging and editing.
Continuing Education Requirements
While continuing education requirements vary according to the licensing laws in your state, most necessitate educational requirements to be completed in order to keep your license active. And most agents wait until the last minute to complete these credits.
This year, plan ahead. With more time than ever on your hands at home, don’t wait until the last minute to get those continuing education hours in.
Have you been meaning to write a blog series on what first-time buyers should know? Want to create an email funnel for prospective clients to learn what you can bring to the table as their agent? What about updating the copy for your marketing brochures?
Pre-coronavirus, it may have been difficult to manage digital marketing content (blogs, email newsletters, social media posts) in between showings, preparing documentation for signatures, coordinating closings and courting new business. The best part about content? You can do it in advance and then release as needed. This makes now the perfect moment to get ahead on evergreen (a marketing term for not-time-sensitive) content to support the efforts of your business.
Whether you’re a new agent or a seasoned pro, it’s important to create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. Take this time to consider where the gaps are in your marketing and then create content to fill that need.
Mastering Social Media
By now, you’ve seen how much of a “time suck” social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be, especially when it feels as if you have nothing going on. Rather than continuing to use social media passively, consider using Instagram to build your brand. If you’re already using Instagram for your real estate business, spend this time at home curating and scheduling social posts for the future, or learn how to actively grow your following.
Many do not know that there are multiple ways to leverage social media without spending money, provided you’re willing to learn and get a bit creative. Why not explore options for online courses on using social media for business?
And if you’re feeling adventurous, use this time to experiment with emerging platforms like TikTok, or use your Snapchat account to target real estate to a different demographic in your area.
Finished your continuing education? Check. Written and scheduled content in advance? Check. What comes next? If you have an inclination to go further in your real estate career, use this time to focus on gaining new certifications and on how to improve your knowledge of the real estate industry. With the shift to online learning, it’s now easier (and more time-efficient) to garner new certifications in your spare time and without the commute or in-person classroom hours.
Consider sitting for your state broker’s exam, appraiser certification, or learn how to get started in commercial real estate. There are also other areas where new certifications and online courses may come in handy: for example, taking a digital course in web design so you can create custom websites for important listings, Photoshop, real estate photography, or learning how to become a better negotiator.
With everything now online, the possibilities for what you can learn at home are limitless. Find something you’re interested in and use this time wisely. Looking back, you may realize what a gift this slow time at home was for laying the foundation for a profitable end of the year.
With everyone at home, it is now more important than ever to stay connected. Thanks to Skype and Zoom, a 15-minute request to chat takes less effort than ever and you don’t even have to commute to a coffee shop to do it! Even though networking these days looks a lot different, the same rules still apply: always provide value, be respectful of someone’s time, and always look for how you can connect others as well.
Use your time strategically: connect with other agents you’ve always wanted to “pick the brain” of, finally connect with contacts you’ve been meaning to follow up with, or create a group of agents who specialize in noncompeting areas of your town and share your favorite real estate resources.
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