Is social distancing the new normal?
As COVID-19 has come to Canada, we have seen physical distancing regulations put in place and gradually reduced. However, even as some restrictions ease, our usual methods of connecting may take longer to come back.
Many real estate professionals relied on community networking to create connections. Conferences, courses, events, business lunches and dinners, travel, the list goes on… In the wake of COVID-19, these methods may not be coming back for a while yet.
Therefore, our approach to connecting must change as well.
When we talk about connection, what we really mean is maintaining the personal touch. You want your clients and partners to know that you’re thinking about them and stay top of mind without being overbearing.
REM Online recently summed up this dilemma:
“You want to send communication that shows empathy. You can’t under-communicate with your client, you want to make sure they’re hearing your perspective and you are proactive with their immediate concerns. You want to bring care and concern for the market, to bring goodwill.”
While they are talking about clients specifically, we would also add “partners” to that list too. Real estate professionals rely on their partners, from mortgage brokers to lenders, to real estate lawyers, insurers, appraisers, and beyond.
How can you maintain connections with clients and partners if you can’t see them in person?
We have a few tips:
a) Tie into webinars and online professional development opportunities.
With many in-person events, courses, and conferences paused for now, why not take your development options online?
Sign up for the same course with your colleagues or partners and talk about the learnings after.
For instance, GeoWarehouse has some great webinars that can help you leverage your subscription. See upcoming dates.
Organizations like the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) are also hosting webinars and online courses during this time.
This can even be a way to meet more people in your field if the course allows for discussions and commentary from participants.
b) Setting the stage for the future by filling your lead generation pipeline.
Even if business is slower right now, connections can fill your pipeline as people adjust.
The key to doing so is to make it less about real estate and more about connection. You’ve likely already been reaching out and checking in throughout this time, if not, it’s not too late to do so. Ask how your client has been doing and if there is any way you can help.
Some professionals have also been finding ways to give back, which can be a conversation starter in itself.
If leads come in, following up on those opportunities and keeping detailed notes. Even if it’s only a soft connection and the prospect is not ready to move forward yet, they may be ready in a few months.
Finally, you can also give your clients the tools they need to make decisions further down the line. For instance:
- The Teranet Home Value Range tool can help homeowners estimate their property value if they are considering selling.
- If a prospect is considering moving, a HoodQ Report can help investigate neighbourhoods of interest by school catchment areas, parks and recreation, transit, and so on. You can then watch for any properties that open up in an area they like.
- You can host digital open houses on social media so interested people can see opportunities without pressure.
c) Using the same data as your partners.
When you are looking at the same sources as your partners, it makes communication much more fluid.
For instance, if you are working with a mortgage lender to confirm financing for a deal, you can both look at the same property records, including legal homeowners, charges on title, sales history, and more.
The solution here is to make sure you are using a data source that is available to all real estate and mortgage professionals — and that the data source is kept up to date, comprehensive, and accessible.
For instance, at Teranet our data is sourced from provincial land registries and is available to different professionals in different solutions. Real estate professionals can access property information through GeoWarehouse, while mortgage lenders can do so through Purview. However, when you have a conversation about a particular property or client, you are looking at the same source of data — Teranet.
While connection may be changing in a socially distanced world, it does not have to be harder — just different.
By finding ways to adapt, you can grow your relationships with clients, prospects, and partners and build engagement that lasts for the long-term.
Access our in-depth property information today. Learn more by calling 1-866-237-5937 or at www.geowarehouse.ca.