These uncertain times make it essential to come up with creative ways to continue having success. This includes successfully pivoting your office to a virtual setting. With the help of Sam Powell, a Chicago REALTOR® with Dream Town Realty, we have compiled a list of tips to help build a virtual office from home.
Many of us have already come up with ways to time block during normal work settings, but you may find you have more time than usual right now while working virtually. On top of your regular work duties, there are great opportunities to focus on professional and personal development, such as listening to industry podcasts, online training, classes and more! Make sure to make time for everything you need to do, while also working on your growth!
CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE
Part of getting in the headspace to work is creating normalcy around the circumstances you’re in. Getting up and going to sleep at the same time, changing out of pajamas, cleaning yourself off and creating a space that is specifically for work will all help with getting used to a new situation.
BE VIRTUALLY PRESENT
Become comfortable with getting in front of a screen and sharing information. Being a REALTOR® means you are likely used to doing your work with an emphasis on in-person interactions. Allowing your sphere to still be able to see and hear from you will keep you present in people’s minds. Ways to do this include creating videos on your social media platforms, setting up virtual meetings and tools for your clients and, most importantly, creating virtual home tours. Sam suggests a variety of tools for this, including interactive floor maps, 3D home tours, taking aerial photos and videos or using video calls for homebuyers to take virtual tours without having to step foot in the home.
HAVE BACKUP PLANS IN PLACE
You never know when your internet might act up, if your computer may be on the fritz or your phone may run out of power. Having backup plans in place, such as having a hot spot to get internet access or having a backup computer or another way to access your work files and emails, are important for work continuity. As Sam likes to say, be your own backup plan!
CONTINUE TO WORK YOUR PIPELINE
Sooner or later, we will be back to normal working circumstances, and it’s important to have your pipeline in place to jump right back to business as usual. Use your downtime to work your pipeline and be prepared when this time comes.
CONNECT WITH YOUR CLIENTS DAILY
Sam says that she takes time every day to reach out to five of her clients. Whether it’s sending cards, videos or gifts, it’s important to continue to check in on them and let them know you’re a resource if they need it.
Real estate is a business based on the service of taking care of your clients’ needs and solving their problems before your own. If there has ever been an important time to keep this in mind, it’s now. As people around the planet are bearing down and sheltering in place, REALTORS® are left wondering how they can conduct their business. Those who have seen success have done so by returning to the fundamentals of being a REALTOR®: putting themselves in their clients’ shoes.
Just like you, people around the country are feeling isolated and are worried about how they’re going to get through the coming weeks. Many REALTORS® are using videos to maintain face-to-face relationships with their clients in an effort to curb that isolation.
Here are some ideas on how you can use video to connect with your clients.
USE VIDEO TO COMMUNICATE IMPORTANT INFORMATION
REALTORS® around the country are finding success shifting the way they communicate with clients through using video. Where you might make a phone call or send an email, consider sending a short video message instead. Think of it as a video voicemail. This can help give a personal touch when you’re communicating information to your clients. Also, if you have to send this message to multiple parties, it ensures that everyone is getting the same information.
USE VIDEO TO CONNECT ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
Within the stress of COVID-19 are opportunities to creatively grow your business in ways you might not have considered while conducting business as normal, like developing personal relationships with your clients. Many REALTORS® are reporting success in connecting with their clients over video chat to simply talk about how they’re doing rather than speaking strictly about business and the market.
Offer to have coffee dates with your clients, or virtual happy hours, to talk about what they’re going through. Now is a good time to be good neighbors for your clients, especially if they’re in the process of moving from out of town. Start a video, find out what they’re worried about and see what you can do to take care of their needs. This can go a long way in helping grow your business through referrals.
SET UP ONGOING COMMUNICATION
Speaking of referrals, now is the perfect time to set up ongoing communication with clients after you’ve closed with them. Establishing ongoing monthly emails or creating social media groups are great ways to stay in your clients’ minds when it comes time for them to sell years down the line. Developing ongoing relationships can solidify YOU as their REALTOR®, and now is a great time to do so.
The key to these trying times is to do what we can to adapt to constantly changing “new normals.” There’s one thing REALTORS® throughout the nation are agreeing on: the importance of face-to-face interaction via video chat.
There are many different video conferencing tools available to choose from, and finding the best fit for you can be overwhelming. Here are some options you can use to help conduct your business from home.
Zoom is a popular video conferencing tool commonly used for webinars. Because of its popularity and versatility, Zoom has developed a guide to help you through its systems.
BombBomb is a video tool useful for including video in email messages. Some REALTORS® have seen success using video messaging in lieu of a phone call or regular email.
Camtasia is another video tool useful for screen grabbing. With Camtasia, you can record audio with your screen so you can walk through documents with your clients.
Netflix Party is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to watch Netflix with other people over video chat. It will stream a show or movie and open a group chat so you can talk about what you’re watching with other people in your party. These are just a few tools at your disposal to help you connect with your clients and run your business from home.
Check out our blogs with tips and tools to go virtual: