In a matter of weeks, Australia and New Zealand went from being blissfully unaffected or phased about COVID-19, to enforcing a lockdown across the country, which now sees the majority of people working from home, working in essential services, or not working at all. Everyone’s lifestyle has been flipped on its head. Everything is changing, and we know this will take some time to get through.
Real estate, like many other sectors, has done a fantastic job responding quickly to the advice from the top. Agents and Property Managers have implemented working from home protocols, pivoted to offer video meetings, virtual tours, and private buyer and rental appointments and off-market listings. This is great, but it is not enough for the long-term.
“Many agents are looking at cutting costs to keep operating through the uncertain times. This is the time agents should look to get projects done, take a break and be ready to go as soon as we get through this”. Sherrie Storor, sherriestoror.com/
As we are pushed to operate online, with in-person meetings, property viewings and auctions changing, we are seeing listings becoming scarce. As listings decline, so too does the traditional content most agents rely on to keep connected with their database of buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, and investors.
Agents Need a New Content Strategy
Keeping connected to your database in tough times is the key to staying ahead of the curve. When turmoil is all around, people look for sources that are calm, assuring and offering truly valuable guidance on what they can do in their situation.
Remember, it’s not just agents facing a challenging time ahead. Prospects are in the same boat, and this is the best chance agents have to build relationships, position themselves as the voice of reason and secure their loyalty for the good times ahead.
Now is the time to be proactive.
“Now is the time agents need to communicate with their database more than ever and step into a leadership role for their clients to help them navigate through these times” says real estate coach, James Short, www.jamesshort.com.au.
While you’re at home working, think of what your clients sitting at home would find valuable. What would inspire them? Listings that they can’t attend are not going to be relevant, but tips on how they can improve their home, while they’re at home with time to spare, are going to be hugely valuable (in some cases, even a lifesaver for those who are struggling with boredom).
A new content strategy needs to cover content that is relevant, informative, entertaining and practical. Think DIY decor improvement, adding a veggie garden to avoid the grocery stores, projects they can do with the kids, home office tips, and best apps for video meetings. Most of all, your customers and clients need up to date, alarmist-free information about what is happening to the real estate sector as the government navigates COVID-19.
Position yourself as the calm resource, helping them to see the bright side of this downtime. Remind them (and yourself) that real estate will recover. Inspire them that they should not abandon plans for the future, but instead start making progress on other plans that will get them ahead when things get better.
Understanding the immediate challenges of the real estate sector, a new initiative from Partica is giving agents access to free, no-nonsense content through the site, Real Estate Voice, (www.therealestatevoice.com.au). Here you can find relevant real estate news, without the sensationalism, to keep your audience informed, inspired and optimistic through our current period of uncertainty. The site offers the content free for you to link from your emails and social media feeds.
“We have also created a section of the Real Estate Voice dedicated to help agents through this difficult time with free motivation, self help and support content” Fiona Okeson, Partica.com Commercial Director said.
It is the agents who become more than a source for listings that will emerge as the trusted advisor for their customers when the market recovers.
5 Tips For Getting The Best Results From Content
- Clean up your current content. Make sure it is impactful, relevant and well-written
- Consider what your audience needs to know right now. E.g. encouraging, credible real estate news that adds value and keeps them calm
- Clean up your database. Sending content is a great way to do this to weed out the old contacts
- Make the calls, get people’s email addresses and add them to your database – offering to send them informative content
- Segment your database to make sure you’re sending the right message to the right person (seller, buyer, investor, etc.).