How to Shift Your Business to Online, Quickly and Easily
If we stop and think about it, the real estate industry has been operating online for over 20 years. We have amazing technology, and have been using it all at different levels over the last several years. You have been using these tools to help you list and sell already: online home tours, virtual 3D tours, even FaceTime and Skype to show out-of-town buyers a home that they buy sight unseen via an electronic purchase agreement. These online tools have already been a part of your business.
Because of our shift to digital contracts, I have been promoting the use of Zoom video conferencing for the past three years as a way to be face-to-face with your clients and communicate more effectively by “seeing” and being able to respond to their body language and tone of voice. Agents that listen to emotion over facts are more successful—and, let’s face it, you are better when you are face-to-face, anyway. You can hear concerns, show empathy and say “I understand,” and pivot the conversation a lot easier when you are actually seeing their facial reactions. You cannot do that over email and text.
What’s new is transitioning your appointment script strategy to an online platform. The agents that change the most will succeed the most. (It’s true!) Adapting your script for online listing and buyer showing appointments is absolutely paramount right now. You need to take your script and add some different language to take it to a video call—that’s it.
Here are some basic tips to help you make the transition from an in-person appointment setting to online video call consultation appointments:
Get a Zoom Account or Google Hangouts
This is really easier than it appears. If you can navigate your MLS and your phone, you can work video conference calling like a pro in no time…for real! You can get a free Zoom account or sign up for a low monthly cost for an upgraded account. Practice with a family member or another agent. The reason Zoom is great is it allows you to do a screen-share, where you can share a presentation, documents or contracts, or surf properties on your website, all while also seeing the client on-screen in video mode. This allows you to add more value to your conversations.
I also recommend reviewing the signed listing or sales agreements and home inspection reports this way. Now, if you come to any objection, you can actually see their body language, and you will be much more effective at communicating with them and overcoming those objections than over email, text or speaking on the phone.
Start Booking Appointments Online
Yes, I mean book your listing and buyer showing appointments on a Zoom video call just like you would have when you could see them at their home or at your office. Here is a script:
“Great, I am taking new clients for the spring market and can set us up for a Zoom video conference appointment, when we can start the process and I can show you my ‘Exclusive Home Buyer Guide’ and my aggressive ‘Marketing Your Home Successfully’ strategy. We can even start the process of staging your home for sale so that you can start on improvements now while you are home. What’s better for you: Wednesday at 4 or Saturday at 10 a.m.?”
Adapt Your Listing Presentation and Home Buyer Guide for Online Too
Make sure you adapt your listing/marketing presentation, as well as your homebuyer presentations, to online formats. You probably already have the ability to show them on your laptop, but now you need to be able to show them as a PowerPoint or PDF presentation. Again, practice the screen-share with someone so you can work it like a pro with your clients. It’s really easy—I promise!
Navigating a new way of speaking and meeting with your current and potential clients does not have to paralyze you and hold you back. In fact, the sooner you jump into this and learn it, the more success you will experience for yourself now and in the next 30, 60 and 90 days. If you can’t book an online appointment now, then book it for 6-8 weeks from now to plan to see their home. You can adjust, add new strategies and incorporate tools so that when this current crisis is behind us, you will have new and better ways to deliver exceptional value to your clients. Incorporating video conferencing will be another tool you embraced, learned and maximized to help you manage client’s expectations successfully.