It’s been a difficult week for all of us and it feels like more challenges are coming. I have made a commitment to delivering you the raw and real information you need without the blind optimism that many are serving up right now. Not everyone will agree with my approach and that’s ok. This may not be for you.
Thank you to everyone who participated in my first Facebook live event talking about strategies during COVID-19. We will meet again next Wednesday at 9 am BC time and Noon in ON. Mark your calendars.
Properties are still trading. Not many but some. Some markets have more movement than others but all markets are seeing transaction numbers drop off significantly. This drop will likely continue as the health challenges are scheduled to peak in the coming weeks in both Canada and the US. Read: https://nationalpost.com/news/world/matter-of-life-or-death-trump-warns-americans-of-a-tough-two-weeks-ahead-in-coronavirus-fight?video_autoplay=true
There will not be enough commission to feed everyone and the agents who survive will be the ones that do the deep and complicated work required to earn the right to represent people during this uncertain and unsettled time.
I believe that the pathway through this health crisis and the economic and financial crisis that will follow can be described in four steps and each step is absolutely critical. There will be no short cuts. There is no room for pretense.
Each week I’ll list the steps and go into some detail on one or more of the steps. This week it’s on Step 3 but there are links in the other steps to help you wherever you are in the process.
Step One: Secure the safety and well- being of you and your family. COVID-19 is a serious threat to our health both physically and psychologically. If we don’t feel strong, safe and sane we are in no position to do the difficult and important work of helping people who need to sell or buy.
Step Two: Secure your financial stability. This is not a short-term situation. If you are panicking about money, you will not be able to focus on the needs of people who need to buy and sell during this difficult time. Click here for more on this
Step Three: Be the agent who can get do transactions. Both earning the right to represent someone and being able to negotiate a successful transaction is going to be significantly more difficult than it has been in the past years. This week, I have expanded on this important step below.
Step Four: Lead the way through the crises. Once you have the other three steps together, we will need to start looking at how real estate will emerge out the other side. Leaders will need to think differently, see multiple perspectives, let go of what they believe to be true and collaborate with other leaders not just in the real estate industry but in the emerging economy. The world is going to be different coming out of this than it was going in and real estate is no exception. I predict exciting changes to our industry as a result of new technology, a reallocation of resources and changes to the way people value their homes.
Expansion on Step Three – How to earn some business.
There are some transactions happening and this will continue as there are always people that need to buy, sell or lease. How do you find people that need to buy, sell or lease?
Traditional lead generation will sink you right now. It’s always been tacky and unprofessional to annoy people so that you can get more business and make more money – but now people will see realtors who push for business as the pariahs that they actually are.
The people who need to make a move during a health pandemic likely aren’t in a good situation. Something is going wrong or they wouldn’t be moving. Expect high levels of fear and other emotions. Think about some of the reasons that people may have for making a move. It could be severe financial duress, domestic dispute (possibly even abuse), deep fear of the future, family illness and mental illness are just a few of the possibilities. People who are in these situations aren’t going to trust just anyone. You need to earn it. Click here for a powerful post from my friend Marilyn Ball in Victoria about who might need to be buying or selling in times like this.
To uncover these situations, you need to earn deep trust with your extended sphere and community. Most opportunities in tough times come from referrals. The people in duress look to someone they trust to help them choose a realtor. It’s not the flashiest, the richest or the best-dressed realtor who will get the job but the one who can understand the needs of the client, help them make rational decisions and successfully negotiate a sale when buyers may be few and far between.
You build this trust in two ways. One is by having a lot of very accurate information about what is going on economically, politically, socially, macro and micro market conditions and about the financial and lending markets. The second is that you are deeply committed to the best interest of the people you are talking to and that there is not even a thread of your own self-interest. In these frightening times, people will sense what you feel and not just accept what you say. You
You’ll want to be having many authentic conversations with people. Authentic means you truly care about how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to serve them. It can’t be about finding clients because if it is, they will sense that you are disingenuous and they will not trust you. You can’t pretend to care. This is hard to do and it is why steps 1 and 2 are critical. If you don’t have your own life in order, you are not equipped to assist others.
How many conversations? Hundreds. If you want to be standing at the end of this you need to build big strong networks of people who trust you to represent them and more importantly, the people they care about. I am recommending to our clients to spend 3-6 hours per day having conversations with people.