Should You As A Real Estate Agent Be Worrying About This?
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everything! Nothing has escaped it’s reach in some way or another and real estate is no exception. Here are some of the question’s estate agents should be asking themselves right now.
How has the real estate industry changed as a result of the pandemic? Will these changes remain or will we go back to the way things were before the pandemic struck? Have our clients changed and if so, will they go back to the way things were or have they moved in in their world of real estate? How will sellers be wanting to engage with estate agent now?. How will they find the estate agent they are looking for to sell their homes? What new activities, if any, should estate agents be spending time on during and post Covid-19? Should agents continue to use the same tried and tested real estate 101 strategies they have always used.
The key driver of the pandemic has clearly been the need for social distancing on the back of the “L” word which terrifies us all, especially when government ministers start talking about going back to earlier levels of lockdown in specific areas. Being locked up is anathema to us all and anything we can do to avoid it will get our attention and our compliance.
Real Estate is often thought of as primarily a financial activity where trading is done with our most expensive asset. However, for anyone who has spent any time being an estate agent, will know, real estate is more a people business than it is about the finance or bricks and mortar. Herein lies the reason why the pandemic has impacted so much on the real estate business. Being locked away initially and subsequently having social distancing measures in place restricts the natural flow of people transactions so important to the world of real estate. So how does the real estate agent augment their day to day activities with strategies that can make up for this impact. Enter the realm of the digital economy.
It is unthinkable what the pandemic would have felt like without a digital world. Try to think what aspect of the world’s day to day activities has not been supported by it. Meetings have taken place on all sorts of platforms like Zoom, which in themselves have grown exponentially in user numbers as can be expected. Teaching immediately rushed to on-line platforms so that the continuity, so important for learning was not affected for too long. Our restrictions in contact with our loved ones was made less traumatic by being able to have video chats with platforms like Whatsapp and Skype. Social media platforms became the go-to places to get information on what was happening out there and the hunger for news was evident in the numbers of people using the internet. The loading increased to the point of failure and service providers jumped in to provide additional bandwidth and speed so desperately required. The need to work from home and the need for home entertainment also grew exponentially and added further demands on connectivity.
So, thankfully the digital bridge assisted us all in coping with the pandemic. Of course, this is a generalisation as not all people groups had the luxury of access to the digital world. However, for those who were and are privileged to have digital access this was what had the greatest impact on our lives. It accelerated our learning of digital tools whether we wanted to or not. Most were already available, but the utilisation was nowhere near what it is now.
So having had the forced education of the digital tool, how has this affected the world of real estate? It would not be too far from the truth to expect that it is unlikely that the world will go back to where they were before the pandemic insofar as the digital space is concerned. People will be using their new-found tools to engage with those agents who are able to digitally reciprocate with the same tools. Those agents who are unable to do so will find themselves being left behind. Real Estate 101 has changed! Perhaps I could venture to create a new term now called Real Estate e-101.