Amidst the social distancing advisories and resulting non-essential business closures, the general public and many realtors themselves are scrutinizing whether real estate is indeed “essential.” It absolutely is. We don’t mean open-house hopping on weekends, or showing after showing, at everyone’s expense. We are talking about the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing and yes, shelter. The real estate industry and their full-time professionals have responded in an incredibly responsible way. They are limiting face-to-face contact as much as possible, and can even facilitate transactions with no human contact if necessary.
Due to recent market conditions and personal circumstances, let’s remember that some people still need to buy or sell a home:
- A buyer has sold their home already and still needs to find a new place to live.
- A family is living in a precarious place, with no choice but to move.
- Someone has already bought a new home and has to sell their existing home to close on their new one.
- Someone needs to liquidate their home equity in order to finance their business or their lives.
These are just a few examples.
For those who are already in the thick of the re-homing process, buying or selling is not optional. Some realtors may face questions and criticism about continuing their business activities during this pandemic.
To help people better understand the necessity of the real estate transaction, we encourage you to communicate with your clients, social media followers and the general public. Some key messages can include:
- Real estate is an essential service. This is something we’ve lobbied hard for, for the right reasons.
- If you don’t have to move right now, wait. Remember, we will get through this.
- Many have no choice but to move. Maybe they’ve already sold their home, they’ve already purchased a new one, or they must relocate due to a new job, unemployment, for safety or for a number of other reasons.
- How are you doing business differently? Explain how you have personally adapted your business practices to meet social distancing measures. This may include digital listing presentations, virtual open houses and showings, video conferences, e-signatures and e-transfers, among other things.
- How are you helping your community? Highlight your charitable efforts and community initiatives, and encourage people to give back!
Your communication can come in the form of:
- a video
- an email
- a newsletter
- a blog post
- a social media post
- or in the course of a conversation you may be having.
It’s understandable that people are a bit on edge these days. However, life continues on and our basic human needs still need to be met. At this time, homebuyers and sellers are looking for leadership and guidance. Be present, be honest and be sensitive during this difficult time. Together, we will get through this.