The impact of the pandemic on real estate has been almost catastrophic. Since the onset of the pandemic in March last year, real estate listings, open houses, meetings, and showrooms have to be closed. Self-quarantine and social distancing measures made it impossible to do face-to-face meetings with clients, as well as walkthroughs of the properties. Would you buy a property you haven’t seen? There’s a small percentage of the population that might welcome that idea, but the majority are old school: we rely on our gut feel when it comes to the house.
That’s why real estate agents have to be more creative and resourceful when marketing the properties in their listings right now. There are new and emerging trends that will have impactful consequences for the whole industry in the future. While some of these trends might die naturally once things go back to normal, many of them—like social media marketing—will be a prime mover in the industry in years to come.
Perhaps, the biggest change in the industry is the use of virtual tours instead of open houses. You’d have to invest in creating virtual tours of the properties that you can show to your prospective clients. Aside from that, you might also need to do live walkthroughs of the properties. The only problem here is there’s no way you can make the potential buyers see and feel the textures and materials of the house. But is that really a problem with all the technology available to you?
Simulation and Augmented Reality
This is what simulation and augmented reality (AR) are for. They can create an atmosphere or environment for the buyers that will make them feel like they’re in the actual property. From thousands of miles away—as long as they have the right equipment—they can navigate the house as if they are on tour. The agents can provide more information and highlight the features of the house.
One of the many things that buyers are looking for right now is waterproofed decks. AR can create a “reality” where it’s possible for the buyers to see the details up close. They’ll be able to confirm on their own if the amenities of the house will fit their lifestyles and demands.
Social Media Marketing
This is nothing new and perhaps, has been around for quite some time now. Yet, the real estate industry hasn’t made use of social media the way it utilized it in the past year. Now, social media is a norm for real estate agents. Even brokers who are against the use of technology before because they felt it impersonal are now embracing technology. The pandemic didn’t give them any choice but to leverage the digital tools.
Although potential clients can do a drive-by to get a glimpse of the property and the community, most real estate brokers are using aerial drone shots to help buyers picture themselves in the community. Can they see themselves living there, walking to the bank and biking to the park? The aerial footage will show the amenities of the neighborhood. It will show how near the property is to schools, government offices, local amenities, grocery stores, banks, businesses, and many more.
They say content is king, and that has never been truer than in the past year. Real estate agents have to reduce their expenses on marketing materials. Content marketing is the most cost-efficient strategy. Agents can invest in blogs, articles, industry news, vlogs, webinars, podcasts, and YouTube videos to highlight the features and amenities of the properties they represent. They can also advise on how to choose the right property, as well as how to make an attractive offer.
It is almost impossible for real estate agents to match buyers and properties without meeting them in person. Humans aren’t wired that way. But automation is making that possible with the use of questionnaires that buyers will have to answer. Their answers there will help determine the right property for them. This way, real estate agents don’t have to waste time with leads who aren’t ready to buy or are looking for something different.
With the pandemic shaking up things in the industry, it’s important to keep your wits about you and focus on what you can utilize to reach your market. Times may be tough, but this is actually more reason to be creative and resourceful in your marketing strategies. The goal is, of course, the same: to know what your audience wants and to give it to them.