As I write this, the United States is currently dealing with the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). I’m interested in looking back at this post in 6 to 12 months from now after things become a little more settled. It’s also going to be interesting to see what the state of the economy is and if the measures that were taken have been effective.
Regardless, right now most people are working from home, whether it’s because your office has temporarily closed, you can’t show houses to clients, folks are telecommuting, or because your kids are home and you they need to stay home with them.
Whatever your situation is, it’s important to understand this. As stressful and as tough as this situation is, we should all stop and at least try to find some opportunity during this time to move our businesses forward as best we can, so when this passes (and it will!!), we are all prepeared and in a position to come roaring back, better than ever, as I know we will.
We are in a unique position where many of us have more spare time than normal, due to cancelled meetings, cancelled vacations, cancelled events, cancelled appointments, pretty much cancelled everything quite frankly, and those that take advantage of this time will benefit tremendously in the months to come and even further.
I put together a list of things that I will be doing or at least putting into motion to take advantage of this time (if I haven’t done them already), that I know will benefit me in the long run and I want to share them with you.
Some things you won’t see instant results on. They are things that lay the groundwork that will lead to reults down the road, but as the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today”. Start doing things today that will benefit in the months ahead. Take advantage of this time and make the best of this crazy situation we are all in.
Set Up Home Office
Are you working off of your Kitchen or Dining Room Table?
Take this time to finally set up a proper Home Office. It will keep you more productive and organized. Amazon offers a huge selection of desks, printers, and accessories needed to create the perfect workspace at home at different price ranges and sizes.
Once set-up you’ll notice a huge difference in how much you get done and how much better you feel about your work in general.
Need tips on setting up the perfect Home Office Space? Check out this article on HGTV.
Clean Your Desk
Already have your Home Office Set Up but it looks like a bomb exploded on it? Piles of paper that you haven’t gone through in months? Maybe some laundry sitting in your desk chair? The whiteboard you hung up still has that meeting reminder from 7 months ago written on it?
Take a few hours and clean up your workspace. You’ll not only feel better after you clean it up you will find that you are more productive. It also for whatever reason tends to energize you and get you excited to work.
Check out this article on the benefits of having a neat desk and it’s benefits.https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog/benefits-organized-desk/
Get Your Personal Website Setup
Are you still using that basic website template that is boring and ugly when you first bought your domain name from GoDaddy.com? It’s time to take advantage of this time and create a professional-looking, beautiful, and fully functional website.
Placester specializes in DIY Real Estate agent websites that include IDX Integration, CRM, Autoresponder, and Blogging Platform.
If you are a member of the National Association of Realtors they have partnered up with Palceter to offer it’s members a 20% discount off of their Agent Core Subscription. Check it out here.
Start Creating More Content
This is one I’ve personally been meaning to do for a long time.
Now is the time to start creating more content for your prospects and referral sources to consume. When people think of “blogging” they think of sitting over their keyboard churning out article after article after article for their blog and spending hours posting all that content to various social media sites.
You don’t need to do that. It’s a waste of time.
Fact is, if you create a blog post and post it to all your social media sites only one time you will reach only a small fraction of your connections unless you are paying for ads. If someone is telling you differently, I am willing to bet they are a Social Media Marketing “Coach” that wants to charge you for your services.
Social Media Marketing is certainly part of the marketing mix, but it shouldn’t be used like it was 5-7 years ago. You don’t need to create new blog posts every day or even every week. You’ll just be wasting your time.
Here’s what I recommend. Create a few “Evergreen” articles. Articles that will always be relevant. There is no magic number of how many you need to write but at a minimum you should have 5. If you think of a topic that is useful to your prospect then write about it.
For example: Make a list of vocabulary words that are used regularly in Real Estate that most people are not familiar with. Create a post outlining the steps a person will go through when they find the home they want to purchase explaining the steps from making the offer to closing. Create an article listing every form a person will fill out and explain to them what the purpose of each form is so they will have a better understanding. Even better create a video of you filling out the forms so they can “look over your shoulder” as you fill them out and see exactly how it should be filled out. Content like that is what people are looking for. Helpful information.
In addition to your core articles, if there is a newsworthy event (like Covid-19) then certainly take the time to write about it and give an explanation and opinion on it. Let homeowners and potential home buyers know how they might be affected by the event and what they should do to get through it.
Writing content just to write content doesn’t make sense because most of it will be watered down and bland and second if you are constantly posting to Social Media people will start to ignore it will become overloaded.
One other idea is to upload pdf’s of various forms that need to be filled out during a home purchase to your website and have a resource page when a person can get all the forms they need right on your site.
When you have your articles written (whether all at once for your core articles or one at a time, it doesn’t matter) share them once a week on Social Media. If you have five articles, then you will share each one over a five-week period, then after you share the last article, start at the first one again. Re-Sharing content is the best way to get the largest reach because if someone didn’t see the article the first time around, maybe the second or third time it will reach them. You need to re-purpose your content. Don’t just treat as a “one and done”, use it over and over to get the most traction and views out of it.
Also, send the articles out to the people on your email list, and to clients that might ask you a specific question that an article might answer. Focus on the quality of content, not quantity.
If you take this time to create some great content and you get into a habit fo sharing it on a pre-defined schedule, you will find that it makes for a tremendous marketing tool.
Send Notes and Physical Items To EVERYONE You Know
People are home and they are stressed, anxious, frustrated, bored, and some are lonely.
Go on a Letter/Notecard writing campaign.
You might not be able to meet with people face to face, but the Post Office is open and you can send people letters and items in the mail, and I guarantee they will appreciate the sentiment.
Go through your list of clients (past and present), prospects, referral sources, etc. and write a few note cards every day and drop them off at the Local Post Office or Mailbox.
Also, send them out to ALL your friends & family members!! It’s amazing to me how many Agents don’t market to their friends and family members. These are people that WANT to see you succeed and are great sources for referrals. Obviously don’t nag and annoy them but certainly mail them out information because they want to help you and I’m sure they will be willing to refer you to any of their friends.
It can be as simple as: “Dear John, Hope you are doing well during this stressful period in time. Wishing you and your family the best. Stay safe and healthy”.
It doesn’t take much, and the sentiment will be greatly appreciated.
Also, consider sending out a physical promotional piece as well. We have an entire online shop dedicated to helping you succeed, our notepads can be mailed in a standard envelope and people love getting them. Use this time to show people that you care and to also position yourself at the top of their minds. We are open during this time and fulfilling orders. Use code “WorkFromHome” to get 30% off anything in our shop (Good Until May 31, 2020).
Start getting into the habit of sending out notecards and promotional items via the mail. It will help tremendously with your marketing. Once it becomes a habit, you will reap the rewards in the months ahead.
If you don’t have or want to pay for a service like Placester, which offers mass email capabilities, try a service like Mailchimp which has a free starter package.
You need an easy place where you can add clients and referral sources to your list for mass communication, so when you have content to share you only have to go to one place to do it.
This is also a good time to get into the habit of sending out a good quality monthly newsletter.
Items to include in the newsletter? Links to relevant articles that the folks on your list would be interested in. This is the place to share the articles you find online about home repair, interior design, landscaping, housing market conditions, etc. ALSO, INCLUDE PICTURES AND INFORMATION ABOUT HOMES YOU HAVE SOLD AND HOMES YOU HAVE LISTED IN EVERY NEWSLETTER. VERY IMPORTANT!! I get newsletters from agents that don’t include a section of homes they have listed and homes they have sold, and it boggles my mind why they aren’t included. What if they have a property I’d be interested in? I’d never know.
Take the time to do some reading that will help you in all aspects of your business. There is always something to learn that will help you.
Here are a few suggestions:
- The One Thing
- Getting Things Done
- The Four Agreements
- Little Red Book of Selling
- The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
Make A Plan and A Task List
Last, is to make a plan and come up with a list during this time.
Start coming up with a plan and schedule to flesh out that marketing plan you have been meaning to get around to and implement.
Make a list of things that you need to do or get, and start checking off that list.
- Promotional Items to Give Out.
- Yard Signage.
- Retractable Banner For Open Houses.
- Sidewalk Signs.
- Set up a regular mailing campaign for homes that were Just Listed and Just Sold.
- Get into the habit of making more phone calls (set a fixed number of calls you want to make every week and get in the habit of blocking out time and hitting that number).
- Clean out your car.
- Cancel subscription services you no longer use.
- Design a Team Logo if you don’t have one
- Work on some continuing education credits.
- Join a few Networking Groups
Our worlds are disrupted at the moment. But there are folks out there who look for the opportunity in everything and those are the people that succeed when the disruption ends. Be that person. Take advantage of this time and come out on the other side more organized, better prepared, and roaring to go.