‘Trying times’, ‘testing times’, ‘strange times’, ‘challenging times’, ‘unique times’ and media favourite ‘unprecedented times’ – all phrases which have been used to describe what we’re all living through at the moment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
No industry has been left unaffected by Covid-19, least of all the property industry which came to a near-complete standstill at the beginning of lockdown, while government created the Coronavirus Act 2020 and brought it into force on the 25th March.
Adapting to the ‘new normal’
Despite there being a time of no home moves going ahead, agents weren’t idle.
The fast implementation of new technologies by agents in order to overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19 has been staggering.
Home buyers have been presented with fantastic 360˚ virtual tours, so they were able to ‘view’ properties before going to see them in real life. To begin with this was the only way properties could be viewed, but now they’re being used in order to reduce the number of viewings on properties.
The viewings themselves have also had to change, with agents reducing the number of viewings being carried out to allow time for sanitising in between each viewing, as well as making sure the properties are extremely well ventilated.
And what about auctions? Property buying still goes on the same, and yet is completely different thanks to available technologies.
Our fab client Dawsons Property, have had some great success emulating the excitement of the in-person saleroom with their property auctions online.
One trend we’ve noticed since lockdown, is that social media has appeared in the forefront of people’s minds. Where often it is seen as an afterthought, or a nice ‘to have’, it became a really useful communication tool to engage with the local community, as well as ensuring that customers have all the information they need.
Another of our clients, Maxine Lester, have been making a really excellent use of Facebook groups. They have a landlord group consisting of landlords they manage for, as well as other landlords in the local area, and they regularly post updates specific to landlords. This has been invaluable, especially with the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the eviction ban, and the extension of the notice needed to be given for evictions.
Maxine also hops on a live video, sometimes inviting other professionals to chat with her, every week to keep people updated. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s having a fantastic impact.
It’s easy to see marketing as sort of smoke-and-mirrors, good packaging – but it’s actually a lot more than that. It’s about forging links, building relationships, and communication, communication, communication.
What have you been doing to adapt, and innovate? Drop us a message and let us know! Or, if you’ve been thinking about trying social as part of your communications strategy, get in touch and we can chat with you about the best way to go about it whilst building a strong online presence and making an impact.