If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t plan for everything. There will always be elements outside of your control. The important thing is to control the elements you do have some power over. That starts with mapping out your business’ future.
Business may have been temporarily disrupted by the pandemic, but it found a way to continue. That way was through virtual endeavors. So use the tools at your disposal as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.
Phone, text and email are great, but don’t underestimate the power of video. This includes video chatting platforms like Zoom and FaceTime, as well as video content that can be uploaded to your social media channels or customized and sent directly to clients.
This pandemic has also caused some people to realize they didn’t need all the face-to-face meetings and office interactions they once thought they did. Be mindful of those who don’t feel comfortable coming into the office by ensuring all your communication, document collection and mortgage application processes can be quickly and easily carried out online. To be clear, technology is not here to replace people, but simply to augment the work we already do. These applications should enhance productivity, foster connection and allow us to deliver better service to our clients.
Visibility is extremely important nowadays, especially since most of us aren’t quite back to our daily lives yet. Stay in the forefront of people’s minds by staying in the forefront of their screens.
Advocate for Old and New Clients
There’s a defeatist attitude going around right now that says “many sellers pulled their homes off the market when this pandemic began, so business will be slow. Let’s not waste our time on those efforts right now since nobody’s buying.”
First, that is completely untrue. While sales have decreased as expected during an event like this, there are homes changing hands. Plenty of them. This is partly because there is pent-up demand and partly because interest rates are so low. While other loan officers may be in panic mode, just trying to make sure they can “ride this thing out,” you want to be targeting all the new business that still needs mortgage application assistance.
Many mortgage firms are also in reactive mode as some applications have been canceled, finances/incomes have changed and homes have fallen out of escrow. Just like a real estate cycle, events will always pop up that will cause temporary disruptions to activity. It comes with the territory and it’s to be expected. These events are not cause for alarm. Let the other guys panic while you use these record-low interest rates and motivated sellers to your advantage.
Speaking of that word “panic,” it’s understandable that a few current clients may worry about what this pandemic may mean for their mortgage and their home. Put their fears at ease by checking in with them. Ask them how they’re doing, if their family is staying healthy, and if they have any questions or concerns for you.
The purpose of this call is not to sell anything. It’s simply to show you’re a trusted connection and source of support in good times and bad.
The housing market has changed, which means you need to change with it. Activity will likely remain fluid as we settle into our new normal, which may include a higher unemployment rate, more telecommuters and willing buyers who are waiting for more homes to hit the market. Follow the trends – both nationally and in your market. Do your best to get a good sense of activity through the rest of the year (including the traditional seasonal slumps and bumps), and map your plan of attack.
Let your clients and followers know what you’re seeing and hearing. Open yourself up to questions, and do your best to respond intelligently based on the information you have. These activities will build trust and credibility, the cornerstones of every great advisor.
Show Your Human Side
We all look to ensure our survival in tough times. It’s human nature. What’s also human nature is helping our fellow humans. So do just that. Determine how you can help during these times of crisis and lend a hand. Let your community know what you’re doing and how they can help.
Efforts like these are not only inspiring, they’re contagious. It shows others that you don’t have to be a billionaire or a humungous non-profit to make a difference. It also shows your followers a different side to you, which can be refreshing when the world feels like it’s in sink-or-swim mode.
Detailing your actual efforts to help also sets you apart from all the marketing jargon out there. Consumers are overwhelmed by messaging right now that tells them to stay home and that we’re all in this together. They don’t need any more of that. What they can use is a dose of real-life altruism that shows even a little help can go a long way.