We are facing a new and novel situation, not seen in the United States since 1918. And, while companies such as Proctor & Gamble (Charmin) and Gojo Industries (Purell) are making a killing, there are a whole lot of parts of the economy that are feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The paralysis felt by those of us in the field of real estate hit hard and fast and, in many ways, it is similar to what people felt on 9/11. As a Recession survivor and someone who made an entire business out of a side real estate hustle during a down economy (Short Sale Expeditor®), I know a thing or two about planting seeds and prospecting during tough times. As such, I’ve put together this handy list of 6 ways to stay productive and build your business during a quarantine. First and foremost, of course, is your personal health and that of those around you. But, once you’ve got that under control, here are some suggestions for how to use your time at home (apart from binging on Netflix).
6 Ways to Stay Productive During a Quarantine
- Update Your Database. Now is a great time to do the thing that everyone absolutely hates—scrub your database (hand sanitizer not required). Most of us hardly have the time day-to-day to hunker down and attend to the fine details of a serious database cleaning. It doesn’t matter what Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) you are using. Go through each and every individual and check their details: mailing address, phone numbers, emails, birthday, and home anniversary (if applicable).
- Start dialing. You’ve got the time, why not make the phone calls? Start with all the people from your database where you are missing database details and move on to your VIPs, past clients, friends, and family. Or, if you have a whole lot of trouble picking up the phone, start with someone that will be happy to hear your voice (like an old friend or your mom). If you are looking for a script, try sticking with the FORD (Family-Occupation-Recreation-Dreams) conversation and/or remind everyone that you know that now is a great time to refinance if they need to or are able to do so. (Caveat: keep truth-in-lending laws top of mind.)
- Make videos. Everyone—I mean EVERYONE—is going to be home on their computers or their phones, surfing the Internet. So, that is definitely where you want to be too! Create a video marketing strategy and start posting some regular videos on social media and your YouTube Channel, if you have one. (Reminder: avoid negativity and consider topics that will have lasting value to viewers).
- Conduct a deep dive. I’m not talking about going for a swim. I’m talking about conducting a very thorough review of all of your online content. Google your name and read everything online that is associated with you or your website. Make sure your bio, photo, and logo on all sites are up to date, and then move on to read every page to make sure the content is up-to-date. Start making changes as needed.
- Get reviews. It’s reviews that make the phone ring; they are one of the best sources of social proof. Since lots of your past clients and sphere of influence may be stuck at home, try creating a strategy to get more online reviews—on Yelp and Google. Sometimes when we request reviews, the consumer is too busy to oblige. Maybe now might be a good time to ask again.
- Help others. This should probably have been the first on my list, but I have saved the best for last. Send notes, letters or emails to your neighbors or those who you know that may be immunocompromised offering to run errands (shopping, pharmacy pickups, perhaps even the bank) so that those who are at the highest risk are not facing additional exposure.
The United States (and many other countries) are facing a very challenging spring. As real estate pros, there is no question we will also be feeling the results of the outbreak. As someone who has managed to stay afloat before, I can say with certainty that the best way to make it through this one is to stay the course, to keep busy, and to maintain a positive attitude.
Best wishes for good health to all!