2 Parts
11
QUESTIONS

Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. Real Estate Brokerages

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A new RealEstateBees.com survey of over 2,000 active real estate brokerages found that despite the negative impact on their business caused by the COVID-19, more than 77% are seeing new opportunities opened by the pandemic.

The following segmented report provides results of a large scale survey—Impact of the Coronavirus on the U.S. Real Estate Businesses—conducted by the Real Estate Bees research team, leading real estate platform for real estate professionals.

The following statistics reflect the situation among the US real estate brokerages. We reached out to over 2,000 active real estate brokers from all the 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. to collect their insight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry in general and their businesses in particular.

The report is divided into the following two parts.

1. Multiple choice questions where the professionals had to choose one of the suggested answers to each question:

1.1 Is there a negative impact the pandemic is having on real estate brokerages?
1.2 Has the pandemic opened any unexpected opportunities for real brokerages?
1.3 How are you adjusting your marketing budget?
1.4 Are you transferring your business to a “work from home” basis?
1.5 Have you noticed any benefits of transferring your business processes to a “work from home” basis?
1.6 Have you noticed any drawbacks of transferring your business to a “work from home” basis?
1.7 Will you keep your business processes transferred to a “work from home” basis after the pandemic is over?

2. Open questions that allowed the experts to share their insights on various aspects of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. real estate brokerages:

2.1 What are the specific negative impacts the pandemic is having on real estate brokerages?
2.2 What unexpected opportunities have the pandemic opened for real estate brokerages?
2.3 If you knew the impact of this situation on your business in advance, how would you prepare your business to mitigate your losses or even profit from it?
2.4 What marketing channels do you prefer to use during the pandemic over the rest and why?

Multiple Choice Questions
1
QUESTION

Is there a negative impact the pandemic is having on real estate brokerages?

2
QUESTION

Has the pandemic opened any unexpected opportunities for real estate brokers?

3
QUESTION

How are you adjusting your marketing budget?

4
QUESTION

Are you transferring your business to a “work from home” basis?

5
QUESTION

Have you noticed any benefits of transferring your business processes to a “work from home” basis?

6
QUESTION

Have you noticed any drawbacks of transferring your business to a “work from home” basis?

7
QUESTION

Will you keep your business processes transferred to a “work from home” basis after the pandemic is over?

Open Questions
8
QUESTION

What are the specific negative impacts the pandemic is having on real estate brokerages?

Key takeaways from the real estate brokers’ answers:

  • Showings have gone virtual to comply with CDC guidelines on safety and maintain safe distance. While providing a safe way to show properties, virtual showings can’t beat actually being inside a house for a walkthrough.
  • Sellers postpone listing their homes. Buyers back out due to uncertainty associated with their finances or delay their decision to purchase to see what happens next.
  • Commercial real estate has been impacted differently than residential. While residential agents can still be seen selling properties, commercial agents, depending on the segment they work in, can either be seen selling in full throttle or not at all. In addition, many deals fell through as buyers could no longer complete or even continue with their due diligence requirements.
  • Businesses aren’t too keen on leasing office and commercial spaces due to the shutdown order. Occupied properties have also pushed back on showings. Investment properties have fallen out of title due to market uncertainties.
  • Training teams have also been impacted, as brokerages are now moving to virtual training sessions and losing the ability to interact face to face.
  • Banks are also showing a lot of fluctuation in their willingness to lend; traditional banks are now requiring higher credit scores and down payment from buyers.
  • Economic uncertainty has created an atmosphere of reluctance among buyers and sellers. Brokerages and agents are forced to look into new ways of thinking and strategies to keep their businesses afloat.
  • As most offices are shut down, brokerages are forced to close their offices while they continue to pay for office rent, utilities, and other office-related expenses, including salaries of office-based employees.
  • The pandemic has brought forth new rules that have yet to be understood by the real estate industry. New forms, contracts, and guidelines have been enforced to reflect the required COVID-19 disclosures.
  • Despite the negative impacts, brokers see a silver lining amidst the pandemic. Those looking to buy homes don’t want to waste time shopping around. Those who are selling are intent to meet the demands of buyers in order to get their properties sold. It is up to brokerages and realtors to educate and communicate with their clients to ensure the industry remains relevant in these trying times.

 

Tyler Alberson, HoM Realty

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Tyler Alberson broker

There are many negative impacts the pandemic is having on real estate brokerages. Though people are still buying and selling homes, we are noticing many buyers backing out due to uncertainty affiliated with their finances.

We are also seeing a lot of fluctuation in banks’ willingness to lend. Most traditional banks are requiring a 700 credit score and in some cases, they are increasing the amount of the buyer’s down payment.

The pandemic is also limiting how we interact with our clients. Showings are dependent on whether the seller is willing to let prospective buyers into their home. Though virtual walkthroughs are a great tool, they do not completely replace actually walking inside a house.

 

David McEachern, Keller Williams Realty Chattahoochee North

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David McEachern broker

While there has been a drop in listings in the overall Atlanta market, we are holding up much better than the rest of the nation, along with Raleigh and Austin. Due to a shortage in market inventory, homes are moving at a good clip.

Some buyers have slowed down in their moves to see what transpires; however, the clear majority are still in the market. Pricing is holding up as seen in Atlanta; prices improved 4.3 pct YOY in April.

With Atlanta being a vibrant growing market, it is expected that while there may be some pivots in the market, we will be fine. It is the brokerages and realtors that educate, talk to their clients, and are truly engaged in the business that will succeed.

 

Jennifer Welch, Amazing Realty

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Jennifer Welch broker

We have had to pivot to more virtual options to show homes and help our clients “experience” seeing homes, while maintaining safe distance and CDC guidelines on safety. Many of our clients who had planned for listings decided to postpone their home going to market.

While buyers were still shopping online, many have waited to make offers until they can confirm that the lending landscape will remain strong. Others lost their jobs and were sadly unable to complete transactions.

Training our team was also impacted as we moved to virtual training sessions and lost the ability to interact in our office.

 

Jeffrey Jones, Advanced Business Brokers, Inc.

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Jeffrey Jones broker

As a business broker, I see how the government’s mandatory business shutdown has impacted small to midsize businesses. Many of my listings have had to close for the past several months and only now are some of them being allowed to reopen and then with continued restrictions of the number of customers allowed in the business, social distance requirements, and wearing gloves and masks.

I estimate that 25% to 30% of the retail businesses and restaurants and clubs will not reopen or will be out of business within the next six months. In my opinion, the government has overreacted in shutting down our economy on a selective basis. The cure is worse than the virus.

 

Eric Martin, Martin Realtors

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Eric Martin broker

The virus has slowed down the number of sales, listings, prospective buyers, and sellers in the Lubbock area. The Lubbock area has had only two to three months’ supply of listings to start. It has remained a strong seller’s market for the past year and a half to two years. Overall the price of single family housing has climbed upward, along with the appraised value, for property tax purposes.

Lubbock has been somewhat protected from a large number of confirmed virus cases. Somewhere around 500 or so. As we all know, the best time to sell or buy real property is fast approaching. I expect there to be somewhat of a pent-up demand for single family housing.

 

Lynn Richter, Managing Director at KW Commercial

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Lynn Richter broker

The impact on commercial real estate is different than on residential. I understand residential agents are still selling homes. However in the commercial space, depending on the segment you work in, you may be busy or stopped. If you are in apartment investment brokerage, you are probably closing deals as apartments tend to weather all challenges.

Office transactions and retail transactions are slow, if not stopped or put on hold. Office users have to get back to working in the office and see how this new world affects their use of space. Once they have a handle on space usage, they can then go back out into the market to expand, move, downsize, or stay where they are. Industrial real estate is also being impacted.

 

Missy Stagers, M. Stagers Realty Partners

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Missy Stagers broker

We saw a slow down for about two weeks solid, then it started to pick back up again. People were at first cautious, then stalled, and now ready to get out there to sell and buy. I have stayed moderately busy throughout. Not the same craziness that hits this time of year without a pandemic.

Military moving here definitely had an impact. Virtual tours like Matterport and live walkthroughs are definitely helping sell homes. The silver lining: those looking are serious! No one is into just looking and looking. Saving time is important and they don’t want to just run around. Sellers are more willing to listen to what they need to do to get sold as they have concerns.

 

Jay Arbizu, eXp Realty

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Jay-Arbizu Broker Associate

First off, businesses have been forced to close which means that real estate offices are closed. The office being closed isn’t a problem as most agents don’t go to their office very much because they can do most things from a computer and phone (at home, at Starbucks, and at the houses they are showing or evaluating for sale).

The downside is that many of those offices (and the things inside them) still need to be paid for. We’re talking office rent, power, water, copier leases, phone systems, internet, coffee contracts, etc. Plus the salaries of employees (not the real estate agents who are typically 1099/independent contractors but front desk person, team leaders and office managers, etc).

 

Jay Crane, Keller Williams Realty DFW – Southlake

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Jay Crane broker

The economic uncertainty, including wavering confidence in the jobs market, has created significant buyer/seller caution and even reluctance. The normal strong activity we see in the spring DFW real estate market has noticeably dropped. Recent data for new listings, pending properties, and even showings are all lower compared to the same time last year.

Brokerages and agents, aware of the real risks of Covid-19, are struggling to do business as usual and are being forced into new ways of thinking, going virtual as much as possible as the new strategy.

 

Tim Sweeney, Tim Sweeney Realtors

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Tim Sweeney broker

I think it will have a severe and long-lasting effect on real estate. I just got a letter from SWBC today in regard to contracting with them for appraisals and bpo’s. They have 30 pages of required COVID-19 disclosures.

New forms for waivers, all new contracts and guidelines, and changes and all terminologies must be copied verbatim even though it is all subject to change every day. It’s a lot to deal with, and no one understands it all yet in its entirety.

 

Daniel Perich, KW Commercial – The Daniel Perich Group

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Daniel Perich broker

The Governor of PA’s response has been to shut down real estate services as non-essential business. In our industry, momentum and continuity is important. The reaction to the virus (in my opinion, overblown) has caused many people (buyers and sellers) to pull back and take a “wait and see” approach.

The shutdown has killed many deals (I’m speaking commercially) because buyers could not finish or even continue with their processes of due diligence.

 

Lewis Faraclas, Hellenic Brothers Commercial Real Estate

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Lewis Faraclas broker

My clients that are home-officed are realizing that they might not need to lease anymore space and are thinking about downsizing their space. In my multifamily business, occupied spaces are pushing back on showings. A few investment properties have fallen out of title because of market uncertainties. My oil and gas clients’ office spaces are literally ghost towns.

 

James Quinn, Keller Williams, Peace River Partners

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James Quinn broker

Sellers are reluctant to allow their homes to be shown and are waiting to put their house on the market. Buyers have backed out of contracts. Buyers are waiting to go out and see property. Underwriting on some loan programs has changed, which makes it more difficult for the loans to be approved. There is some speculation that prices will be negatively affected.

 

Rolando Leal, Site Specialists Realty Advisors LLC

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Rolando Leal broker

With restrictions (necessary as they are) put in place, many businesses are struggling to not only keep employees but also generate enough revenue to stay in business. This translates into significant challenges in their ability to pay rent further, resulting in so many opting to preserve any capital they might have to weather the storm.

9
QUESTION

What unexpected opportunities has the pandemic opened for real estate brokers?

Key takeaways from the real estate brokers’ answers:

  • The pandemic has opened new doors to communicate with clients through the use of video conferencing tools like Zoom and social media platforms. Not only do these tools offer a safe way to keep in touch but also give brokerages a way to communicate more with their clients.
  • Virtual tours and meetings are becoming more of a norm than an alternative to face-to-face showings and client interactions. This has been proven effective among military buyers and has been getting the mainstream treatment ever since the pandemic started.
  • With more people working from home and accessing technology more often, this allows brokerages to work more efficiently and quickly, getting more things done than ever before.
  • Technology is being harnessed as well in other areas of the business. Videos, for example, are being incorporated as a marketing, branding, and educational tool. Brokerages see growth in this area as they continuously use these tools.
  • The pandemic gives brokerages an opportunity to assess how they prospect for new business. This allows them to see which businesses are more heavily affected than others, and what decisions to make to mitigate losses from these businesses.
  • Brokerages see an opportunity in the area of consultation. Knowledge of the current industry conditions and what clients can do in terms of what investments to go for or how to negotiate better for properties can be leveraged by brokers to serve as a trusted advisor in this time of uncertainty.
  • Despite an increase in the use of technology, brokerages aren’t discarding old-school approaches of communication, such as phone calls, to keep in touch with new and existing clients. If anything, this old-fashioned way of communication remains effective at a time when everyone is ordered to stay at home.
  • With the pandemic breeding uncertainty, commercial investors are looking to spend investment capital on areas that are safer. Land investment has seen a sharp increase, while demand for multifamily and high-density residential properties, as well as industrial warehouses that can be used for manufacturing and distribution services, continues to climb.
  • An opportunity for redevelopment is likely to happen among old retail centers.
    More experienced agents with better resources and connections will emerge, replacing weaker agents.
  • Buyers and real estate investors with greater access to funds are taking advantage of downturns as owners lose their properties due to foreclosure or inability to pay mortgages. Once the economy starts rolling again, brokerages predict an increase in real estate activity when people start going out again and demanding to see more properties.
  • Business owners like restaurateurs and bar operators are expected to get built out spaces with buildout costs that have already been paid for by former tenants or building owners, allowing them to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

 

Evan Langert, The Langert Commercial Group

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Evan Langert broker

Opportunities are just starting to appear. I’ve been around through several cycles, and there are always people with access to funds that want to take advantage of downturns. On the other hand, property owners are going to do what they can to hold onto their properties.

That being said, as the months roll by, there will be an increasing number of owners that can’t pay their mortgages or other carrying costs, and they will have to sell or will be foreclosed upon.

Also, restaurateurs and bar owners with access to capital will be able to obtain second generation (already built out) spaces and will save hundreds of thousands (or more) in buildout costs that were paid for by building owners and/or failed tenants.

 

Eric Martin, Martin Realtors

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Eric Martin broker

For the Lubbock area, I expect that brokerages with a heavy reliance on technology will have an opportunity to gain market share, as prospective buyers and sellers will travel less. Virtual tours and other technological advances will allow real estate transactions to continue somewhat.

Also, real estate investors may experience an opportunity to buy more real estate. As the economy opens back up, pent-up demand could increase real estate activity, as people will get out more.

Getting a loan, maybe more difficult, as some Lubbock banks will allow prospective buyers to meet by-appointment only. This could make it more difficult for the prospective buyer or seller.

 

Lynn Richter, KW Commercial

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Lynn Richter broker

Brokers need to revisit how they prospect for new business. They need to see what businesses are being impacted to an extent of having to sublet space, lease more space, or which buildings need to be sold right now.

Consulting is also an area where there are opportunities. Buyers are revisiting which types of investments they should go after, i.e. the ANNN retail credit tenant might not be as attractive if they are not essential, and some buyers are changing the product type altogether, i.e. NNN retail changing to apartments only.

 

Doedi Meyer, Easter and Easter, REALTORS

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Doedi Meyer broker

For the real estate agent or broker who is diligent about staying informed about the current conditions in their market, as well as nationwide, this is an opportunity to reach out to educate and reassure those in their circle of clients, customers, and friends.

The current inventory, lending conditions, and job market in their area of geographic competence are key factors to be aware of, and they should be able to explain the ramifications. If they can do this and fully take advantage of this opportunity to be seen as a trusted advisor, the impact on business will only be positive.

 

Jerry Seay, Texas Realestate Team / KW Commercial

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Jerry Seay broker

I absolutely see growth. We have seen a sharp increase in demand for land investment. God’s not making any more dirt. We have all we’re going to have. The need for multifamily and high-density residential always climbs when this industry takes a hit.

We are closing transactions in dirt. Industrial warehouse/distribution/manufacturing markets are in higher demand now. You will see manufacturing businesses moving back to production in the USA due to this awakening. When chaos exists, there is both danger and opportunity.

 

Tyler Alberson, HoM Realty

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Tyler Alberson broker

We have started to rely more on social media videos for interaction with our agents and clients. Though we were incorporating videos into our marketing, branding, and education, the pandemic has forced us to grow in this area.

We are seeing an increased use of technology like Matterport cameras. I do a fair share of investing and we are seeing the need to get creative with financing. Owner-financed options are proving to be a useful tool during these times.

 

Jeffrey Jones, Advanced Business Brokers, Inc.

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Jeffrey Jones broker

Yes, it has forced those of us in real estate to find other ways to communicate with our clientele, such as using conference calling and video conferences. Much of our educational courses are now being offered online rather than in the classroom.

While some courses can work fine online, the in-class environment is much more conducive to learning from others in the class. The selling of businesses and real estate is still a people-to-people business that works best face-to-face.

 

Jay Arbizu, eXp Realty

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Jay-Arbizu Broker Associate

Many can now see the lack of necessity of a high-priced office. The space for virtual meetings and virtual tours has opened up (and almost really fast becoming the new norm), so people are getting comfortable buying without physically being in the house first.

That has been the case for many military buyers for a very long time, but it has now forced many more people to find it a viable alternative. I’m in a big military city and was in the military myself and have seen this trend go into the mainstream during the pandemic.

 

Jay Crane, Keller Williams Realty DFW – Southlake

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Jay Crane broker

There is a huge opportunity for real estate brokerages and agents to connect on a deeper level with their communities, friends and family, and also past clients. The old school approach of phone conversations are actually more effective recently with so many people abiding by the shelter-at-home directions.

Also, video has emerged as the new, trendy way of bringing large groups together, both with coworkers or friends/family.

 

Johnny Henion, Outlaw Realty

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Johnny Henion broker

For our buyer clients we have been able to help them actually negotiate money off the price of some home purchases. The multiple-offer situation calmed down a little and did provide that opportunity to negotiate.

Now, home values have not decreased but instead of paying 5-10K above list price, you may have been able to get 5-10K off list price. Of course, it depends on the area.

 

Rogers Healy, Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate

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Rogers Healy broker

I believe that this pandemic has taught us the importance of remaining connected with our people. We have all grown closer and stronger together. I also believe that once the light at the end of this tunnel gets a little closer, the real estate market is going to boom.

While staying home, people are wanting bigger homes with home gyms, nice office spaces, and big backyards – the world will still look different even when this is over.

 

Kenneth Zarella, Keller Williams Metropolitan

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Kenneth Zarella broker

I think the unexpected opportunities that have been created through this would be to find a way to work more efficiently.

There is so much technology that we all have access to and maybe we were not using, and this pandemic has given us a push to start using these things that make doing our tasks so much more quicker and efficient. As some of us are home schooling and working, it helps to get things done easier with technology.

 

Greg Cooper, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

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Greg Cooper broker

I focus on commercial real estate, and the uncertainty in the world causes capital to seek safety. So investors are looking at Austin as a safe place to park investment dollars. Also, there is a reshuffling that will occur with retail vacancies that will provide an opportunity to redevelop old retail centers.

And then in general, weaker agents drop out of markets with turbulence, which means more opportunities for experienced agents with resources and connections.

 

Jennifer Shemwell, Phyllis Browning Company

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Jennifer Shemwell broker

We have discovered new ways to communicate virtually with our clients and each other. We love our Zoom calls and are communicating more than ever before. We have also developed efficiencies in depositing earnest money, doing transactions, and curbside closings.

10
QUESTION

If you knew the impact of this situation on your business in advance, how would you prepare your business to mitigate your losses or even profit from it?

Key takeaways from the real estate brokers’ answers:

  • Mitigating losses in this time of pandemic means taking advantage of opportunities to evolve. A great way is to strengthen market intelligence and education.
  • While the impact of the pandemic has been truly catastrophic for several industries, brokerages have been flexible even before this event and have been effective in adopting several formats, such as working remotely, to operate efficiently.
  • It is likewise important to assess systems and workflows to see where brokerages can serve agents and customers better. As a result, brokers can provide an even better customer service while increasing per-person productivity post-pandemic.
  • Keeping a close eye on expenditures is a must to see where your spending is effective and where you should cut your losses. Even better, expenditures should be well thought out whether there is a pandemic or not.
  • Budget should be carefully reviewed to prepare for any kind of emergency.
  • Putting together a rainy day fund is a good way to weather any cash flow shortages.
  • Utilizing virtual tours and establishing effective communication strategies for clients is a smart way to prepare for any unexpected event.
  • Growing one’s team of agents is not only a good way to strengthen the business but also to help agents in need of training and support during trying times. Moreover, attracting agents with full commissions on a flat monthly fee can keep the business up and running.
  • To be successful in the brokerage business, there is a need to be forward thinking and look for several ways to accomplish tasks. Brokerages that invest in creative marketing and are ready to pick up where they left off will be more successful in braving the effects of the pandemic.

 

Rolando Leal, Site Specialists Realty Advisors LLC

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Rolando Leal broker

Every challenge creates opportunity and really necessitates our need to evolve. Right now is the time to strengthen market intelligence and education.

Brokerages have been able to function in several formats, and working remotely has been a minor adjustment for many. Brokerages may adjust to flex time allowing for brokers to continue working remotely, even when we get back to normal (so long as productivity goals are kept).

With respect to real estate transactions, we expect retailers to adjust their business models, reevaluate everything from store sizes to customer interaction to ultimately, sales flow.

 

Tyler Alberson, HoM Realty

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Tyler Alberson broker

Because we are set up on a flat monthly fee where agents take home 100% of their commission, I feel we are in a great position to add value to agents that are giving higher splits to their current broker.

Where many agents pay their current broker 20-50% of a commission which may add up to $15,000, we, on the other hand give the agent 100% of their commission for a monthly fee of $350. As agents take a hard look at their budget, I believe we are a good fit from the traditional brokerage model.

 

Jay Arbizu, eXp Realty

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Jay-Arbizu Broker Associate

I run a pretty lean marketing budget focused on a personal touch for my repeat and referral clients, so not much different there. But I would have better prepared myself to grow my team of agents since many couldn’t go to the office for training and many got nervous about monthly fees and cost, etc.

I would have been better prepared to offer a safe haven and alternative–even if it was just temporary until they got back to normal.

 

Evan Langert, The Langert Commercial Group

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Evan Langert broker

In times like these, any good business owner reviews expenses and revisits whether they are getting an appropriate return on investment. During up cycles, most of us will let iffy expenditures ride a little more to see if they pan out. However, in down cycles, it is a great idea to trim the fat. Still, we typically don’t overspend, and most of our expenses are carefully thought out even in up cycles.

 

David McEachern, Keller Williams Realty Chattahoochee North

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David McEachern broker

Fortunately at the end of each year, I do a cost analysis to see where we are spending and where it is being effective. So, we were in good shape coming into this. The biggest thing is to take a harsh look at what is making you money and what is not, and cutting out the dead weight right now.

 

Johnny Henion, Outlaw Realty

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Johnny Henion broker

Fortunately, we run a very tight ship and keep a close eye on expenditures. We were also fortunate to have put together a rainy day fund as a company and encourage our agents to do the same individually. Due to this, we have been able to weather any cash flow shortages.

 

Kenneth Zarella, Keller Williams Metropolitan

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Kenneth Zarella broker

We always look at our budget for the prior year and adjust. Had we known this, we would have taken a deeper look at everything even more. We always keep a pulse monthly on our expenses; however, when something like this occurs, you have to even have a keener eye on every dollar you spend.

 

Jennifer Welch, Amazing Realty

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Jennifer Welch broker

We were prepared in advance! We had virtual tours for all of our listings, and we had established communication strategies for our clients in place. Part of being successful in this business is having more than one way to accomplish tasks and being forward thinking.

 

Jay Crane, Keller Williams Realty DFW – Southlake

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Jay Crane broker

I would have ensured that I was fully prepared for a virtual world and would have already been utilizing all these tools we are using now. Tom Ferry has been claiming for a couple of years now that “video is king.” Little did he know just how clairvoyant he was.

 

Jennifer Shemwell, Phyllis Browning Company

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Jennifer Shemwell broker

Right now we are evaluating our workflow and systems. Where is the most value provided to our agents and our customers? In the end, we want to come through this with better customer service and higher per-person productivity.

 

Dane Thomson, Search Commercial

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Dane Thomson broker

It’s hard to mitigate losses when our income is based on completed sales and leasing transactions. To profit from all this will take some time, but extra creative marketing and being ready when things start back up will help us.

 

Rogers Healy, Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate

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Rogers Healy broker

Had we known this was coming, we would have definitely put some proactive strategies and measures in place. We actually pivoted pretty quickly and just continued with business as usual — even though it physically looked different.

 

Doedi Meyer, Easter and Easter, REALTORS

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Doedi Meyer broker

Make sure my CRM is up to date and functional, prepare to have access to reliable information on the market, jobs, and lending, both locally and nationally.

11
QUESTION

What marketing channels do you prefer to use during the pandemic over the rest and why?

Key takeaways from the real estate brokers’ answers:

  • Utilizing technology for virtual tours and meetings and maintaining a web presence via social media channels are important marketing tools that should be utilized in this time of pandemic.
  • Lead generation can be done at home, but users should create a conducive environment for accomplishing this task.
  • Working from home allows real estate professionals to still go to work, email their clients and referrals, meet with prospects, tour homes, and close deals without coming to a physical office. This new work arrangement has proven to be more cost-efficient and productive.
  • Communication, either through video conferencing tools like Zoom or traditional phone calls, remains a great way to establish connection with clients, especially now that people are in their homes and have more time to connect with people.
  • Directly offering services is also a smart move to remain in business. For example, brokerages can offer their services to banks for foreclosures and short sales since these transactions are inevitable in times of crisis.

Andrea Grimm, The Grimm Real Estate Group brokered by eXp

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Andrea Grimm broker

I have been able to enjoy the time catching up with people either online or Zoom and phone calls more than ever. Let’s face it: We are all home right now and have the time to communicate better than before.

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and routines before, we were certainly missing out on what’s important. I have always considered the people I’ve worked with for almost 23 years in this business my friends and family. This time has been nice to connect with them more frequently.

 

Jay Arbizu, eXp Realty

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Jay-Arbizu Broker Associate

I think eXp has successfully proven that a brokerage can transfer the entire brokerage process to a work-from-home setup. That is way more cost-efficient and more productive, too.

Other offices had to shut down and we not only stayed open with business as usual. We added classes. We had an International Shareholder Summit with over 9,500 attendees from 27 different countries. We added hundreds of new agents. We continued production, training, and support. As a result, we had a profitable Q1 putting millions into the bank.

 

Lynn Richter, KW Commercial

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Lynn Richter broker

We can utilize our cloud-based databases. However, in commercial, the losses are not caused by working at home or not; they are caused by the effect of COVID on the businesses of the client and prospective client.

We can use video and use safety standards to show space, etc. However, if the client is now working from home, do they need that office space? If the non-essential retail business has no customers and is closed and not apt to open their first store, now they are not going to open their second store, etc.

 

Rogers Healy, Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate

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Rogers Healy broker

Thankfully, our real estate agents already knew how to work from home. We have a full-time staff in our office, and real estate agents that would come and work in our physical office as well. Thankfully our agents can still work, meet with clients, tour homes, and close deals without our physical office being open. We are still here to help them 24/7.

 

Kenneth Zarella, Keller Williams Metropolitan

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Kenneth Zarella broker

I think the lead generation access can definitely be done from home. However, you must find and create that space, as we call a “bunker” and make sure you are not disturbed. You can wake up, do your morning routine, and not have to travel to start your lead gen.

 

Jeffrey Jones, Advanced Business Brokers, Inc.

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Jeffrey Jones broker

I can watch webinars, do industry research, and send emails to my referral network and clientele from home, albeit, I work long hours at the office and when I get home, I am tired and do not really want to spend more time working.

 

Doedi Meyer, Easter and Easter, REALTORS

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Doedi Meyer broker

As long as we have a computer, we can work from home. This includes contacting clients via Zoom if necessary, arranging virtual tours of homes, and maintaining a web presence on social media, etc.

 

Joni Freeman, JL Marsaw & Co Realtors

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Joni Freeman broker

I conduct meetings, do property tours online, and utilize electronic management of contracts and intuitive online presence.

 

Becca Reese, Keys 2 It All, LLC

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Becca Reese broker

I’m going to be offering my services to my bank for foreclosures and short sales. They are inevitable.

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