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This year has brought much uncertainty to the real estate industry. Because of social distancing, sellers are unsure if now is the right time to list their home. Although the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S is complicating real estate transactions, agents are finding new and innovative ways to close deals across the country. If you are selling your home this spring, here are a few tips that should help throughout the process. 

Post high quality listing photos.

Homebuyers are always looking to see high quality photographs in home listings. There are several steps a seller can take to potentially improve the quality of these photos. This includes removing clutter, making repairs, repainting walls, investing in upgrades, and proper staging. 

Price your home to sell.

Many sellers are pricing their homes below what they would otherwise list their homes for before the pandemic began. Although COVID-19 is affecting home values in the U.S, it is important to remember that the impacts are temporary. With this, it is likely a mistake to list your home far below you think your home would otherwise be worth. Also, pay attention to comparable prices right now and not just older sales. A seller can gain a better understanding of their market if they can gain an understanding of what similar homes are under contract for currently. 

Prepare for negotiations.

Because of COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place by government officials, buyers have more bargaining power than usual. With this, more negotiation may be needed to close on your home. Home sellers need to be ready for additional negotiations even after they get to contract. Because there is much uncertainty in the real estate market, you may need to be more flexible with your negotiations to close on the deal.

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In many ways, a real estate agent's online presence is incomplete without social media. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, social media continues to be one of the best tools for real estate agents to connect with prospective clients. If used effectively, social media giants like Facebook and Instagram can be used to gain market share during this time of social distancing. With this, agents can benefit tremendously from posting relevant content to their social platforms.

In 2020, Millennials are a dominant force in the housing market. Because the younger generations of homebuyers use social media as a tool throughout their home search, real estate agents should continue to post content to their social media pages. People, in general, are spending a considerable amount of time scrolling through their social media news feeds during the COVID-19 pandemic. An agent looking to engage with buyer and seller clients at this time should look to market updates, home listings, and other significant happenings within the real estate industry. 

People love social media and rely on various platforms like Twitter as news sources. An agent looking to strengthen their real estate brand should continue to post content while people are staying at home. However, the posts should be well-timed and respectful to the current conditions in our country. For example, posts about the current low interest rates or about how now is a great time to buy a home are ideal at this time. Because people are staying at home, now is not the best time to share posts about things such as fun activities to do in the local area. An agent should strive to post simple and engaging content that appeals to prospective clients. This will help an agent grow their online following, which will prove to be beneficial over time.

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Many Americans are working from home in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For many, this can be a challenging transition because they are accustomed to an office-type setting. However, it is possible to remain productive during these times of social distancing. If you are a real estate agent, you are having to make the switch from client-facing to other forms of digital communications. While working from home as a real estate agent can present a variety of challenges, there are steps an agent can take to remain productive while at working from home.

Designate your workspaces.

Do you know which areas of your home that you can use as workspaces? By setting certain areas of your home as designated workspaces, you can associate these areas with work. If possible, try to avoid these areas when you are done working from the day. This is because you want your brain to have a clear separation from work and your home life. It is significantly harder to make this distinction when you are working from home and not driving to your office every day. 

Create a work schedule for the day.

It can be challenging for many people to stay on task when they are working from the comfort of their homes. This is why it is beneficial to set a daily schedule to keep yourself on track for the day. It does not matter if you create one with a pen and paper or have it on your computer or phone. You just want it somewhere where you can quickly access so you reference it throughout the day. When creating your schedule/checklist, be sure that you prioritize tasks in order of importance. For example, if your most pressing task is to get in touch with a client, be sure that you put that at the top of your schedule. If you need even more structure, you can take this one step further by assigning rough timeframes next to each task.

Don’t forget to get up and move around.

Most real estate agents spend a lot of time on their feet during the day. Between meeting with clients and showing homes, a real estate agent generally spends a considerable amount of time walking around. With this, it can be tough for some agents to transition to sitting at a desk for most of the day. It is important for all workers, not just real estate agents, to remember to take breaks and walk around throughout the workday. Exercise is important for not only our physical health but our mental health as well. 

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The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has led government officials to enforce social distancing and other preventative measures. Many people are unaware that the real estate market is still going strong as there continues to be a demand for the buying and selling of homes this spring. During these challenging times, real estate agents need to transition from many traditional real estate practices to more modern approaches. With the availability of technology, agents can continue to work through various digital applications. 

Email continues as one of the more favorable methods of communication among business professionals this year. It is an excellent way to connect with people who are in different locations. Many agents are now revamping their existing email newsletters to include more information about their business. In other words, instead of only including links to property listings in your email blasts, consider including things like announcements, upcoming events, videos, online reviews, and links to your social media channels.

Another effective way to communicate with home buyers and sellers during this time of social distancing is through your Facebook page. Because people are quarantined at home, people are spending a significant amount of time on their social media accounts to interact with others. With this, be sure that you are spending time each week maintaining an active presence on your Facebook page. This is an excellent place for prospective buyers to post questions about your services, as well as a great place for you to post updates regarding the market and your services. Also, do not be afraid to share a wide variety of content, such as posts about the local community by highlighting small businesses. 

In 2020, we also have mobile apps at our disposal which allow real estate agents to not only market home listings but interact directly with clients. Popular shared video platforms include Zoom and Facetime, as they are viable options during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Over the last several weeks, social distancing and other preventative measures have been taken to reduce the spreading of COVID-19 in the United States. Americans are buying an excess of hand sanitizers, cleaning products, and face masks to protect themselves from the novel virus. While we must take steps to protect our health as individuals, we must also be mindful of small businesses during these challenging times. Despite the new norm set forth by social distancing measures, here are four key ways to support your local small businesses during COVID-19. 

Order takeout 

While many restaurants and bars are closed to the public, some are offering takeout only options to their customers. With a quick online search, you can easily see which restaurants in your local area are open for pickup or delivery. You can still practice social distancing by showing your support of nearby restaurants by ordering takeout a few times a week. Not only will you be giving yourself a break from cooking every meal, but you will be sending revenue to restaurants who need revenue at this time.

Purchase branded merchandise

We live in a digital age where many small businesses have both their own website and online store. If you want to support small businesses in your area, now is a great time to purchase branded merchandise such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, bumper stickers, phone cases, and other items that small businesses typically sell. 

Advertise with positive reviews

You can never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Positive reviews of a local business can spread like wildfire. Not only should you tell your friends and family members of open businesses, but you should also consider giving them some publicity over your social media accounts. You can do this by directing your online friends to their websites, creating your own posts, or resharing their content. 

Purchase gift cards

Many businesses today sell gift cards to their customers. During this period of social distancing, now is a great time to see if some of your favorite local businesses are selling gift cards online. By doing so, you are showing your support by suggesting to them that you will continue to be their customer even when COVID-19 subsides.

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Before the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, it was common practice for a real estate agent to meet with multiple people on any given day. Because real estate agents work in an industry that relies heavily on in-person meetings, they have had to shift gears with their day-to-day operations. Although some buyers and sellers are indeed holding off their real estate plans at this time, there are still many people who want to get a deal done this spring. Here are some steps that real estate agents can take to protect their physical health while working during COVID-19.

Practice social distancing 

Social distancing is one of the best ways we can prevent the spread of the virus. For the last several weeks, government officials have asked people to stay home whenever possible. If you need to meet with a client, be sure that you are keeping a distance of at least six feet. While this may make it difficult to connect with your clients, it is in everyone’s best interest to practice social distancing. 

Be well-equipped

There will come a point where an agent will need to meet clients in person or step inside a home. This is why real estate agents need to be well-equipped with hand sanitizers, gloves, and masks. It is also a good idea to have extra for your clients as well. 

Encourage virtual tours 

The COVID-19 outbreak has many real estate agents transitioning over to virtual tours. They have been extremely popular over the last several weeks as an alternative to in person home showings. Not only do they support the concept of social distancing, but they are time savers and help home buyers to narrow down their search. They allow buyers to gain a sense of what a home looks like from behind the screen of a digital device. Real estate agents should be encouraging buyers and sellers to use virtual tours during the COVID-19 to promote everyone’s safety.

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