This post is in partnership with Master Lock but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the current world of unknowns, there’s one thing that’s for sure– things are going to change in a number of industries due to COVID-19, and the real estate industry will be on the forefront. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I post heavily about the need and power of adapting to the current environment. And in real estate, those that resist adapting will be left behind. What do I expect and how am I adjusting?
According to the National Association of Realtors, about a quarter of Realtors said “they’ve sold a home in the past few weeks to buyers who only saw the home virtually.” This means, virtual tours aren’t just an option, but a necessity in business and if you want to be successful in real estate, you’ve got to change with the times.
Virtual and FaceTime property tours are not a new concept as they are something I’ve been doing for years. I don’t want my clients to miss out on opportunities because they are not able to physically be present. How do I give an appropriate virtual tour? As my clients’ Realtor and Advisor, I literally am their “eyes.” I show them the property itself, but also give them perspective of the space and flow by walking through slowly and providing measurements of spaces–it’s important for them to “feel” what I am showing them despite not physically being able to. I display the views and amenities and surrounding areas so that they’re able to truly get a sense of what’s around, without being around.
If my client isn’t a sight-unseen type of buyer, it still really helps me streamline options for them by showing them the property in advance and assisting me in knowing their likes and dislikes so I’m better prepared with the best options possible for when they arrive in town. I’ve also found that my clients truly appreciate the extra effort of giving them the chance to remotely “see” and understand the property and the surrounding areas and showing them what’s out there without them needing to be there in-person.
Lock boxes have been around for years but today they can truly transform a business. Because of COVID, I’ve been forced to think of more efficient and effective ways to run my real estate business and investment portfolio, and my portable Master Lock Bluetooth® Lock Box has truly been a lifesaver.
Being a real estate investor, I used to have keypads on all my properties whether they are vacation rentals, annual rentals or buildings– but with the use of keypads, I saw limitations. If I have an Airbnb guest or tenant that loses their key or has an issue with their keypad, I cannot immediately assist them. At times my properties need repair work, but I cannot meet the repairman for keys and, in worst case scenarios, I may need to entirely revoke access from some people.
Because of these downfalls, I sought out a better option, and fortunately was able to find one that literally has it all. With Master Lock Vault Enterprise, I’m able to remotely give access (and revoke access) to keys whenever needed. I know exactly when people received the key, and when they put it back in the lock box, giving me the ability to increase accountability with an audit trail of who accessed devices and overall, feeling a lot more secure.
As an “old school” Realtor who likes to be present to physically show and sell all my properties, many may think I have no use for a lock box. But I have found that keeping a key at my office and using a lockbox is essential in today’s world and helps me manage property access. Some days, I wish I had a clone so I could be at multiple places at the same time, especially with the boom in buyers in my current market. Master Lock Vault Enterprise has allowed me to be efficient as ever because now, even with a moment’s notice, I know I can be at my listing quickly without having to make a second stop to my office to grab a key.
While a lock box allows property access without a Realtor being present, I’m big on always being on-site to meet and greet the Buyer and their agent and show and sell my listings. However, despite the fact that I am showing the property myself, I still have the Buyer’s agent register their info within the ShowingTime app.
Because the Master Lock Bluetooth® Lock Box can be connected to ShowingTime, I am able to receive pertinent information like which real estate agents showed my listing, what time they showed it, their brokerage information and, most importantly, feedback from those agents which removes an extra step of me having to write down all this information manually. This tracking is received and organized in the ShowingTime app which can be accessed from the mobile app or computer‒keeping me as organized and efficient as ever.
Constantly following real estate news
I cannot stress the importance of staying on top of your game and learning the ever-changing rules and regulations not only of your neighborhood, city, or state, but also around the country. The last thing you want to be is an uneducated Realtor who’s unaware of what’s happening in their industry.
As I am writing this blog today, the real estate market is reported to be quite strong–something that most people (even the “experts”) didn’t expect. I recently tried scheduling 4 homes to show my client and as I called to schedule them– 3 went under contract leaving me with only one option to show! Mortgage rates are extremely low and depending on the market and situation you’re in, opportunities are present and available as both a buyer and a seller. And with that information, I’m able to properly educate and assist my clients providing them with knowledge and statistics.
Educate yourself people! Read various outlets, watch videos, follow the news! COVID changed everything out of nowhere and there was no playbook to follow by to know what was and is going to happen next. Now more than ever, Buyers and Sellers are relying on us as real estate professionals to help guide them through the unknowns of whether to buy, sell, rent, hold, and so on. Maybe the saying is overplayed, but knowledge truly is power and providing up-to-date information to my clients so that they can make the best decision for them is truly valuable.