Welcome to this month’s installment of “Ask the Industry,” where we ask real estate professionals — brokers, agents, MLS executives, and more — their thoughts about timely topics related to the real estate industry.
Today’s post features:
- Katie Lance, CEO & Founder at Katie Lance Consulting
- Stephanie Vitacco, Broker & Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Inc.
- Ali Sherbach, Agent with Sherbach Team with Compass
With the Delta variant renewing fears about the pandemic and forcing some companies to delay plans to bring workers back, what is your advice for agents to help calm buyers and sellers who may be reluctant to wade into the market at this time?
Being mindful and respectful of different comfort levels is of the utmost importance
“I think the best way to calm anyone feeling a bit frazzled is to ask lots of questions so you can get to the source of their anxiety. For sellers, if their fear is being exposed to the Delta variant, ask if it would be helpful if we had a strict protocol in place for showing their home.That could mean requiring proof of vaccination, masks being worn during appointments, showing the home by appointment only, or even having a virtual tour be the first step before an in person showing. For buyers, if their fear is job loss should we need to quarantine again, ask if it would be helpful if they had a mortgage contingency in their offer. Meaning if their mortgage fell through because they were no longer employed, they would be able to walk away from the purchase without penalty. Being mindful and respectful of everyone’s level of comfort is of the utmost importance right now. And as real estate agents, we all need to remember that our level of comfort may be different from our clients’, so we need to make sure we fully understand what makes them feel as safe as possible and act accordingly.”
Ali Sherbach, Agent, Sherbach Team with Compass, Brooklyn, NY
Utilize social media to host virtual open houses
“I think it’s important for real estate agents and brokers to meet buyers and sellers where they are and understand that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to the variants. I highly recommend agents and brokers become familiar with how to host virtual open houses (https://youtu.be/94tnkD6utiM) for their sellers. Offer this as an option to help control the number of people through a home. Also, virtual open houses can help to generate great quality leads who are genuinely interested and qualified. Second, for buyers – if you are representing a buyer – I recommend you get familiar with some of the tools available to preview homes for your clients. One of the easiest ways to do this is through Facebook Live – but you can set your settings to just go live to you and your client. One reason to do this versus a traditional video is that video files can be massive and tough to send back and forth to your clients. A Facebook Live is quick and it’s a recorded video that they can refer back to.”
Katie Lance, CEO & Founder, Katie Lance Consulting, Pleasanton, CA
Buyers and sellers will weather the storm
“On the buying side, if a buyer is concerned or frazzled about getting into the market, it is important to know that interest rates are at a historically low point. If you are planning on being in a property for five to seven years, you will weather any storm. Buying is also much better than paying rent. If you take the amount of rent you pay over five to seven years and then compare it against what that would look like if you purchased — it usually always makes sense. On the selling side, there really are not a lot of frazzled sellers because it is such a strong market.”
Stephanie Vitacco, CEO of Team Vitacco & Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Inc., Los Angeles, CA