Tips In Overcoming The Real Estate Downturn
More than a year after the first COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are still scrambling to recover from its repercussions. Sadly, 10% of these businesses remained closed as of June, while 46% were partially operational. Only 44% of the domestic businesses reopened. With the threat of the Delta and Lambda variants, the country is also threatened with more lockdowns. Although these measures are for the greater good, they are most certainly not good for business.
Now, this begs the question: what should you do when you’re experiencing a downturn? Most especially if you’re in the real estate industry, what would you do when assets that used to hold the greatest human density were hardest hit? Properties like student housing, rental properties, lodging, regional malls, and healthcare facilities steadily declined in demand and usage. If they are no longer in demand, income from the same would also significantly decline.
You can do something about it
When it comes to one’s livelihood and sources of income, we can’t just wait things out. If your commercial building or residential rental properties are out of business, you can still do something about it. For example, you can revisit your floor plan and convert enclosed spaces into an open layout. This conversion will be helpful within the short term and can also prove beneficial in the long run as no one can be certain when the pandemic will end.
It’s also helpful if you move towards digitalization. While face-to-face interaction is still the best way to go, it’s not safe and practical these days. So, to make your business move, why not explore the idea of holding virtual showings and open houses, virtual and augmented reality, and personalized, targeted, and omnichannel sales?
If you’re into real estate and you’re wondering what else could be done and how else can you move forward, here are some ideas to help you out.
Improve relationships with existing tenants and businesses
Whether you’re a real estate agency, property owner, or independent real estate agent, you need to ensure your clients’ safety and protection. This is the right time to gain their trust and loyalty by communicating and checking with them. You can also ask how else you can make them feel safer on the property. It is during this time that they feel most uncertain and overwhelmed. Your assurance and empathy could go a long way in helping your property continue to bring business.
In B2B environments, it would help if management teams and CEOs join hands with property managers in reaching out to their tenants. The tenants will surely remember the kind and thoughtful gesture. It can also improve relationships almost right away. This act is an example of going above and beyond to ensure your tenants continue to do business with you.
Make everything virtual
According to a study conducted by the University of Naples, the real estate market may have been heavily hit by the pandemic. Still, after a rest period, they’re expecting a slow yet steady increase in industry demands. This is a piece of welcome news among real industry players. It means that whatever losses they’re experiencing are temporary.
While waiting for the dust to settle, you can still continue leasing and selling properties. However, you need to make the whole process safe for both parties. For example, if you have rental properties, you can continue advertising while ensuring that self-check-in and check-out are available. Apart from that, make your communication lines open to address tenant issues right away.
If you’re selling properties, invest time and resources in virtual open houses. You can dress up the property as usual and schedule virtual house visits accordingly. You might need to go the extra mile in terms of showcasing every nook and cranny of the property, but it’s a safer and more practical option for everyone. Plus, you can even cater to possible clients who are from different geographical locations.
While people may complain about being six feet apart, everybody will indeed be looking for their own space. This is precisely why buyers won’t stop buying properties. Especially now that one’s home is the safest place to be, the demand for residential properties in less populated areas could increase. As a real estate player, you need to make this work to your advantage.
Invest in technology and optimization
People spend most of their time glued to their screens looking for things to buy or invest in. Studies even show that 79% of the adult population owns a smartphone and spends 2 hours and 34 minutes on the phone per day. These numbers suggest an extreme demand and lucrative market for services accessible through interactive apps and online platforms for business owners like you.
Make this trend work to your advantage by making your real estate listings or platforms highly intuitive and fully optimized. With a better user experience, you can encourage customers to make a purchase. Take this chance to impress possible property buyers on the key features of the properties you’re selling. Highlight safety and privacy since these are the two things that people are looking for during the pandemic.
Look at the bigger picture and think of ways to innovate. When there is low or no demand for the kind of real estate property or service you offer, start a revolution by creating demands. Despite the supposed economic crisis, you could see in Facebook groups like Home Buddies that people are investing in their homes — some are beautifying their properties while others are purchasing their dream homes. You could also see the rise of YouTubers, TikTokers, and vloggers that capitalize on content that revolves around things that can be done within the house. Right now, home cooking, fitness challenges, and house flipping are a few of the hottest trends.
These are perfect opportunities for you to create demands for the kind of real estate you’re immersed in. Slater Young, for example, started building high-end and technologically advanced Skypods that awed many. You see, the pandemic did not stop him from selling this million-dollar idea and homes to his target market. In essence, he created a demand that cut across various economic barriers.
There are plenty of ways to create these demands, but the most effective and timely is through influencer marketing. The answer to market oversaturation and steep competition is investing in influencer marketing. This business strategy allows you to enlist individuals with a high social media follower base to promote and market your real estate website, property listings, and other real estate services.
This is a hybrid strategy that effectively combines newer social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram with traditional word-of-mouth advertising. This allows you to reach and get in front of millions or even billions of potential property buyers who may have or may not have seen your property listings before.
Aside from reaching a bigger audience, this marketing strategy also boosts your credibility because an actual person shows why they should invest in real estate nowadays. In this situation, the influencer adds the human element of storytelling that used to be only possible with traditional advertising.
The concept may sound simple, and when executed correctly, everything will look seamless and natural. However, what’s behind the scene is more complex. Before your chosen influencers publish the posts that will promote your properties or services, you need to research and choose the right influencers and the most suitable platform. You also need to build a good relationship with them, draft a campaign, and establish clear goals.
Why act now?
While you take your time waiting for the global situation to get better, your competition is getting ahead. They’re surely thinking of ways on how to sell the properties on their list. This means that every second you waste thinking twice is also a second invested in their favor. Over time, the gap between you and them will just keep on getting more significant. If you want to be the real estate agency or agent that’s on your users’ top of mind, invest in your selling and upkeep strategies now.
As you already know by now, acting quickly and creatively can solve any kind of problem faster and easier. Instead of sulking and blaming the circumstance, work aggressively to widen your potential user reach, thereby increasing your business opportunities. Though the marketing process sounds and looks simple, there are many factors to consider to develop a successful real estate campaign.
Time is always of the essence when trying to salvage something that’s nearly sinking. However, most situations are not as worse as our expectations. The same is true with the impacts of the pandemic on the real estate industry. While rental properties and the sale of commercial buildings and residential properties slowed down, it was only temporary. The industry is bound to recover as the key players find ways and means to continue their operation. Like them, you must learn to ride the tide and innovate. At the end of the day, just like other things, the pandemic will pass. We all just need to survive; even it means taking it one day at a time.