COVID-19 and Real Estate: Leigh Brown Shares Re-branding Tips for Realtors

by Joe Sesso on May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone and every industry over the past two months, and many wonder how long it will last. Leigh Brown, one of the country’s most influential real estate professionals, weighed in on this and more as a guest on our Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group for a live session. She also shared some ideas about how Realtors can re-brand themselves during these uncertain times.
Leigh Brown image Leigh Brown

It may be hard to believe, but real estate transactions are still taking place today. Real estate has been deemed an essential business by state governments, and while the market has definitely slowed down, people still need to buy and sell. Many transactions were initiated prior to the nationwide lock down, which created some nerve-wracking situations between buyers and sellers. Brown said that it is critical for agents to, “Protect your current transactions.” She said that in addition to being real estate experts, Realtors are “professional problem solvers,” and she joked that they should even add the term on their business cards. Problems often arise in the course of a real estate transaction, whether it be with a home inspection, appraisal, financing or some other issue. When these problems do come up, it’s the Realtor that usually solves the problem and keeps the deal together.

#BeTheResource

Brown added that although these are challenging times, Realtors still need to solve problems. It’s just a different set of problems. Buyers and sellers (and soon to be buyers and sellers) are more unsure than ever, so this is a great opportunity for agents to step up and be the resource of information. Brown even uses the hashtag #BeTheResource in many of her social media posts. Agents should be calling their clients and prospects, but with a different approach than usual.

“When calling, it’s important to be the helper first,” said Brown. Start with a discussion about how they are doing with their health and safety, as well as what they and their family have been doing to adjust to the situation. Many times the conversation will turn to real estate, because they are concerned about the market and would want to discuss it with a Realtor. But not everyone. If they don’t bring up real estate, should you? Since it is a difficult time for many, when it comes to discussing real estate, Brown advocated asking for permission first. Asking something such as, “Is it OK for me to do my job and ask you a question,” may be a good starting point.

Tips for Re-Branding

If you have more free time and are seeking to gain real estate certifications, Brown said the NAR is offering deep discounts on products and free classes for such designations as CRS for members. Gaining new certifications is a great way to re-brand yourself as an expert in a particular real estate discipline.

Another re-branding idea is becoming an investment property expert. If you have clients that own or are looking to purchase investment properties, the NAR has a great resource that is available, FinancialWellness.Realtor. This assessment tool can help agents and their clients evaluate rental properties, to help determine the best investment decisions. Some agents are even hosting Zoom webinars with clients and prospects, and using this tool to do live evaluations.

Other Thoughts

Brown also believes that there will be a lasting effect of some of the technology advances that have been recently made. Zoom meetings, electronic notary and paperless transactions may become the standard even after stay-at-home orders are lifted and things get back to normal, as more real estate professionals gain confidence in using them.

Brown also shared some thoughts about how to fill the void left by iBuyers, now that they have (temporarily) left the market. I will cover this in my next blog post.

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