How We Adapted: A Real Estate Case Study

How an In Person Business Adapted During Covid-19

Events aren’t dead, they are just going to look different.

The truth of the matter is, in-person sales is the primary source of revenue for any real estate business. But even during a contactless crisis, as is the current pandemic we are living through, business can’t stop. In Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. Danger is easy to see, opportunity takes a mindset shift, but it is just as present as the danger.

During her #BizhackLive Allison Goldberg, head of marketing at The Related Group, said, “Covid-19 has provided us with an opportunity to be innovative.” Events aren’t dead, they are just going to look different. She talked about how The Related Group has shifted their marketing and sales efforts to continue promoting what they believe in- quality and community. Full recap below.

Stay safe,
Dan

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Recap: How We Adapted: A Real Estate Case Study with Allison Goldberg

Pivoting in Real Estate

The primary source of sales in real estate is nose-to-nose. People want to see what they are investing in and meet with a real person. After all, buying / leasing a home is one of the biggest money decisions we make.

When your business needs to pivot visit these few points:

  • Check your 3 P’s (Price, Product, Personnel)
  • Take it back to the basics – retrain your team
  • Use technology – 3D virtual tours, image and video content, Facetime
  • Mention procedures and protocols your business is taking (make your people feel comfortable)
  • Safety is an absolutely essential marketing tool
  • And remember, marketing and sales go hand in hand!

What was happening at The Related Group was, they were providing all of the right tools but the team did not know how to use them so that didn’t work either. It is very different having an in-person meeting, where you can have dialogue with a client, as opposed to giving them a virtual tour.

It is important to retrain your team (ex: role play of a virtual tour) to make sure they know how to use the tools and make customers feel comfortable. Do not be afraid to address the elephant in the room- Covid-19 in this case. Reassure your clients that your business is taking all the safety precautions necessary.

The Stage of Sales during a Pandemic

The pandemic hit and The Related Group goes into crisis mode. Business can’t stop, but they realize that their traditional level of service is being compromised by the lockdown. The numbers went down and they turned to technology to bring their buildings to the potential client.

As restrictions subsided in May, Related Group buildings in northern parts began in-person tours again. They implemented a whole series of protocols from signing an agreement to temperature checks, masks, etc. to get themselves in a place where they can do safe, contactless in-person tours.

Now, it’s been five-alarm fires in the last two weeks. Leasing numbers are going down and they are working on new innovative ideas.

Safety is an Essential Marketing Tool

Make your community and potential clients feel comfortable and safe. Communicate that it is safe to live in AND tour your properties and reassure them you are taking all the safety measures necessary to keep your team and them safe.
At The Related Group they are constantly demonstrating how they genuinely care about their people:

  • Wearing masks
  • Hiring extra cleaning staff
  • Having package runners in their buildings
  • Allowing no delivery personnel in their buildings

Community and Real Estate Intersect

Real estate is not particularly well known for philanthropy, but at The Related Group and for Jorge Perez, president and CEO, redefining cities and skylines and reshaping communities is at the forefront of everything they do.

At the Related Group it is an everyday thing to go from one of the top condo projects, where condos are going for millions of dollars, and end up at Liberty Square involved in community meetings.

Every single building, whether it be an affordable job in Liberty Square or a top condo job, is infused with art. It is the notion that beautiful homes and public art shouldn’t just be for the wealthy, it should be for everyone.

With each project that is completed there is a coffee table book that lists all the pieces in the building and who the artist is so that the residence can have a sense of pride for the art they are living with and understand it.

In a currently contactless world, it is important to continue providing quality service to your customers / community. The Related buildings are known for curating resident events to help them feel more connected. They have now shifted to virtual events that still promote bringing people together (ex: patio parties that residents can enjoy from their balconies).

In the end, marketing and real estate are both about creating a connection, human to human, and times are calling for us to be more innovative.

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