While it’s true that depending upon where you are in the United States (or beyond), the impact of CoVID-19 on your work may be quite different. Here in California (as in much of the United States), most people are working from home as much as possible. Real estate professionals are considered as essential employees, but that doesn’t change the fact that the panorama and the way we conduct business has changed.
If you want to be afloat as an agent when the dust has settled on the pandemic, here are 3 changes you need to make to your business right now in order to survive.
Survive the Pandemic – 3 Changes You Need to Make to Your Business Right Now
1. Be effective, not efficient. In Tim Ferriss’ groundbreaking book, The 4-Hour Work Week, he provides a step-by-step blueprint to free yourself from the shackles of a 40-hour job, create a business to fund the lifestyle of your dreams, and live life like a millionaire, without actually having to be one. Of course, it may not be possible to live the life of your dreams while sheltering in place, but Ferriss’s big tip about being effective still stands.
Most people measure productivity by the time spent working, but that’s not a good indicator; we often waste time. Ferriss suggests spending your time effectively: on the 20% of things that get you 80% of the results, and not vice versa. Ferriss states: “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important”. Instead of focusing on doing as much as you can while at home, focus on doing the few things that will lead to the biggest rewards or outcomes.
2. Consider a recession-proof business model. Newsflash! Unless we wake up tomorrow and the virus is gone, it is going to take a very long time for the economy to bounce back. Sadly, it is going to get worse before it gets better. With this in mind, consider which buyers or sellers are going to need your help? Consider new target markets, new scripts, and different marketing strategies to reach the people who will need your help in a down economy.
It is also a good idea to consider the types of buyers and sellers that might be in the market no matter the condition. Consider essential employees, federal employees, including the military. Develop ideas for getting in front of line workers that will continue to buy and sell no matter what.
3. Consider a way to work smarter, not harder. Think about ways to work with fewer clients and make the same amount of money. One such way to do that is by working with investors—either those that flip properties or those who participate in an IRS 1031 Exchange.
Investors who flip properties often give the listing agent who represents them in the purchase the opportunity to represent them in the sale. And, if you are in a state that permits dual agency, you could also represent the buyer (3 deals in one)! Or, target long time investor owners who want to purchase in a like-kind exchange. In this way, not only do you represent the seller, but they are required to identify their property within 45 days. Thus, you have 2 closings in less than 2 months!
While working in this unique and challenging time may not be as much “fun” as you’re accustomed to, there is definitely a way to succeed. If you aren’t happy with your current projected closings, pivot quickly, and assess the changes you need to make right now in order to be successful in 2020 and beyond.