As a real estate professional, you’ve felt the effects of COVID-19. Prop Data launched a survey to understand the industry's plan to get back to business safely and successfully. The results are in and the insights are eye opening. Take a look and use them to plan your next move.Insight 1: You found a way to stay in business
COVID-19 has been a definite challenge. But, you’ve managed to stay in business. Our first insight found that 50% of you said you were able to win new mandates during stages 4 and 5 of lockdown. Staff were engaged during this period. It’s one of the reasons you felt neutral or optimistic about the future and your ability to recover.
Insight 2: You spotted unique customer opportunities
You didn’t let COVID-19 pressures overwhelm you. In fact, many of you spotted unique customer opportunities. 42% of real estate professionals spotted sellers looking to sell due to financial pressures, a nod to current tough economic conditions. 74% of real estate professionals spotted higher-than-normal first-time buyers, investors, and repeat buyers in their markets.
Insight 3: Your earnings took a serious hit
Deeds offices being closed for most of the lockdown was an issue. Even when they opened, there were backlogs and ongoing disruptions. Professionals were also restricted without face-to-face time with customers and property inaccessibility. This greatly impacted the earnings of agents. Agencies also struggled. 63% of agencies experienced more than a 75% drop in revenue over the period.
Insight 4: Motivation and morale haven’t been easy
Besides earnings, staff motivation was also a stumbling block during the lockdown. 40% of business leaders said staff motivation and focus was a challenge during lockdown levels 4 and 5. Low earnings and disrupted patterns was an obvious cause. 35% of professionals revealed their salaries had been cut, while 20% were forced to work reduced hours.
Insight 5: Virtual show houses have helped, but are not saving the day
Agents aren't yet sold on virtual show houses. The majority of agents did not hold them over lockdown. For those who did, only 18% of real estate professionals believe that virtual show houses are effective in marketing property.
But, agents still want to give it a try. The survey found a large percentage (49%) who said they would use virtual and 3D tours as part of their marketing during level 3.
Insight 6: You took remote working in your stride
Only 29% of real estate professionals found the transition to remote working very challenging. Additionally, only 33% of business leaders have found the transition to remote working very challenging.
Many of you, on the other hand, benefitted from remote working. 52% of real estate professionals found the adjustment “fine” to “surprisingly positive”. A higher 59% of business leaders believe the transition to remote working has been “fine” to “surprisingly positive”.
Insight 7: You’re seeing results from social media, WhatsApp, and mobile marketing
49% of real estate professionals believe social media and paid advertising campaigns will deliver the best quality leads over the level 3 lockdown and going forward. Businesses leaders also felt the same at 49%.
58% of real estate professionals said WhatsApp and SMS marketing would be part of their future strategy. Business leaders were even more enthusiastic. 63% of business leaders are investing in digital tools focussed on WhatsApp and SMS marketing.
Insight 8: Your digital strategy has become your primary strategy
Restrictions in movement and COVID-19 fears have prompted a shift to digital. In fact, 52% of business leaders are shifting their marketing approach aggressively towards digital engagement and communication. This was significantly higher than the 33% of leaders who are preferring to “stick to the basics”.
Take action with our report and webinar
For detailed insight, read our report on the survey findings, survey demographics, recommendations, and actionable tips. The survey findings were also recently discussed by a panel of experts in our recent webinar. Watch it for even more advice on how to navigate your new normal.