Editor’s note: All of HomeLight’s coronavirus information for buyers, sellers, and agents is available on our COVID-19 hub.
Is your productivity down because of the coronavirus pandemic? A lot of real estate agents are quarantined at the moment — working from home and dealing with all kinds of distractions.
In this episode of our weekly podcast, The Walkthrough, California-based agent Barb Betts walks us through her “Quarantined Realtor Action Plan.” If you or someone you know needs a little kick in the pants or a bit of structure to keep your business moving forward while you work from home, this is the episode for you.
Links and Show Notes
- HomeLight’s bi-weekly flash survey: How Is the Coronavirus Impacting Real Estate Over Time?
- Barb’s Quarantined Realtor Action Plan
- National Assn. of Realtors resource center: Right Tools. Right Now.
- Connect with Barb on Facebook and Instagram
- The Betts Realty Group
- HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center
- Subscribe and listen to The Walkthrough: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube
(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host) Agents, we have made it to April after what feels like it was the longest March in the history of Marches. How are you doing? How are you feeling? I’m doing well, working from home here in Eastern Washington. Our HomeLight content team is also doing well. Everyone’s feeling safe and healthy and we hope you and your teams and brokerages are, too.
Just last week we published the first of what’s going to be a weekly flash poll surveying hundreds of agents around the country on what’s happening in your markets, so check our blog or social media channels for those. I’ll also link to it in our show notes for this and future episodes.
One thing I think we’re all learning is that it’s easy to get distracted these days, easy to lose focus on daily tasks and weekly or monthly goals. Is that relatable? I bet a “quarantined Realtor’s action plan” would help. We have one for you right now, along with a conversation with the agent who put it together just a couple of weeks ago. If you’re ready to start squeezing the most you can out of every day and making the best out of these very difficult times, we can help.
This is “The Walkthrough.”
Hey, everyone, I’m Matt McGee, editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. On this show, you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We believe that by helping agents like you be even better at serving your clients, the entire industry improves. If you’d like to reach me with feedback, ideas, or questions about “The Walkthrough,” you can send an email any time to walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
Okay, tell the truth. When you look in the mirror at the end of the day these days, do you feel like you did everything you could to move your business forward? It’s tough, no argument there. A lot of agents are quarantined, working from home, maybe with kids and a spouse at home, too. I don’t think we have any business expecting our business to function and grow like it would in normal times because these aren’t normal times.
On the other hand, you have to be aware that it’s too easy right now to lose focus and let the hours and days slip away. And too much of that could really hurt down the road.
Today, you’re going to meet Barb Betts. She’s the broker-owner of The Betts Realty group. It’s an independent, boutique brokerage in Long Beach, California. She’s been licensed since 2003. She does a lot of training and speaking, and she’s been very active as a volunteer for industry organizations from the local to the national level.
I wanted to talk to Barb this week because she recently put together a great three-page document that she called “A Quarantined Realtors Action Plan.” Now, you know we love to go deep on this show. We don’t just do surface-level stuff here. We want to walk you through our topic each week, and that’s exactly what Barb’s guide does. It is really specific.
So today, Barb’s going to share, among many other things,
- a specific daily plan for contacting your database
- what to do with your automated marketing plans
- why now is a great time to try some new things on Instagram, and
- much, much more.
What I would love for you to do is listen and then share this with anyone on your team, anyone at your brokerage or even agents you know across the country. Anyone who might need a little kick in the pants, a little bit of structure to stay on top of things. This is for you.
So enough of the introduction, let’s dive in. Here is my conversation with Barb Betts.
Matt: Podcasts often have reoccurring segments and I’ve decided during this pandemic that one regular segment I want to do is just like a basic check-in. So on last week’s show I was talking to Eric Stein, an agent in the New York area, New York City area, and I asked him this and I want to start by asking you the same thing. How are you doing? How are your agents doing? How’s everybody feeling or is everybody healthy and safe?
Barb: Yeah, everyone’s healthy and safe, which is always number one right now. So we’re not having any issues there. And mentally, which is also a super important part of health right now, you know, they’re doing okay. It’s tough. I think that what I’m seeing across the board, you know, I do a lot of teaching and training and speaking in the real estate industry, and what I’m seeing across the board is if you were a Realtor in 2008 and you sold during the great recession, you’re looking at this a little bit differently than those who are newer Realtors and never experienced that. And that’s what I’m seeing on my team. The ones who were around in ’08 are okay. The ones who were not around in ’08 are having a little bit more struggles trying to adapt to our new normal and understanding that this is temporary and it will be okay.
Matt: Tell me more about that because that’s one of the things that I’m seeing a lot of agents talking about on Facebook or mailing lists, whatever it might be, just trying to compare this current situation to things that veterans like yourself have experienced before. How does this compare?
Barb: Completely different but the fear is the same, right? So the things that are similar to ’08 is what you are currently seeing going on in banking, in loans. In ’08, it started with the banks collapsing and literally overnight, loan programs that existed did not exist anymore. Loans in process were being canceled, jumbo market went away. And that’s what we’re seeing right now.
But what’s different is that the ’08 recession was caused by housing. Housing led that recession. It was a housing recession to begin with. This is not a housing recession. Dr. Lawrence Yun did a fantastic podcast interview with Brian Buffini and Dr. Lawrence Yun, who’s the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors said, this is an economic quarantine. We’re being quarantined economically. We can’t do business like we used to. We can’t make money like we used to. And it’s across the board, but that’s all going to be temporary.
And he used a couple of examples that I think should give Realtors hope, which is, going into this COVID-19 pandemic, we had a housing shortage. We’re going to have a housing shortage coming out of this. We had low rates going into this and, arguably, rates are still low. They’re just teetering every day. Coming out of this, most economists are predicting that by fourth quarter we’re gonna have low rates again. And so, I think what we’re having right now is a temporary disturbance that will go away. And the biggest difference that I see from practicing in ’08 is ’08 lasted years. This is gonna be months or a 2020 issue. I don’t believe it’s gonna be a 2021 issue, a 2022 issue.
Matt: Tell me, what is the current status in California of your ability to do business? If I have been paying close enough attention, I think you’ve sort of bounced back and forth between essential, nonessential, essential.
Barb: Yeah. Essential is gonna be my least favorite word when this pandemic’s over. What happened was California obviously had the stay at home order very early into this. I believe we went down as a state, March 16th. The Bay area went down about three or four days before that. We were warned that we were not essential until the National Association of Realtors worked really hard at a federal level to lobby that nationwide Realtors are listed on the essential business list. And not really just Realtors because they, you know, they don’t recognize Realtors, but real estate agents and the forming and recording and transferring of real estate is essential.
What happened in California is that when that federal order came out, California goes by the federal order, but there were locals and counties that were more restrictive. So in my area of Southern California, the Los Angeles County order, the City of Long Beach order, because we have our own health department and the Orange County order, all state that real estate is essential. And in fact, in the Long Beach order, they actually spell out residential real estate services and everything involved with it. So what has happened since then is the California Association of Realtors, in the last 48 hours, has come out with a best practices guide for the Realtors that can practice, because not everyone in the state of California can.
Matt: Is that, again, just based on geography?
Barb: Yeah, it’s based on geography. It’s based on your city and your county and depending on what local order you’re having to follow. So what the government has said, at least the state of California, and I think most States are abiding by this, whatever the most stringent order that you’re connected to supersedes anything else. So if the state of California came out tomorrow and said, no, all Realtors have to shut down, then it doesn’t matter what your local and county say. That’s not gonna happen because on the federal level, California is going off of the federal essential list, but that’s why I can practice right now is because my city order and my county order both say that I can.
Matt: Gotcha. So you had this terrific “Quarantined Realtor Action Plan” that I want to get to in just a minute. So for listeners that are tuning in expecting to hear that, we’re going to talk a lot about that. But I want to ask you just again, a general landscape-type question. What are you seeing in your market right now in terms of buyer-seller activity?
Barb: We’re actually still seeing a lot. We are still seeing listings come on the market. We are still seeing homes go into escrow. We are still seeing closings. Now, we could argue that the closings were all probably generated pre-COVID-19, you know, February into early March, but we are still seeing listings come on the market.
My husband is a, I call him my MLS junkie, and he loves numbers and analyzing things and he has…noticing maybe a 10% to 15% drop in the number of new listings coming up on his hot sheet every day for the couple of areas that he monitors closely. We’re definitely not seeing a ton of people calling us saying, “Hey, I’m ready to put my home on the market.” The homes that we’re putting on the market are people that already had a reason to do so before this.
We’ve had a couple of transactions. My brokerage is a small brokerage. We have, you know, 11-12 agents. We had about 27 transactions going into this mess. We lost two. So that’s pretty good numbers for us. But I know other Realtors have lost a lot more than that. Buyers are really the ones that are still out there. I just listed a property yesterday for someone that had found their dream home kind of organically, multiple offers, site unseen just by viewing my video tours and virtual tours. So buyers are still very much interested in this market. Sellers are case by case. But we’re still seeing transactions moving, which is different than ’08 — ’08 everything came to literally a stop, almost a complete stop. And we’re not necessarily seeing that right now.
Matt: A couple of weeks ago you published a, as I said, we just mentioned, the Quarantined Realtor Action Plan. It made the rounds on Facebook. I can’t remember where I saw at first. It may have been the Inman group or maybe Lab Coat Agents, I’m not sure. What compelled you to do that? Was it mainly for your brokerage?
Barb: Yeah. God, this was two weekends ago now, all the days are blending together. It was the first weekend after we had been shut down. And I am the type of person where I just like to help. I just want to help people, which is why I’m a broker-owner, which is why I’m such a big industry volunteer, which is why I speak and do training, because I just want to help people. And I was feeling very helpless myself. I was kind of going into a moment of, you know, to be completely transparent, you know, not depression but I was very melancholy. I was not happy and I couldn’t just go… It was Sunday and I didn’t want to just go sit on my couch and watch TV like I might normally do on a Sunday afternoon if I don’t have any appointments. And I just thought, I need to keep working to keep myself going and to keep myself away from this kind of mind race that I was doing.
And so I sat down at my computer and I thought … okay, my agents need an action guide. We need a step-by-step of all the things that they can do while they’re sheltered in place. This was before California Realtors were deemed essential. And so I thought, okay, what can you do right now that you don’t normally have time to do or you find every excuse in the book not to do.
Matt: What I love about it is that it’s very specific, very actionable. There’s like six to eight sections in there. I didn’t count, but I feel like there’s probably 75 individual-specific, you know, bullet list to-do items. How about if I sort of choose a few of the sections and then you sort of give like a quick one minute or two minute like highlight of what you are suggesting agents do during this time with each of these topics? So the first one is, you talk about sphere of influence, the people that you know. What is the action plan? What does the action plan say to address your sphere of influence?
Barb: Well, this is my passion. This is how I sold real estate my entire career. And so, really when I added this, I was kind of thinking…I actually added this last because for my team, I didn’t need to add this because I’ve trained them this way their entire…you know, as long as they’ve been with me. But I know there’s a lot of Realtors out there who don’t know their database on an intimate level. And I’m telling you, in March of 2020 and now April of 2020, it is time to get to know your database. If you don’t have a database and you don’t have a list of relationships, you must create one. This is not the time to…you can’t farm, you can’t door knock. You shouldn’t be cold calling. Internet appointments are probably down. I don’t know because I don’t do them, but I’m assuming they might be a little bit down.
Although buyers are very active online looking at a property, but I just don’t think they’re asking for viewings right now. So with that said, working a list of relationships — and I don’t like to call it a database, that’s why it specifically says list of relationships because database to me is a mailing list. What I have is a list of relationships. I know everyone on my list of relationships. And so, there I say set a daily action goal, every day, how many people are you going to connect with?
My daily action goal, I’ve always had one. It used to be 5 a day and now it’s 20 a day because I have no excuse not to. I’m sitting here every day. I am making text messages, video messages, Instagram messages, Facebook messages, you name it. I am reaching out to my people and I’m just saying, how are you, what can I do to help?
I also, I didn’t put this in here, but what I’ve done is I’ve done clusters of people. So, the first day of all of this, I started reaching out to my medical professionals, the nurses, the doctors, all the people that…and just thanking them. And then I went to my teachers. I’m thinking which groups need me right now. So then I went to all my teachers. And then now I’m checking in with the moms and dads that are now going to be schooling their children through the rest of the school year according to our governor as of yesterday. So I think that it’s just reaching out, connecting and setting a daily goal of people that you’re gonna connect with.
And then the last thing I would add to that is use this time to update your information. So update people’s birthdays, update their anniversaries. People are celebrating wedding anniversaries and they’re posting it online, so you should be logging that in your CRM so you know, next year to send them an anniversary card. Kids’ birthdays. People are posting their kids’ birthdays because they’re having to do with drive-by birthdays. You should be noting that. People are posting their animals. You should be noting the names of their animals. Like things that people…people are posting their favorite wine because they’re drinking a lot of it. I’m noting those things in my CRM so the next time I need to bring a bottle of wine, I’m gonna bring them the right bottle of wine. There’s so much you can do if you just pay attention to cleaning up and working your database.
Matt: Yeah, pay attention and be observant and just keep an eye on all that. And I love what you said in that section too, you’re not asking for business, you’re checking in to provide value.
Barb: No, no one should be asking for business right now. I think that that’s a very bad taste right now. Some people disagree with me, some online trainers disagree with me and I respectfully disagree with them. I just don’t think someone wants to hear, “have you thought about buying or selling a home right now?”
Now on the flip side of that, if someone was in our pipeline before this, as a potential buyer or seller, yes, we are checking in with them, we are updating them on the market. I’m updating them as what’s going on, but they were a potential buyer or seller before this started. I’m certainly not reaching out and telling people, “Hey, do you know anyone who is thinking about putting their home on the market in the middle of COVID-19?” No, that’s not what I’m saying to people.
Matt: Exactly. And so, the second section of the action plan addresses marketing. How would you sum up what your action plan advises for that?
Barb: Well, first, you know, shut off all auto-marketing that you had set up before. Nothing is relevant anymore. Even, you know, you probably maybe had an April Fool’s Day post planned, well, that wasn’t relevant yesterday. We didn’t need to be doing that. I think that for us, what we’re doing is we’re turning our messaging into being helpful and being a voice of value. So for instance yesterday, and this is something that all Realtors can do, even if it’s a week from now and you hear this podcast is get… We did a video, my husband and I did a video both on Facebook live and then we filmed it and sent it to our list of relationships. And it was about April 1st being the rent’s due and the mortgage is due. And it was just a message from us about be careful about just thinking this is a mortgage and rent holiday even though that’s what you’re seeing on Good Morning America.
And we kind of gave them tips on…we helped them understand what forbearance means. We gave them some warnings of, don’t think because you’re not having any credit issues by not making your mortgage that you may not have future loan power issues. There’s things that we don’t know yet. And so, we gave that because our clients look at us as the real estate professional. I didn’t go on there and give them a bunch of medical advice because I’m not a doctor, but I gave them advice about their home and their mortgage because I am a real estate professional.
So I think we need to change our messaging to being what we specialize in and how we can help. The other thing I suggest is, you know, facts over fear. Do not buy into the fear. Please, as a Realtor, don’t go be giving your opinions about this virus on Facebook because you are automatically shutting off 50% of your database that view this differently than you do. And so, I’m providing facts. We did a graphic this week of all…we did a pie chart of all of the new listings, what went under contract, what closed, what expired and what canceled. Because people are saying, “Oh, all real estate transactions are canceling.” Well, no, that’s not true.
Matt: I saw that on your Facebook page, right? It was, “Facts over fear, here’s what’s going on in our market.”
Barb: Exactly. Those are things that are appropriate to be posting right now. Just my opinion is it shouldn’t be about when are you ready to list your home or when are you ready to buy a home? I am seeing a good post out there that I’m gonna kind of, you know, as my friend Leigh Brown says, oh God, what did she say? “Rip off and duplicate” is what she says. I like to just borrow. But there’s a good one out there that talks about how, now is the time, and instead of saying “buy” you cross it out and you put “plan.” Now is the time to plan. If you were thinking about buying a home before this, then reach out to us so we can start talking about buying a home after this. So there’s ways that you can still engage in real estate conversation without selling to people, and that’s what I think people need to be careful of.
Matt: Yeah, I think you want to be really cautious about coming across as tone-deaf and make sure that your messaging is, as you say in that section, make sure it’s consistent with what’s going on, you know, in your market that day.
Barb: I used to actually plan my social media about a week in advance and I’m now even planning more than tomorrow and then I’m still revisiting it. Because here’s the deal, everything is changing every single day and something you thought you were gonna say tomorrow may not be relevant tomorrow. So please don’t schedule it and just hit auto-post because you’re gonna forget about it at 8:00 a.m. and all of a sudden at noon you’re going to look back and go, oh my goodness, why did I say that? It makes no sense now.
Matt: Yeah. You have to be really careful about that kind of thing in this environment. So there’s a section…you have a listings and transaction section there that talks about, as we already said, not holding open houses, that sort of thing. Then there’s the video section, what are you recommending? What are you doing these days in terms of video?
Barb: Realtors really had no excuse before, but now they really have no excuse. If you’re not getting on video and getting comfortable with it and creating video and creating content, now’s the time to do it. Here’s the deal, you don’t have to create content that you’re gonna use right now. You can create content for when this is over. Start filming your three steps to think about before buying a home, what to expect during the preapproval process, you know, what it looks like to look at property and select property, the home inspection process. You know where I’m going. I could go on for 10 minutes with a list of things that you could be doing right now.
And then the other thing is, you know, take this time to get outside the box. Something that I did kind of organically was… I’ve done it twice and I’m getting ready to do one next week where I did a Facebook Live with my teacher clients about how to help kids work at home, all these parents that are teachers at home now. I did another one with one of my clients who has been working at home for 10 years and runs a global sales team for Dell technology. So she gave all these tips about working from home. And then next week, I’m excited because I’m getting my interior designer on Facebook and we’re doing a video about all the trends in homes right now. What are the trendy colors? What are the trendy remodel projects? What are some things that people could do at home by themselves? Who better to talk about that than an interior designer?
So get creative in the content that you can put out because here’s what you do need to do right now, just in general. You need to stay in front of your people. You can’t shut down. You have to stay in front of them. And the only way I know to do that right now is through video and messaging and social media and text messages and all those things, because you can’t really physically go see anybody right now. So get on video, freshen up your YouTube channel. If you don’t have one, create one. I always tell Realtors, it only takes one video to go viral. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on YouTube, it takes one video to go viral. You never know what might happen if you put some content out there. And guess what, if no one sees it, oh well.
Matt: And that’s a good segue into the social media section. You have a section with six or eight items for Facebook, another one dedicated to Instagram, some of which we’ve already covered, talked about going live and avoiding opinions on current events. But I love that you have a section on Instagram because, in my experience, again, you know, having a wife that’s a real estate agent and being sort of in real estate circles here locally, Instagram has always just seemed like this sort of, like a black box to certain agents, to some agents. And I love that you’re suggesting here that this is the time to try…you know, like there’s Instagram Stories, TV, highlights, this is the time to try all that stuff and learn how all that works.
Barb: Yeah. So it’s funny you mentioned that. Instagram is the one that Realtors just can’t figure out, but it’s the one that’s growing faster than anything because you can do so many creative things in it. And if you haven’t, as a Realtor, you haven’t dove into not only just Instagram but specifically Instagram Stories, which is where you can, you know what I like to call, document your day and you can share the behind the scenes of your lives. That’s where I’m having…I’d say 60% of my conversation with my clients is coming from Instagram Stories. And you can show that bottle of wine that you drank last night and that it’s your favorite, and then someone’s gonna connect with you on that and send you a private DM and say, oh my gosh, I love that wine too or is it good? Where’d you get it? How much was it? Things like that.
So you’re creating these conversations and what you’re doing is you’re training the Instagram algorithm that you have a relationship with these people. And by doing that, Instagram is then, when you post real estate content, is going to share it in front of them more often. And I totally understand what you’re saying about Realtors being scared of this. I actually taught two different times an eight-week live course on Instagram. And then it was so popular, I had to move it onto a training site so that Realtors can sign up for it and just take it at any time and consume the content and modules, because there is so much to learn about it and you can’t just learn it in one webinar or one sitting.
But please, if I had to give one piece of advice for Realtors is not just Instagram but Instagram and Facebook Stories is the place to be right now. Because what’s happening in those is it’s shutting off the noise of people’s opinions on stuff because people typically aren’t sitting on stories talking about their opinion. They’re showing their dogs and their animals and their kids and their neighborhood happy hours with, you know, sitting driveway to driveway and all these other fun things that are happening. And you can really learn about people through stories. And the last advice I have on that is, your clients are sharing their life on stories, so it’s a great way to engage and interact with them.
Matt: And tell me if you agree with this, I would even say that it’s okay to do a story or an IGTV and just say, hey, I’m learning this. I’ve never done it before. Be transparent about that. No one expects your first one or your first couple to be perfect.
Barb: I agree with you that the great thing about Instagram Stories is…the number one point to Instagram Stories is to be authentic and relatable. And so, people want to see you maybe not looking as cute as you do with the hair and makeup on when you might film a YouTube video. It’s okay to still be in your pajamas. It actually is completely fine. It’s okay to show you … to make fun of things that are going on in your life. I, a couple of weeks ago, two weeks ago, was going to help a client, who’s a nurse, watch her kids and for 30 minutes and I tripped and fell flat on my face in my driveway. Literally fell flat on my face. And I…when I got…I had to drive to her house with peas on my face. And I had to drive to her house and of course, she’s a nurse so she checks me out and she’s like, “How did you not break anything?” I’m like, “I have no idea.” So I’m watching her girls and so I did a story with me and her girls of the girls basically being that, you know, Auntie Barb messed up her face and… I was all busted up and I showed everybody and people, they die.
Matt: Yeah, you’re being real.
Barb: They love that stuff … because you’re showing you’re a human and you have a life. And I put a sticker on it that was like, “COVID down.” Like, “This is why you need to stay at home people, because it’s dangerous to go outside.” I mean, I was trying to go do something good for a nurse and I fell flat on my face.
So being authentic and being relatable through stories has probably been the biggest change before COVID-19 in my business is being…sharing and showing people that I have a life outside of real estate. Because if I can impart one thing is, they’re gonna connect with you on the personal things. That’s what they’re gonna DM and respond to you on. And when they DM and respond to you on the personal things, then tomorrow morning when you start talking about real estate, they’re gonna see it and hear it because the algorithm knows you have a relationship. And so, it is powerful stuff and now is the time to learn it because like you said, no one cares if you’re not very good at it.
Matt: Right. Exactly. Yeah. There’s two other sections in the action guide that I wanted to ask about real quick. You have a section on education, what are you doing in terms and what are you encouraging your agents to do in terms of ongoing education during this downtime?
Barb: There’s no excuse anymore to not shore up what you don’t already know. There’s no excuse to not learn something new. If you maybe…a couple of examples might be, maybe you don’t understand probate the way you should. Maybe you don’t understand 1031 Exchanges the way you should. There’s plenty of content online through NAR, through your state associations, your local associations and RRC and all the other places that you can be learning this content. Most have drastically discounted their fees right now, and I highly recommend that you… NAR just came out with a whole resource center where a lot of the classes are free right now. You can get designations. You can do so much right now. Most Realtors I know, and myself included, are dedicating about an hour a day to learn something or to Google or to search or to watch videos or webinars.
And then my last thing is, all Realtors should look into their C2EX designation, which is the commitment to excellence, which is a big deal that NAR put together. And there’s really no excuse not… It takes a while, it’s time-consuming. The good news is you have some time right now to do it. So yeah, learning and…you know, learning about your MLS and everything else that you need to know to do business better when this is over. I also would tell Realtors to brush up on foreclosures and short sales. I don’t think we’re gonna see a ton of them, I think it’s gonna be market to market, but why not? If you weren’t around in 2008, you probably should read up a little bit. So you just have an understanding…because I have Realtors say to me, “Everyone talks about short sales. What did that mean?”
Matt: You have a section on mental health, which I think right now is just so important because this is such a time of uncertainty.
Barb: Yeah, you have to take care of yourself. And I’ll admit I’m not doing the best job, as far as taking time for myself. And I have a couple of friends challenging me and one is a good friend of mine, she’s a Realtor in the Reno general area and she messaged me last night and said, “Did you take your walk? Did you read your book? Did you put your phone down?” And I responded back, “No, no and no.” And she’s like, “Well, tomorrow is a … you’re gonna do it.” And so, I think that the one thing I am doing is we’re eating meals at home. We’re eating very healthy, we’re taking care of our bodies. I’m definitely making a gratitude list every day. I’ve always done that. We are definitely getting to know our neighbors and spending more time outdoors with them, physically distance, of course. But you got to exercise, you got to get out and you know, get out of your home, get out of your home office.
Matt: Accountability in real estate is a huge thing, and as agents you often are accountable and asking each other, did you make your calls? Did you follow up with your leads? But you were just describing a situation where you and a friend are now being accountable about each other’s mental health.
Barb: Absolutely. I have never seen more cooperation and communication and relationship building going on in the real estate industry than I’ve seen through this. And that makes me really hopeful for our future as real estate practitioners because Realtors are helping other Realtors in a very good way.
Matt: There’s so much in this guide. So what about agents who have less time now to do their job because the kids are at home or they’re helping with their neighbors, the community. How do you prioritize? How do you manage all that?
Barb: I would say you make a really long to-do list of everything that you want to accomplish in these next 30 days. Hopefully, we’re at what, 27 or 28 days left of the, you know, what we think it’s going to be. I would prioritize a list and then every day I would work on a couple of things. But no matter what, even if you have children at home and even if your life has been transitioned and you don’t have as much time to work on the business as I do with grown children, you need a daily action goal. Everyone does. Even if you have kids at home in a new environment. Because what is different than ’08 is we are required to stay home. In ’08 we weren’t required to stay home. And in 9/11 I wasn’t in real estate then, but they weren’t required to stay home. We’re required to stay home right now. And so, by staying home, you can unintentionally shut off your business.
And I think that Realtors are gonna be really frustrated with themselves when in June and July, when things kind of burst back open again and everyone wakes up and then you didn’t nurture all those relationships and all of those opportunities, you’re gonna be disappointed in yourself that you may have wasted some good opportunities that you could have built your business.
(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host) Such great stuff, wasn’t it? And one more thing that Barb mentioned, she told me she has a lot of things she wants to add to the guide so we might see version 2.0 come out soon.
Let me tell you where you can find this action plan. It’s a free PDF download. You just go to her personal website. It’s barbbetts.com — that’s barbbetts.com. When you get there, click on the blog link and you’ll see the post right in front of you. I’ll include a direct link in our show notes which you can find on Apple Podcasts, on our website and other podcast players. And I’ll also have some links to Barb’s social media accounts in the show notes so that you can connect with her there.
Okay, ready for my takeaways from her action plan?
Number one, now is the time to get to know your database. Connect with X amount of people every day, some number. Barb connects with 20 and the message is simple, what can I do to help?
Number two, your marketing should be about being helpful. Be the “voice of value” is what she said. So if you’ve listened to our last few episodes, you’ve heard other agents say things like that too. It’s really, really important.
Number three, now is the time to get comfortable with video. Try Facebook Live, try YouTube videos. Create videos that educate buyers and sellers. It’s even stuff that you can make now and use later.
Number four, she said it’s also the time to try Instagram. Things like Instagram Stories and IGTV. And don’t worry about being perfect, being your authentic self is what matters.
Number five, if you have free time, spend it on education. Read up on things like foreclosures and short sales if you’re not familiar with those, just in case.
Number six, take care of your mental health. Connect with other agents especially, and be accountable to each other. Not about calls and deals and stuff like that, but just about, how are you doing? How can I help?
And last but not least, Barb said, no matter how busy you are, make sure you have a daily action goal and then get it done. Don’t let the days slip away.
All right. Our email address is walkthrough [at] homelight.com. You can use that if you have questions or feedback for Barb or me or HomeLight. It’s walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
Agents, hang in there. Keep doing what you’re doing and let us know how we can help. In fact, as far as upcoming episodes go, I don’t mind letting you know that we’re working on getting one of the big real estate coaches on soon, working on talking to a licensed mental health counselor soon, as well as hoping to have on one of the top agents who works in the resort/2nd-home space. So that’s a preview of what we hope is coming up.
If you have a suggestion or request for someone that we should have on a future show, use that same email address I mentioned a minute ago, walkthrough [at] homelight.com.
So that’s all for this week. Thanks to Barb Betts for joining us with that great information, and thank you for listening.
Don’t go out unless you have to and unless you’re allowed. So instead, again, I’ll repeat, the way I closed last week — stay in and sell some homes. We’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.
Header Image Source: (Free-Photos on Pixabay)