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4 Tips For Real Estate Brokers & Agencies To Thrive In A Post Coronavirus Landscape

The global COVID-19 pandemic has ushered the planet into truly unprecedented times, and undoubtedly will be characterized as the defining moment of our modern era. Countries around the world are grappling with the myriad of repercussions resulting from the crisis. In an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the implementation of drastic measures has occurred everywhere including here in Ontario. Yet, the pandemic will inevitably dissipate and we will gradually return to normalcy. To truly flourish, members of the industry must think about things like real estate website design and marketing services. In this article, we discuss 4 tips for real estate brokers and agencies to thrive in a post Coronavirus landscape.

Boost Your Online Presence With An Excellent Website

In a post Coronavirus landscape, it will be crucial for real estate brokers and agencies to distinguish themselves from competitors with excellent website design. A survey conducted in 2019 (prior to the pandemic) revealed that a staggering 63% of Canadians admitted they will not buy from a company that has a poorly designed website. Obviously, this astonishing statistic likewise applies to your real estate business as well. To generate online real estate leads, which are crucial in the industry, you must have an exceptionally crafted website. This will create a great first impression (which is essential), convey professionalism, and thereby build brand trust and credibility.

When the Coronavirus crisis finally comes to an end, it will be more important than ever for real estate businesses to make boost their online with a remarkably well-designed mobile-responsive website.

Social Media Marketing Will Be Essential For Real Estate Businesses

Once the Coronavirus crisis blessedly subsides, real estate brokers and agencies should use effective social media management and marketing to drive sales and truly thrive.

Real estate brokers and agencies must understand how essential building your business’ brand is for success in the future. Effective social media management and marketing will increase your social media presence, build brand awareness online, engage your target audience, and attract potential buyers, enabling your real estate business to thrive in a post Coronavirus landscape.

Proven And Effective SEO Strategies Will Be Vital For Real Estate Brokers And Agencies To Thrive

The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually come to an end, and things will return to a semblance of normal. The real estate marketplace will inevitably be crowded with competition. Therefore, real estate brokers and agencies should consider utilizing proven and effective professional SEO services. Savvy real estate professionals will want to use effective SEO strategies, which in turn, will drive organic traffic to your business website and maximize your ROI.

Some of the proven and effective SEO tactics that real estate professionals should be using include optimizing your business website for SEO, keyword research, and using and optimizing Google My Business. These are all vital components that will help Toronto real estate businesses to grow and thrive.

How The COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Pertains To Real Estate Brokers & Agencies

The global COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation – with logistics that shift on a daily basis. The Ontario government declared a state of emergency and issued a mandate for the closure of all non-essential workplaces in an attempt to curtail the spread of the virus. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (which is the governing body for real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages) has highlighted that real estate services have been deemed an essential service:

The Government of Ontario ordered all non-essential businesses to close by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government published exceptions to this order in their list of essential workplaces. Notably, the government has deemed real estate an essential service.

In short, the government has signaled that real estate trades may continue. But that doesn’t mean a return to “business as usual.” Ontario remains under a state of emergency, and registrants have a duty to follow the direction of health officials to minimize direct physical interaction. Embracing digital technology is essential in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Earlier this week, RECO released updated guidance on open houses and showings. In particular, RECO strongly recommended that brokerages and salespeople follow the direction of health officials by declining to facilitate or participate in open houses, and by limiting showings to where they are absolutely necessary.

That guidance continues to apply.

There are many other situations during a real estate trade that typically involve personal contact, such as signing documents and in-person client communications. We strongly recommend that registrants look at technological solutions that can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for these in-person interactions, and discuss alternatives with their clients.

Possible alternatives include:

  • Using virtual tours, 360 walk-throughs, mobile measurement applications and digital floorplans instead of in-person viewings
  • Using electronic documents and signatures, instead of paper documents
  • Using electronic funds transfers instead of certified cheques
  • Communicating with clients via written communications, smartphone technology applications, and video conferencing, instead of face-to-face”

Although real estate services have been deemed an essential workplace, there will be an inevitable loss of income for some individuals within the industry. The federal government has implemented relief measures to supplement lost income outlined in the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Amongst the measures providing economic support to Canadians affected by the pandemic is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):

“The federal government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number. This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.”

“We know that people are worried about their health, their jobs and their financial situations. Our government is doing whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to support workers, families and businesses. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit would make sure that money gets in the hands of workers as quickly as possible to support them in their time of need, and would help businesses keep their employees during this difficult period. Canadians can rest assured that the government stands ready to take any and all necessary actions as we continue to confront these challenging times together,” Morneau stated in a press release.

Collectively, the world is grappling with a truly unprecedented crisis. The breadth of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be fully realized. However, this challenging period in our history will inevitably come to an end and we will prevail, together. In the interim, stay safe, stay well, stay connected to family, friends, and neighbours, and remember to be kind. There is very much a light at the end of this tunnel.

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