2020 has presented us with a challenge none of us could have predicted. While we have faced difficult economic times before, the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come.
COVID-19 has impacted much more than just the economy. Families have faced the brunt of the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents had to deal with school closures and remote learning. But they also had to deal with working from home, finding toilet paper and caring for aging or immunocompromised family members.
COVID-19 has highlighted the challenges that vulnerable populations face, both in access to resources and in medical care. By far one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, small businesses have seen months of closures. The average business with more than $10,000 in monthly expenses only had about 2 weeks of cash on hand when the pandemic hit. It is predicted that millions of small businesses will not survive 2020 due to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Real Estate Impacts
While the long-term impact is not yet known for COVID-19 real estate, we’ve learned two valuable themes in the short term.
- Communities Are the Glue: As a real estate agent, you know how valuable the community around you is. And it took something as difficult as a global pandemic for the true heroes to shine. Here are some examples of the way community members have supported each other:
- A growing tradition that started in Italy and Spain saw locals head outdoors to clap, bang on pots, and cheer in support of healthcare workers.
- Faced with months of being housebound, people started talking with their neighbors through fences and windows.
- It was difficult to keep children occupied on their extended spring breaks, so many parents cracked open the outdoor games and toys. Some families took to decorating their sidewalks with encouraging and uplifting messages to those facing loneliness or discouragement.
COVID-19 Real estate agents have had to change the way they support their communities.
You may be wondering how you can give back as a real estate agent. After all, the community you live in is the one that provides your paycheque. There are great ways that you can show your community you care.
- Promote local businesses on your platforms to show your networks you are someone who wants to help.
- Highlight, through your website, the amazing things your community is doing to help each other. The more hyper-local you can make the content on your website, the better to help your community.
- Sponsor local charities through their virtual events.
- Share where to get things that people need when they need them. With so many closures it would be nice for residents to know easily and quickly where they can get necessities.
- COVID-19 Has Forced Businesses to Be Flexible: The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses with brick-and-mortar stores to figure out a way to go virtual. Although it was a difficult time for many, it was encouraging to see the ways that different businesses got creative.
Restaurants were arguably one of the hardest hit during the pandemic. However, many restaurants quickly jumped on take-out and delivery, even if it hadn’t been part of their business model. As time passed it was exciting to see new ideas popping up, such as fresh meal kits, picnic baskets, and frozen family dinners.
While grocery pickup and delivery has existed in large chain stores for a while, many small businesses started to offer the same service. So, instead of waiting in line at your local health food store, you were able to get curbside pickup for the essential items you needed.
Real estate agents have learned to be more flexible, too.
Real estate agents are used to pivoting, so the pandemic offered a new opportunity to show off what they’re best at:
- Virtual home tours have become a necessity. While pictures of homes are great, it is also helpful to have a tour. Virtual home tours allow potential home buyers the chance to see every nook and cranny of the space without exposing themselves to potential risk.
- Agents have decreased the number of open houses. In order to protect all parties involved, open houses have dwindled. But this doesn’t mean that sales have been impacted. It will be interesting to see if the industry as a whole will start to do away with the open house concept.
- Agents have increased the amount that they are using social media and live broadcasts. Using social media and broadcasts in this way helps agents stay top of mind when they can’t be seen in person.
There Are More Amazing Ways You Can Reach Out to Your Community
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all been practicing how to give back to our communities while trying to maintain pre-pandemic levels of business.
If you’re interested in learning more about taking a community-minded approach to COVID-19 real estate, and supporting your community while filling your pipeline with referral-generated leads, take a look at a platform like Parkbench.