Why The Lockdown is Still Good for Real Estate
“Sales are down, brokers have closed, there are no sales, no staging and no enquiries” These are the words of a real estate agent speaking in relation to the slowdown occasioned by Covid19. Many developers are stuck with unsold stock as others sink into heavy losses due to the current lockdown in the US and many other cities. The situation does not look good however you look at it but that’s the reality for now. The consolation is that this is not an apocalypse and the situation will hopefully settle down and life back to normal. In spite of the gloom, there still are agents and developers who are able to push through with sales while others are opting for strategic planning to ensure they tap into the market as soon as the lockdowns are over.
Paying for references
References can play a pivotal role at this time when new customers are hard to come by. Your customers are one of the most likely sources of your next sale. In maximizing this resource, some developers and agents have resulted to paying their existing customers for references. Everyone is looking to make an extra dollar especially now that most businesses are closed making this offer very attractive. It’s always possible that one of your satisfied customers knows a friend, relative or workmate who might have been looking for a home or other property. The referral commission will motivate the need for your customer to make that call or follow up. Some of these leads have resulted in sales and others promise to call back as soon as the crisis is over. Whichever way it goes, more leads are better than none at all.
Buyers will always be on the lookout for deals. There is no better time to splash those deals to deal seekers as now. Market prices might not have changed but offering a discount could unlock a market that you might not have been able to capture had conditions been normal. Offers may be placed on old stock or one where the seller is in urgent need to dispose the home. Some sellers are encouraging commitments by offering a cash back discount for those who commit t a property in this lockdown. One broker is giving up 5% to encourage down payments.
Preparing for comeback
No government has yet been able to accurately determine when the Covid19 problem will cease but all we can hope is that it will not last long. Predictions are that the longest it can persist is 18 months in the USA. That’s a pretty long time but there is much a developer can do to ensure their properties are ready for the market once it opens. Some of these include:
Planting a new lawn- Many house owners abandon a home as soon as they put it for sale. The lawns are not maintained, grass overgrows and this is not good for potential customers. You can use this time to plant a new lawn or tender and manicure the existing one to make it more appealing.
New coat of paint- Any property on sale should of necessity be attractive to potential customers. The walls are the biggest part of any home and this is where you either attract or repel a potential client. Invest in painting both the interiors and exteriors while this lockdown persists.
Repairs – Old houses always have one or two things that need repairs or replacements. This is the time to audit the state of your home and affect those minor repairs that have always been pending.