In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent real estate market slowdown, Bosley Agents have been busy navigating a different and often challenging environment of closing real estate deals through effective digital marketing strategies. We spoke with Bosley Agent Nicola St. John on how her practice is adapting, and in this blog we share her Bosley-aligned tips on how to help her clients get the most out of their listing now and in the future.
The Dominant Medium
Perhaps the most prominent shift stemming from the pandemic has been the stream-lined transition into the virtual realm. For the buyers, sellers, and agents who forged ahead with the real estate process during the lockdown, many made use of what has now become the best medium through which to market a listing in place of actual showings - video.
Already commanding a healthy social media presence before COVID-19 (including providing the voiceovers for the neighbourhood videos on our website!), St. John has since leveraged video to further grow her following as well as provide value to her clients.
"I'm doing a lot of virtual walkthroughs of properties for my clients and followers, as well as tours of the neighbourhoods that those homes are located in. Through being able to offer people practical solutions for the current limitations imposed on the real estate process, I've found the market conditions created by COVID-19 have benefitted the online aspect of my business and still make it possible for my clients to make informed decisions about both buying and selling right now."
Virtual walkthroughs aren’t the only weapon in a Bosley Agent's online arsenal that can ensure a client exceeds their real estate goals. The MLS platform, as one example, supports integrated capabilities such as virtual open houses that provide an engaging mechanism through which to market a listing.
The real estate app Collaborate is also favoured among clients and Agents who work more closely together to achieve timely and efficient results. Though St. John employs tools other than Collaborate - citing her client’s typical independence as the main reason - she always makes sure to list a property on a number of different platforms to get as many eyes on it as possible and quickly narrow the field.
"The virtual open houses on MLS are also a great substitute for live showings or weekend open houses, but of course it's still ideal to take clients through a house in person before buying. What's important is that tools such as Realtor.ca, Facebook and standard website analytics allow us to accurately gauge who is interested in a property so that, under these circumstances especially, clients have realistic expectations and are not at risk of having their time wasted or health put at risk," she says.
Not only is the medium through which you list your home for sale important, but so too is the length of time that it's left on the market. Despite the COVID-19 induced slowdowns, homes are still selling and often with multiple offers across the GTA. St. John advises that if a home on the market is in great condition without any real drawbacks, then there's no reason why the standard 1-week offer window shouldn't still work effectively.
"Conversely, higher-end listings and those with some detrimental features may require a longer stint on the market at a higher price point. I wouldn't advise my clients to try a holdback in this scenario," she says.
Unprecedented times call for clever ingenuity to make the most of the situation. Part of being a successful Bosley Agent is the ability to adapt to the fast-changing conditions of the Toronto real estate market, and to do so in a way that helps our clients come out on top.
As real estate practices such as open houses and staging continue to lean towards the virtual realm in the pandemic fallout, it's more important than ever to stay connected and have fun with clients to get the best results. For St. John, this Bosley core value comes naturally.
"A lot of my marketing is now focused on keeping things light and just being present with my clients and sensitive to their individual situations. It’s a strange time indeed but I’m always here to help,” she says.