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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : October 15, 2020

Stuck With Vacancies? COVID-19 Just Made Real Estate Marketing Easier

The move to conducting business online is bringing a major benefit to the real estate industry.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on business as usual. Some businesses are now required to operate online because they can't meet social distancing requirements in person. Unfortunately, many businesses have shut down for good because they can't operate online.

It seems like the COVID-19 crisis has had no positive impact on business, but there is an exception. The move to conducting business online is bringing a major benefit to the real estate industry: an inescapable and permanent shift toward digital marketing.

While many real estate agents already use digital marketing, the current mandatory shift toward virtual meetings and showings is going to have a permanent effect on the real estate industry. It's also forcing software developers to make better solutions. These improved tools are already helping investors fill vacancies faster and keep good tenants longer.

Here's what you need to know about this shift.

1. Property management teams already embrace digital marketing

If you hired a property management company to take care of your properties, you can bet they're already using the latest digital marketing tools. Large companies that specialize in taking care of multiple properties have to streamline their tasks through digital tools. There's no other way to stay organized.

Don't have a property management company? It's time to reconsider. If you plan to acquire additional properties, at some point, it will become nearly impossible to manage every tenant on your own. Having a team on your side makes property management easier. Even when you have access to the latest digital tools, do you really want to spend your time managing properties? Or would you rather hand the task over to a team?

2. Virtual property tours maximize your time and reduce expenses

As a property investor, you need to maximize your time and keep a tight watch on your expenses; every dollar adds up. Virtual showings give you more free time and reduce your expenses. You don't need to spend hours driving to a property, setting up, packing up, and filling your gas tank on the way back home.

Virtual showings can help you screen potential tenants/buyers

Virtual showings aren't ideal, but they get the job done. A virtual showing can act as a pre-screening measure for potential buyers and tenants who may not be interested in the property after getting a better view. This alone will reduce the number of meetings you'll need to take with people in person.

When people have a choice between viewing a property in person or online, they'll probably choose to view the property in person. That's understandable. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, people will be trained to accept online showings.

3. Leases can be legally signed online

For most people, being required to sign a lease in person wouldn't be a deal-breaker. However, in the COVID-19 era, many people will feel more comfortable knowing they can sign their lease online. It's one less potential source of exposure to the virus.

When advertising vacancies, note that you'll accept digitally signed leases. Digital signatures are legally binding. Advertising that you accept digital signatures will stand out to those who want to minimize their risk of exposure.

4. Mandatory virtual meetings give you a free pass

As a property investor, you probably enjoy connecting with people but hate spending time and money traveling around for meetings. This current shift toward digital marketing gives you a free pass to take it easy for a while. Yes, the pause on meetings is because of a virus, but it will have long-lasting effects.

Once people get used to conducting almost all business virtually, there will be no going back to the way things were. In other words, virtual open houses, meetings, and property tours will soon become the standard rather than a convenience offered by a handful of real estate agents.

The future of real estate is digital

Although the pandemic is a serious worldwide problem, it's forcing industries to get creative. The digital solutions coming out of this pandemic have been helping the real estate industry catch up to modern tech. Real estate agents who never considered conducting a virtual open house are now scheduling virtual open houses and publishing them online for all to see.

It's no surprise that a digital shift is having a positive impact on real estate. After all, technology has a well-earned reputation for solving some of the world's biggest problems.


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