Social distancing may last much longer than we imagined, and even if stay-at-home orders are gradually lifted, we need to learn how to work and how to operate our businesses from home. By making good use of the internet, including social media platforms like LinkedIn we can not only survive this crisis, but also set ourselves up for success in the future.
Pay Attention to Your Network
Time spent on social media has drastically increased. Many traditionally “sticks and bricks” businesses have already turned to the internet, especially social media to create interest and promote sales. In addition to maintaining existing relationships, the same should go for everyone now attempting to stay afloat, and build business for the future,
Adding value to your social media means not just re-posting tid-bits from the plethora of COVID-19 related news, but also providing timely information about yourself, your business and current events within your marketplace. If yours is normally a face-to-face kind of business think local by posting updates, for example about local restaurants, garden centres and food store hours and delivery policies. You can even post relevant information about how your friends and associates can enjoy time well-spent, by improving their homes and collaborating online during this time of social distancing.
Beyond updates about COVID-19, it is important for Realtors, home inspectors and everyone else involved in the real estate community to stay connected, to engage with our friends, associates and referrers, to keep our businesses moving along - and continue to be valued resources for our clients.
Be A Video Star
Open houses, offices and storefronts are gone for the foreseeable future. It is important to learn how to effectively use video and photography, especially for businesses that previously relied heavily upon in-person, onsite interaction. Learning how to capture appealing photos and videos with a smartphone will provide a quick, convenient way to showcase your products and services. Home inspectors, well technicians and other “boots on the ground” service providers cannot work remotely, but they can deliver their reports and accept payments online.
Virtual home tours were gaining popularity long before COVID-19. Homebuyers, sellers and their agents have a fantastic opportunity to give buyers an interactive experience, allowing them to explore listings from the comfort and safety of their own homes. It’s also a handy tool for potential buyers who may be hundreds, or even thousands of kilometers away.
Well-composed video and picture presentations can help sell homes, provide easier-to-understand technical reports, while improving your image and promoting your brand.
Learn a New Language
Not really… but if you can hold with the idea that the means of communication are changing rapidly, getting comfortable with programs like Google Duo, Skype and Facetime (all for free) can be an invaluable boost to your business while working remotely.
Email is an absolute must, and along with mobile texting has been a staple in business for some time now. The paperwork we normally reviewed and completed in person is now shared via platforms like DocuSign. No new news here, but it can be overwhelming when everything suddenly shifts from the office to your dining room table. Discover free learning online, starting with LinkedIn to learn how to organize yourself and your home office.
If we stay connected while we’re apart, we will improve our communication and presentation skills, and we’ll learn some new tricks that we can carry forward to run our businesses better in the future.
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.