Coronavirus Covid-19 is testing the most robust of businesses right now, but adapting to new ways of working in testing times is key to the longevity of any company. Disruptions will come and go, but businesses must adapt as best they can to this new, and hopefully short term, reality and continue to generate income.
Coronavirus is shaking the foundations of many of the UK’s most established businesses, it is a scientific, social and economic unknown. The sheer speed in which things have escalated and the subsequent lockdown has been unprecedented, but one thing we can all take away from a crisis like this is that whether it’s technological, economic, environmental, political, or a pandemic like this, we need to ensure our businesses can weather a storm.
Agents that see this lockdown as a time to take stock, innovate and are willing to adapt their usual ways of working – forging a new way of communicating with their customers – will ultimately see the most benefit once we are at the other side of the pandemic.
It seems that regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, people still appear to be interested in viewing (virtually of course) and possibly moving into new properties when the pandemic is over. It’s understandable after being cooped up in your home for weeks at a time that many people would be looking for a change of scenery. Add to this that mortgage rates are significantly lower than they have been, and it could be the ideal time to get customers into a new home, with a reduced cost.
The opportunity, at a time when everybody is living and working remotely, lies in digital transformation. Adapting to new technology offers a way of disrupting the industry and making your business stand out. It gives businesses the capabilities to offer better services and experience for their customers who can no longer meet face to face.
How can property agents use technology to continue business as usual while remote working?
There are a myriad of tools out there that can help you attract new buyers and sellers and add value, but there are three main elements of technology that will allow you to focus on being brilliant at the basics and keeping things moving for customers.
For all estate agencies, building and maintaining quality relationships with customers, internal teams and partners is essential.
To enable you to do this through the current crisis video conferencing technology is imperative. Video conferencing boosts productivity, promotes collaboration, reduces travel time and costs.
This is also a great way to stay in touch with teams when now more than ever, you need to make sure that everyone is driving towards a common goal.
Virtual Home Tours
An extension on the video conferencing theme, being able to carry out viewings is key. With some commitment from both buying and selling parties – you can ask your vendors to host virtual tours of their property using Facetime or WhatsApp videos – adding value for buyers by allowing them to carry on their home search, and extra confidence that you’re working hard to make things as normal as possible for sellers during this time.
You can schedule more virtual tours in a day for clients and customers than you usually would be able to which is an added bonus, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. Virtual Reality viewings are also increasing in popularity with some agents, maybe this is the perfect time to research this further for your agency?
Remote Anti-Money Laundering checks and Docu-Sign
Remote AML checks allow you to verify customers for anti-money laundering without having to meet them face to face. Thousands of customers already use Credas’ mobile-friendly remote solution for their AML checks, and now more than ever we need to concentrate on what can be done to achieve compliance remotely, or from anywhere in the world.
Add to this the ability to upload and docu-sign important documents – a large part of the property process can be done from an online platform. Agents can send and receive contracts and documentation from customers, colleagues and partners directly onto an online portal that can be signed digitally and stored securely.
We’re living in uncertain times and Covid-19 has demonstrated that we should always be prepared, always be innovating and never take our businesses’ digital capabilities for granted. For the property sector to be able to flourish and grow, we have to respond to change, adapt and do what we can using the tools available – of which there are many.
Given the scale and speed of this crisis, navigating your way through it isn’t an easy job. For now, however, we hope that businesses are able to evolve and come out of this stronger and armed with a streamlined and far more flexible, digitally transformed business.
Authored by Rhys David, CEO of Credas. www.credas.co.uk