Written by Natalka Falcomer, VP Corporate Development
Many of us are using technology to stay connected while we deal with the various personal and professional challenges thrown at us by COVID-19. A particular issue that many agents are facing is how to market and sell a property when no in-person contact is permitted? Camrost Felcorp Inc., a Canadian developer and builder, has been asking itself this question for more than 40 years as they’ve built and sold over 13,000 residences, selling most of them before they were ever built. Camrost’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Christopher Castellano, shared with Chestnut Park the company’s best practices, which we can all use in order to stay at home while keeping buyers informed:
Always Start With Your Client’s Needs First
Camrost’s properties are designed and then marketed from the resident’s perspective. For example, not only are amenities and location important, but also how project information is disseminated. Are there enough pictures, descriptions and opportunities for buyers to virtually explore the “yet-to-be created” residence they intend to live in? Do the assets showcase and highlighting the right aspects of the project that speak to the sought-after purchase demographic? Providing an abundance of clear and concise visuals along with succinct descriptive information is important to help inform clients and move them through the sales process.
Simplify The Process
Break down the process into simple stages that are easy to follow. Both seasoned and new purchasers respond positively to simple and easy to follow steps. Given the complexity of real estate, breaking down the transaction into simple steps helps both the client and agent move through the process efficiently and ensures a good experience for the client. For example, send an email with the different stages involved in a sales process. Sending checklists is also useful to prepare people and help them stay organized.
Don’t Hide Behind The Screen
While phone calls, emails and texts are useful, video provides better connectivity. Video chats remind us all that we are speaking with real people and it also maintains an element of professionalism because video chats require us to at, the very least, brush our hair. Given that real estate is such a high involvement purchase it’s important to not understate the impact a human connection will have throughout a transaction.
Everybody consumes information differently. For example, I require visual aids to understand a process. Camrost recognizes this and provides clients various touchpoints like live video chat, video suite tours, pictures, samples of materials and written descriptions of their soon-to-be residences. Camrost’s goal is to arm buyers have all the information they need to fully understand what they’re buying without seeing the final product. What you can learn from developers to market your property without any in-person contact.
Camrost’s team found that the vast majority of lawyers, lenders and buyers invariably ask for an electronic version of the agreement of purchase and sale. Given this demand, Camrost has been moving every aspect of the marketing and sales process digitally. Doing so had numerous benefits – from a smoother transaction to better organization and the ability to conduct sales digitally while keeping everyone informed. This, along with ensuring that their digital marketing tools are robust, is what has not only helped them spread the word about their projects but has also helped them continue to sell during the much needed “stay at home” situation we all find ourselves in.
While the Camrost team has adjusted the sales process to the COVID-19 crisis, Camrost intends to keep certain measures in place because they’ve proven to be both successful and a better method for keeping buyers informed. As such, now is the time to brush up on how you can improve the buyer experience from the comfort of your home.