Covid’s Impact on Leads in Real Estate & Mortgage
Whew. We made it through April. That was the longest month of our lives, no?
The full data on the impact on our industry at this point is still not clear, however, we will get to that soon. So for the time being, here’s our look at the market with anecdotal evidence, data and news – just the tip of the iceberg as we seek to make sense of the mess, and plot the course forward.
DROPPED LIKE A ROCK
This graph from Showing Time illustrates the disparity between last year on this date and today in terms Real Estate showings. You can see that Real Estate showings fell like a rock off a cliff compared to 2019 to to stay at home orders.
Fortunately for the industry, NAR rallied and was able to pressure Government leadership and the industry mostly shifted to essential status, and when paired with agent, buyer and seller safety precautions, showings have started to rebound significantly.
Under the intense pressure of the pandemic we are seeing a change to the market – and it’s not prices in most markets. If the US follows the trend in China, Divorces will be up as the pressure of living together becomes intolerable for some. On the other end of the spectrum – with a lack of travel – some couples will find their families growing in 9 months.
Both of these examples illustrate the need to for people to move.
We’ve also heard anecdotally that demand in rural and suburban markets is reportedly increasing while urban demand has softened – as people now find themselves seeking yards, space and ….. distance from other humans.
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman points out that in 2008, sales only dropped 20% – and that’s similar to what they currently see in buyer demand. But inventory is down 20% as well. In 2008, supply was ever increasing as people tried to sell. This time, the supply / demand ratio is keeping prices in most markets steady.
That 20% is getting eerily close to the 29% we projected a month ago.
Revaluate operates out of Colorado and the market here had been pretty …high. In the land of legal marijuana the locals have been really, really enjoying the stay at home orders, as pot shops were deemed “essential”. As a result, cannabis demand has surged according to this report. We believe this segment of the population will err, not be moving soon, other than to the pantry for some Doritos and then probably back to the couch.
While amusing, it’s pretty safe to say this “speed to weed” has not had any effect on mortgages or real estate values to our knowledge.
A ROLLING STONE
As this continues, Our clients have told us that they can no longer safely or effectively do many of the lead gen tactics that have helped them achieve their goals.
Events to generate leads = Canceled
Door knocking = Not legal / socially irresponsible
Direct Mail = Reduced open rates
Open Houses = Non existent
Online Leads = Significantly reduced volume
So – How to make hay while the sun shines this spring?
Revaluate has been helping our clients deal with the new reality in real estate and mortgage, and so here’s some specific actionable best practices
Rather than mass produced mailings, personalized handwritten letters / cards to people you know have always worked – however it’s hard to send them to lots of people – Revaluate can shrink that list, so you focus on those in your SOI that are still likely to move when they can. Coldwell Banker’s Tracy Freeman has been successful generating real estate leads by sending Christmas Cards.
Facebook traffic has been up 50% in the last 6 weeks. Download your Revaluate Very Likely Mover list, and upload them to Facebook. Run FB ads to this list. If they don’t know your brand, introduce yourself or, show your listings that have awesome virtual tours.
(Disclaimer: Blatant plug for our friends at FloorPlanOnline)
More is better when people are searching online and not doing open houses. Beautiful tours with floorplans, drag and drop furniture, 3D doll house views and data focused tours are on the uptick as people look at listings in more detail from home. Zillow knows this, and is calling out those listings with better tours.
BombBomb is video email with very high engagement. Its amazing and we’ve been fans of theirs for years, because it works. Try leveraging our new Zapier integration to tell BombBomb when a prospect becomes a likely mover. Create a special “just checking in” type video message that automatically sends to your new Revaluate very likely mover leads.
Boring old email is working better than ever. Mail Chimp reports CTR (click thru rates) at their highest point in more than a year. Specifically for Real Estate, ever since people started working from home, engagement has spiked in the US by about 15%.
Source: Mail chimp, but behind a paywall. 🙁
We at Revaluate appreciate your dedication to your work, and desire to grow despite the hard times. You are awesome – be safe & be excellent to one another.