[ecis2016.org] It is extremely important for realtors to take note of some common mistakes that they may make, while showcasing a property, which may put off buyers
The Coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, buyers in India are still scouting for property. The demand for homes in September 2020 has, in fact, reached its pre-COVID-19 level, shows Real Insight Q3 2020, a quarterly coverage of India’s eight prime residential markets by PropTiger.com. According to its Virtual Residential Demand Index, a barometer to gauge online consumer interest for residential properties for buying within a given period, more people are using online platforms for property purchases, since the government imposed phased lockdowns in India from March 2020.
Even though inquiry volumes have increased, they do not always culminate in actual transactions, because of the prevailing uncertainty in the job market. This means, brokers who are able to get their clients to agree to making a site visit, have reached a crucial stage in the transaction process. Hereon, all efforts must be made to facilitate the property purchase. This makes it extremely important for realtors to take note of common mistakes at the time of showing properties to clients that might put off buyers and to avoid these mistakes.
1. Taking the COVID-19 situation lightly
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While most of us are conscious of the virus’ spread and take extra efforts to stay safe, there are some who might not show a similar approach. They may have a more casual approach, assuming the virus is more of an inconvenience than anything else. One may often get carried away and articulate this approach of theirs in front prospective clients. This is wrong at several levels. Firstly, the virus is deadly, even if the death rate is not as high as with some other viruses. Due care must hence be taken, to avoid putting your own life at risk or the lives of those you meet through businesses. This is expected of you professionally. More importantly, even if you feel that the virus poses no threat, these personal views must be kept to yourself and every protocol must be followed strictly, to maintain safety during the site visit.
2. Precautions during site visits
Since how you appear at the site is important to your clients, in an atmosphere where there is a possibility of catching a fatal infection, there are etiquette that must be followed:
- Ensure that you wear a face mask. The same is true for everyone from the visiting team.
- Greet people verbally, without shaking hands and expect the same from your client.
- Maintain physical distance while showcasing the property and encourage the client to do the same.
- Keep a sanitiser handy for the benefit of everyone at the site visit.
- At the start and end of the visit, it would be ideal to wash your hands and sanitise them.
3. Avoid imposing your opinion on the client
Your opinion is obviously valuable but it should never be told in a manner that comes across as forceful to the client. As the purpose of visiting the property, is to allow the client to check the property and make up their mind about the future prospects, let them form their opinion about the property on their own. Your positive words about the asset would mean a lot more to the buyer, if he has already formed a positive opinion. A wise realtor should never lose sight of the fact that opinions lose their worth, if they are expressed too often.
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4. Making the client wait
This is an all too common problem, irrespective of the pandemic. It is likely to irk your clients much more in the present times, as they would rather be home than some place, waiting for the landlord or the broker to arrive and start showcasing the project. Make arrangements and coordinate in such a way that no party has to suffer because of delays of the other party. This holds true for your seller clients, as well. They should not be made to wait at the property site, while the buyer is delayed.
5. Do not insist on being present during the site visit
A buyer may want to visit the property, without the realtor. Firstly, they would feel more comfortable to discuss the various aspects of the property with their partners and family members, if left alone. Secondly, during the pandemic, it makes better sense to come in contact with as few people as possible. In case a buyer insists that they want to make an unguided tour to the property, there is no reason for you to object. Since all of us are extending virtual support to our clients through various channels, you could always connect with the client, as and when the need arises.
6. Last-minute changes in plans
Your clients would definitely not like it, if you tell them that you will not be able to arrange the site visit on the appointed time, because of some last minute issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most people to work from home and balance between their personal and professional lives. In this scenario, making time for other activities is certainly a much tougher task now than before.
While it is quite possible for something to come up, forcing you to cancel an appointment at the last minute and the client is likely to understand this, recurring episodes of such occurrences, could result in you losing a valuable client.
7. Conduct monetary discussions in a diplomatic manner
It is important for a broker to have a clear idea over whether or not the buyer would be in a position to make the purchase. Money remains the single-most crucial aspect of the property purchase process. So, it is extremely important that you discuss the monetary aspects of the deal with the client and find out about the availability of funds. Nevertheless, this discussion must be approached in a delicate manner and with genuine intent. At no point in your discussion should you come across as someone who is there to only earn your cut in the deal. Your words should convey to the client that you are concerned with their wellbeing, too.
Is it important for the broker to accompany the buyer during the site visit, considering the Coronavirus situation?
Since one must avoid contact to the maximum extent possible, brokers should not insist on accompanying their clients to the site, unless the latter insists on the same. You could also guide them through virtual mediums. Some clients would, in fact, prefer to go alone during the site visit.
How can the Aarogya Setu app help during site visits?
Buyers can use the Aarogya Setu app to show their Coronavirus exposure status to the sellers and this may give greater confidence to the seller, to entertain you as a buyer.
What is virtual tour of property?
Virtual tours enable buyers to take a visual walk through a home available for purchase.
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