The pivot to online auctions during lockdowns has fast-tracked the professional development of agents and boosted their communication skills, according to a real estate agency.
Richard Baini, director, auctioneer, and licensed real estate agent at Richard Matthews Real Estate, said that when onsite auctions were prohibited during lockdowns to curtail the Delta variant of the coronavirus, he and his real estate agents used technological tools to communicate with every home buyer and bidder.
“For every auction we had online, our company started a WhatsApp group for that property address, and every single buyer of that property had an agent on the phone to them,” Mr Everingham told REB.
“What that allowed us to do was to communicate with each other during the auction.”
For example, when Richard Matthews Real Estate director, auctioneer, and licensed real estate agent Matthew Everingham was the auctioneer for a property, Mr Baini would watch the bids on his laptop while monitoring the communication between his team of agents with all the potential buyers on the WhatApp group.
Using technological tools to their advantage during lockdowns accelerated the development and communication skills of the agents, Mr Baini said.
“Because the agents have now been shown how to communicate with every buyer, there has been a shift in their performances now that we’re back on site because they’ve had that online training for four months,” he explained.
The agency also had to comply with other lockdowns restrictions and rules, including maintaining hygienic practices, providing hand sanitisers and gloves, and adhering to density rules.
The agency particularly felt the pinch when some of its “high-performing” agents were prohibited from leaving certain local government areas (LGA).
“It’s hard for us to keep people motivated when they’re told they’re not allowed to drive more than three kilometres,” Mr Baini said.
“But you had to deal with all that. We were really lucky that so many people were able to cover for other members of our team who couldn’t attend an appointment because they were in an affected LGA.”
As such, Mr Everingham said that the key to coping with the COVID-19 crisis was to avoid panicking and communicate effectively with their team and their clients.
“We actually looked at this period as an opportunity to grow, and we did.”
Richard Matthews Real Estate had grown from a team of 16 when the COVID-19 crisis began in 2020 to a current size of around 45.
To hear more from Richard Baini and Matthew Everingham about how real estate agencies can enhance culture, implement technology to automate and streamline operations, and effectively manage a remote team, secure a spot at REB ReInnovate 2022 by clicking here.