Top Five Tips for Title Reps in a COVID Market
Commercial Real Estate, Journal Industry Award Recipient
August 31, 2020
American Title Service
2019 Title Representative of the Year
When 2020 made its debut, everyone was feeling great. January and February gave us reasons to celebrate, with a strong opening and positive outlook for the year. According to Fletcher Wilcox’s Market Update (The Wilcox Report), single-family home sales were up year-over-year nearly 15% for the first two months of the year.
Fast forward, and at this point, you’ve all likely seen the internet memes of “My Plans” vs. “2020.” That’s exactly what we saw for the real estate industry in March and April. On a positive note, March 2020 was up 3% over March 2019. However, it wasn’t as significant of an increase as the previous two months and April took a dive, with April single-family home sales down 29% in 2020 compared to April 2019.
Just as it was with nearly every role in the real estate industry, the day-to-day interactions of the title representative shifted dramatically during the pandemic. A job that is typically an extremely social position out and about in in the community – meeting with clients, attending broker open houses, and other events – needed to pivot and adjust to the COVID-19 climate.
Working in the real estate industry, you know the market could change at any moment, for any reason. Understanding and acknowledging that change is part of the job builds a sense of resiliency. We not only find solutions to the challenges that come, many of us welcome them, knowing that change often makes us all better in the long run.
This is very true for the role of title representative! Without the daily interactions at the office and events, title representatives need to be more intentional when it comes to serving clients, especially if you’re working from home. In my personal experience, I’ve found that this mentality has actually helped build stronger relationships with my clients. There are many ways to go about being more intentional, but I’ve shared my top five below.
- Utilize a Courier Service: Send a gift when an opportunity presents Maybe the client just got engaged, completed a quarantine project, or had a family emergency – whether it’s good or bad news, consider this unique option to stay connected.
- Thank You Notes: Keep a running list at your desk of interactions that you’re grateful Set aside 15-30 minutes a week to write thank you notes – they don’t have to be long-winded! Short, specific, and to the point is all people really need to feel special. The time it takes you to write the thank you notes is a small price to pay for the strong relationships you’re stewarding.
- Meeting Scheduling Service: Make it easy for clients to find time with you by using a simple online scheduling tool like Offer up increments of 15, 30, 60 minutes as well as the option to connect via phone and video chat. This tool makes both of your lives easier and lets your clients know you’re open to connecting whenever however it works best for them!
- Never Forget a Birthday: Whether you’re finding birthday notifications on Facebook or simply asking your clients for a birthday date list, you never want to be the last one to wish a client a happy Mail a card, send an e-card, or utilize a courier service, just make sure you do something!
- Pick up the Phone: Yes, seriously! In a world where we’re all texting and emailing constantly to keep business moving, a phone conversation is often a welcomed break in the Especially when you’re not calling to ask for anything, you are calling them to ask them if THEY need anything. Create a schedule where you devote time to specifically this purpose.
It’s hard to picture right now, but remember that the current COVID-19 status won’t be here forever. Eventually, one day, we’ll all be safely mingling at events and working in the office again. When that happens, don’t forget these best practices and the value that they bring to your relationships.