New Necessities, New Behaviors, and the New Realities of Real Estate Marketing - Is the Solution Already In Your Pocket?

Written by Saul Klein, John Reilly, and Mike Barnett Posted On Monday, 21 September 2020 05:00

“New necessities drive new behaviors, some of which will become new habits”

New necessities created by the Corona virus have created new behaviors, such as frequent hand washing and social distancing. More than ever before, real estate photos, images, and video are being viewed online (source: Property Panorama). Some new behaviors will become new habits. Some new behaviors will fade away.

Figuring out which of those behaviors are temporary, and which of those will become mainstream or “habits,” is half the marketing battle won as you take your business to the Next Frontier, the world post-pandemic.

The industry has been quick to adopt the tools required to list and sell real estate in a limited exposure world. In some cases, these tools have been around and underutilized for years.

After the Pandemic

Will homebuyers continue to rely upon alternative means of immersing their sensory receptors “virtually” into the properties in which they believe they might be interested? Will “virtual tours” and “virtual open houses” become even more important, after the pandemic, or will they settle back to pre-pandemic use levels?

Another major concern in the real estate industry today is the personal safety of real estate agents. In a recent study, the Wall Street Journal determined that safety challenges that hinder the sales process are one of the top four concerns of home buyers and sellers.

Post-pandemic real estate professionals must be prepared to service the needs and expectations of the increasing number of Information-empowered consumers who are still uncertain about being in close proximity with other human beings who are strangers...and yet the buying and selling of real property must go on, and it does.

Now is the time for real estate professionals to seriously consider the plethora of Virtual Marketing Solutions available to them, and which ones fit into their marketing plans and budget.

MLSs Stepping Up 

The need for Virtual Marketing Solutions has never been greater. Many of the MLSs across the country have recognized the need to make available to real estate professionals new methods of display and scheduling, and have stepped up to partner with technology companies to improve the utility of their offering. The MLS remains, by far, the most important and widely utilized tool in every real estate professional’s tool box.

What tools are you deploying that take advantage of the new habits that may be developing with buyers and sellers as the real estate sales process itself transitions to new ways of doing things?

Ask the right Questions

It is still too early to tell what the job and role of the real estate agent or broker will be five years from now, but the ability to ask the right questions will be critical to building your business as new technologies continue to be deployed. 

• How will less human interaction post-pandemic affect the listing and selling of real estate that is such a relationship business, a people business? Moving post-pandemic, at what point in the home buying process will the buyer be willing to physically visit the property today? Has imaging technology changed the buyer’s timeline on physical viewing?
• What are the tools and solutions available to real estate professionals today, and what do they need to know to choose the ones that are right for their sellers, right for their market, and right for the agent and the broker, their image, and their brand?
• Is the purpose of the display solutions to convince a prospective buyer to take the next step, to schedule a showing?
• Will buyers be willing to view less homes in person if high-resolution images and video availability become the norm?
• Will sellers want fewer people going through their home, especially if their home could have been eliminated with “virtual viewing tools?”
• How many of the available Virtual Marketing Solutions are integrated with the MLS?
• What is the easiest and most cost-effective way to make sure the display of all your listings automatically exceed the minimum seller expectations?
• How can these changes improve your business now and into the future?

Know The Language – Nomenclature

Familiarize yourself with the following terms: Images, Virtual Tours, Virtual Open House, Virtual Showings, Virtual Staging, Virtual Listing Presentation, Virtual Scheduling, Live Video Home Tours, Aerial Viewing, Property Panorama, Digital Marketing, and Digital Advertising

Which products and services are right for you?

How do you determine what you need to purchase for each listing?

What is your Digital Marketing Plan? Does it vary based on the listing?


Today's consumer is comfortable using technology to search for information and shop online, and to engage in transactions such as banking and securities transactions. Soon real estate transactions online will be commonplace. Build your book of business by understanding how virtual marketing fits into your process and your budget.

About the Authors:

Picture1Saul Klein, John Reilly, and Mike Barnett, once known as the InternetCrusade, collaborated to create this article. Their careers have been centered around the education and training of real estate licensees, including creating and providing NAR’s ePRO Technology Certification Program to the Industry for 10 years. They have come back together to work to clarify the new virtual marketing nomenclature to help brokers and agents make more informed, and better choices. Saul Klein and John Reilly are the Executive Editors of Realty Times. Mike Barnett is the CEO of Property Panorama, a digital marketing pioneer and leader.

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