The world has shifted.

A lot.

And it didn't happen gradually, as we've all been promised for so long.

No, Coronavirus came along, out of the blue, and changed everything -- the way we live, do our work, socialise -- basically overnight.

When was there time to adjust? When were we given time to think and adapt?

The answer, is we weren't. And because of this, many of us, as agents, have been thrown in the deep end, desperately trying to figure out everything, from how we list a house accurately, to how we show it safely, to how we sell it competitively... without breaking any of the rules or endangering ourselves or others.

In the course of talking with hundreds of agents over the last few weeks, we've realised so many are struggling to work out how they can continue to do their jobs in the face of the virus, and the social and business restrictions introduced to manage it.

We've realised just offering our guidance with regards to our online best offer and auction system isn't enough. As trained digital marketers, dedicated to really supporting the survival of this industry, we need to look at the entire sales process, from listing, to selling, and how simple technology can enable you to stay in business.

With this in mind, below, we have mapped out a basic end-to-end sales funnel, that shares which technology you can use, at each step, to empower your business, during these unique and challenging circumstances. We've even given you multiple options so you can find the tools you are most comfortable with!

If you need to chat or have questions, don't hesitate to call our team on 1300 662 013, we are here to help.

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Step 1: securing the listing

Over the last few weeks, agents have shared with us, two of their biggest concerns:
a) encouraging concerned potential sellers to actually list, and
b) listing safely, without putting yourself or the seller at risk.

Encouraging sellers to sell in this market is all about mitigating the risks that they raise, most notably, 'my house won't sell at all, or will sell for less in this market'.

This means, showing them there are buyers.

The simplest and quickest way to do this is to undertake a basic analysis of your own database to identify all of the people who meet the criteria of your ideal buyer and may be at a property lifecycle stage where they are ready to upgrade or downgrade.

As an example, if you're selling a family home, identifying past contacts who had a young family around 5 years ago (average purchase/sell lifecycle is approx 5 to 7 years) will give you a list of potential buyers who now possibly need more room to accommodate their growing family.

Combining this information with a compelling listing presentation is a little more work, but could help sooth concerns and win a listing. For great listing presentations, try ProposalPoint, or if dollars are tighter, source an offshore creative designer on Air Tasker.

Step 2: building awareness and engagement

Your ads on portals are the first step in your digital funnel, creating broad awareness of your listing. Right now, you are reaching out to everyone who fits some basic criteria.

To improve that awareness and start to filter out tyre-kickers who may not be interested in the specific property, pair up a well-written listing with a video, or even more engaging, a 3D tour.

A range of companies, from the EAC's Immoviewer, to Matterport offer an array of options at different price points.

Statistically, even before the Covid-19 restrictions, listings with videos and 3D tours achieved higher engagement than those without.

To even further enhance the awareness stage, support your 3D tour with an email campaign to a segment of your database most likely to match the buyer profile, and social media ads (traffic, not boost!) targeted at the same.

Step 3: conduct an open house and determine interest

We can hear you already...'in my state, we aren't allowed to conduct open homes.', and really, for right now, most of us probably agree this is a good thing. It protects us all.

But there's nothing to stop you conducting an open house online -- and this is a great way to both build interest and determine the level of interest of those engaged.

You have quite a number of options when it comes to live streaming to an open crowd, but two of the best are YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

For the purposes of real estate, we like Facebook.

To prepare for your open house, start by creating an event on your Facebook page that you can promote, through social media retargeting, to those who have already shown some interest at step two. Segment your email list into those who opened or clicked your first email and retarget them with an invitation.

What this retargeting does, is invite people who were engaged at your awareness stage, to now move on to an 'interest' stage.

As always, a few days before the open, have a chat to your seller to ensure they tidy up, remove personal or valuable items they don't want streamed online, and if possible, ask them to head out for groceries or a walk in the park for half an hour while you do your open.

On the day, don't be afraid to send a private message to people who have liked or responded to your invitation to reach out and start to create a more personal relationship.

At the appointed time, go to your own/your business Facebook profile, click into your status as though you will update it and select 'Live'. This will open Facebook's Live producer. From here, it's as simple as selecting the settings that suit you best and starting to record.

Move through the house slowly, turn slowly and make sure you cover every angle you can. A great idea is to actually have a colleague call you on another phone, pop your earphones in and ask them to read out any questions and comments that come in. That way, you can easily respond without needing to look at your phone and take away the view of the room you're in.

Ending your open with a last Q and A, and then a face-to-camera summary of the features and benefits of the property will help viewers remember everything they have seen.

Once you have finished the open, contact all those who watched by PM and ensure they had all their questions answered. Remember, your FB Live can then become a post, so watch out for future comments and questions.

Follow up, by sending a link to the Facebook live to all those in your email database who clicked and opened the invitation, whether or not they attended.

Step 4: A private online inspection for those considering purchase

If people have viewed the listing (hopefully more than once) and taken the 3D tour, clicked on an email or Facebook ad, and attended the open, it is highly possible they may be in the consideration stage of their buying process.

To move them along that funnel and filter out those who will consider but not offer, a personal online inspection can be a great way to hone in different parts of the property that appeal and don't, and to have a one-on-one conversation with potential buyers, while you do it.

Facebook can be a great tool for this again, but this time, we love Zoom.

Password protected and invite only, Zoom allows you to open a private online space where you can have a more specific and less public dialogue than you may have had during the Facebook Live online open house.

To get started, it's time to go back to those lists. Open your email campaign manager and filter out only those people who have clicked into the email and watched the Facebook live, likewise, review who attended the open on Facebook and cross-reference it with your database.

Call those you have details for and Facebook PM the others, to invite them to the next stage: a personal, online inspection, controlled by them.

When you have your bookings in place, Zoom is free, so head to your app store and download the app, creating your link and taking note of your password.

Send the link to your client by text and by email, so they can open it on whichever device most suits them. For many, a laptop or desktop is going to be best if they are really interested, as they will want to see everything as clearly and as large as possible.

Once your potential buyer enters zoom, it's always great to start with a quick conversation, to make them more comfortable with talking candidly over a digital streaming service. It also helps identify any tech issues before you begin so they don't impede your inspection. At this point, you can talk about the open and what they liked and didn't, so you can better cater to their needs during the inspection.

Once you start showing them around, largely, it will help to let them drive, let them feel like they are actually walking around and choosing what they look at. When you do shift the camera to something you want them to see, remember to explain why you're doing it as they can't see you.

Really handy, is that zoom also records. At the start of the meeting, don't forget to first, ask them if you can record the call, and then press the record button.

When the inspection finishes, this gives you another great reason to get in touch, so you can share the video. Zoom exports to MP3, so you can also edit the finished video to create a shorter version of the inspection the potential buyer can come back to over and over again.

Step 5: Intent... will they purchase?

This step is really the culmination of all your actions, and hopefully by this stage, you have several potential buyers lined up.

To manage the competition and build momentum, of course we recommend use of one of Sale Ezy's two online sales methods.

Best offer enables buyers to submit offers at any time until the property is sold. As the agent, you can accept any offer, within 24 hours of it being made, and sell the property immediately, under auction conditions.

Best offer is like private treaty or tender, but with the added strength of binding conditions.

Final call is our public bidding sales method, and is similar to an ebay-style auction.

Registered buyers submit bids, on screen, for which everyone can see the value, while the clock counts down. At the end of the auction, the highest bidder, above reserve, is sold the property under auction conditions.

Both systems include an array of automated communication so every party is informed up-to-the-minute, they record bid logs and bidder records, and come with the backing of a dedicated support partner who has years of expertise in digital marketing and online sales.

After completing your online, one-on-one inspection, invite the buyer to view the property in person (if permitted in your state). Ensure the seller's family or tenant is out for a walk or shopping when you attend and only one person attends the property at a time. You can also begin a Facebook messenger dialogue or remain on the phone with the buyer so you can answer questions as they view the property.

Viewing, under these conditions, shows real intent. After a viewing, lock in that level of intent, by sending them a link that allows them to register immediately as a buyer on Sale Ezy.

Depending on which Sale Ezy selling option you select, ensure you continue to nurture the potential buyer in the lead up to the auction, or as they move towards making an offer.

Both systems are designed to keep all registered buyers informed, and finding out another potential buyer has made an offer or bid can be just what someone needs to push them from intent to purchase!

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And that's it! That's your digital property sales funnel, from listing, to showing, to selling.

Of course, you can always improve your odds further by employing more digital marketing techniques and more careful retargeting. You should always consider where the buyer might be in the sales/marketing funnel and how you can either gently push them onto the next step or nudge them out if they won't purchase.

It's a lot of detail we know, and we hope it doesn't overwhelm, but after so many recent conversations with agents who are looking for a step-by-step approach to getting through these current conditions, we hope our application of modern digital tools can offer some guidance and support.

Don't forget, there are some amazing specialist real estate coaches who specialise exactly in this area. If you are looking for advice and assistance in adapting your practice and your agency for these challenging times, we highly recommend the very talented, Lisa B!

If you would like to know more about our online best offer or auction system, or you would like to chat through any of the steps we have listed above, please don't hesitate to reach out to our friendly support team on 1300 662 013 or at hello@saleezy.com.au