In episode 12 of Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate, condo sales and marketing strategists Uri Vaknin, Shahn Douglas and Mark Bunton discuss what has changed in condominium development and sales in the last year, and which changes are here to stay. They discuss five major lessons learned in 2020 and how to carry them forward to continue reaching and connecting with today’s (and tomorrow’s) condo buyers. They include:
Perhaps the biggest lesson 2020 has taught us both in real estate and life? Be ready to adapt and pivot on a dime.
Uri Vaknin 00:16
Welcome to another episode of Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate. I’m your host, Uri Vaknin, a condo sales strategist who has developed and sold out 1000s of condos in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Florida, Detroit, Texas, Nashville and all across the United States. Each week I along with my co hosts and colleagues, Mark Bunton and Shahn Douglas, will bring you the latest insight, best practices and sales techniques to sell out more condos faster, no matter the market. At times, we will delve into architecture, design and urban planning, as they pertain to condos and condo living. I am an admitted podcast junkie. But in our search for podcasts about condos, we all realized that there really weren’t any out there. Throughout the series, you will get to know more about me, Shahn and Mark and our 53 years of combined experience in the world of condos. One of the things that has become glaringly obvious to us is that most people, including real estate agents, buyers, architects, and even condo developers don’t fully understand condos. This podcast will pull back the curtain on the world of condos. Today’s episode is going to be a recap of 2020 and lessons learned from this past year. So 2020 will literally go down in the history books, guys, won’t it?
Shahn Douglas 01:46
Oh, my goodness, yes. Remember how we started off the year, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, optimistic. Everything was on high octane
Uri Vaknin 01:56
ready to go. sales were going gangbusters. We were excited about the year to come. And then obviously, then came the pandemic. This is not going to be a rehash of the pandemic and the past year, what we really wanted to focus on today is what we learned from the pandemic.
Shahn Douglas 02:16
I actually learned to to make banana bread 10 100 ways,
Uri Vaknin 02:20
I learned how to make the best cream soups I’ve ever made in my entire life. Actually, I never knew I’d make cream soups before. So that was kind of exciting. Um, but I think it’s important for us to recap the things we’ve learned the things that have probably changed forever, particularly as a concerns to real estate and specifically to condos. So, you know, it’s interesting, you know, one of the big things that happened this year is the whole work from home craze. Because everyone had to. And before that, if you really think about it, where do you spend most of your waking hours?
Shahn Douglas 02:55
Probably at work?
Uri Vaknin 02:57
Yeah, I mean, obviously, we spent a lot of time at home, but most of the time at home, we’re asleep. And so we’ve spent the bulk of our life or waking life at work, and then suddenly that was flip flopped. And so everyone started to work from home. And, you know, as we know, well, obviously, you know, thank God, there’s a vaccine, and that’s rolling out and Yay, for that, you know, the really wonderful sense of optimism and hope around that. Um, but, you know, what this is ushered in is the fact that, you know, one of the things that the pandemic has taught us is that rules aren’t really rules, you know, all the things that we took, you know, as kind of the norms of how we do things aren’t exactly that way or don’t have to be that way. And the big one was work from, you know, nine to five. And so what’s really been interesting is to see how people have effectively and efficiently work from home. I’m not saying that people aren’t going to go back to work. I mean, I can’t wait to go back to work to be with, you know, everyone on a daily basis, or maybe not on a daily basis. But so, you know, with companies like Facebook and Twitter, telling their folks that they don’t really necessarily have to come back to work and they can work remotely. And now with like the city of Las Vegas, literally doing a campaign to reach out to residents of states that are, you know, higher income tax on higher property tax, less affordable, you know, to come live in Las Vegas and work remotely from here. So, you know, how does this impact us, particularly in the condo space, and the way it’s directly impacted us is, you know, I would say one of the number one lessons we got out of this is what people want in their home, because, in previously, your home office was your laptop and your kitchen. encounter. I know that is still my home office, it is not the most workable and comfortable home office. You know, Mark, you’ve actually been really fortunate to have a great setup if you know your place. But you know, so a lot of people realized that sitting at the kitchen counter or the dining room table, and that became another big home office. But what happens when you want to have you know, breakfast or dinner, you know, you got to clear everything off, or you have guests come over, and you got all of your computer equipment out your printers out, you know, all this stuff. And so the number one thing that we’ve been hearing from buyers, when looking for, particularly a house is a little bit easier, but particularly a condo is the home office. So coming out of, you know, COVID, and I think moving forward forever, because of the sort of the way people are going to probably work moving forward, not that everyone’s going to work full time from home, but even the ones who are going to have an office, I think they’re still, you know, companies are saying we don’t need to have as much of a real estate footprint, particularly in very expensive cities, where commercial real estate, you know, in high rise buildings in class A buildings is really expensive. So I think you’re gonna have smaller real estate footprints, more people going to work from home. And so the first thing that we did, which we did, we were very nimble, and it was great, you know, after we heard, you know, the immediate feedback we got going into probably April, was it where people were saying, We’re critical by home office. So what we did was, we worked with our interior designer, to really identify areas in our condos, that could work as a home office. And in some places where there was a den like area, we even installed sliding doors, because one of the biggest shoes that we’ve all realized myself included, and our listeners have probably heard this as well are our pets. My pets, my dogs, you know, when they get in my first zoom call today, they get angry, I think you just heard it right now. They don’t. They don’t like my first zoom call of the day. And they really feel like that when they see that screen go up. She’s why the dogs coming to me right now. They demand attention. And so you know, what is really important coming out of COVID. And going into the future is, you know, really being able to provide an area for home office. And so this is really important. for everyone. This is important for buyers, it’s important for condo developers, for architects, for real estate agents, who are listing homes, is to really be able to demonstrate where a home office can be. And in many cases, you know, a home office that can be closed off. And it doesn’t have to be anything grand, or large. But I think this is probably one of the number one thing is when it comes to condos. tied with number two, which we’ll talk about in a second is the home office. What do y’all think?
Shahn Douglas 08:09
Totally agree, I remember one model we did here at Juhl, one of our first models, you guys, um, it was Lee, Bryan, our interior designer, made a larger closet in the, you know, living area into a little office space. And this was pre COVID. But looking back at how we were able to take what we had and make it more than what it really was. And it was great. And it was just a small, you know, small desk, but you did have a door? Do you remember that? or? Yeah, no. Like, I’m hoping you do because I know that that model sold like five seconds and it was gone. But yeah, I mean, you have to be creative. And I think we’ve done that and all of our floor plans. And we’ve demonstrated and we’ve had to go back and retro fit some of these homes, but it was worth it. All of it.
Uri Vaknin 08:59
Totally. And I think you know, the lesson learned is coming out of this is demonstrate a model, I mean, demonstrate where an office can go. And if you’re building new, make sure there’s a space for a home office, and preferably a space that could could be closed off. I mean, we did it where we had one which we closed off with the frosted glass door, it was really beautiful. wasn’t necessarily cheap, but it was really beautiful. Um, but that brings us to number two is something that we also discovered was really important to buyers coming you know, out of COVID or during COVID. And now this is something they’ll really be thinking about into the future is having personal outdoor space, whether it’s a balcony a terrorist, and what’s interesting is, in most cities in Canada, it’s required by building code and multifamily buildings to build terraces every single home or condo or or apartment is required to have their own personal outdoor space. And that’s the place like Canada, where it’s cold most of the time. And what I’ve never understood are, you know, developers have condo buildings, particularly in places like California, where they don’t build balconies, like, why wouldn’t you build a balcony? And so, you know, we’ve been so fortunate that all of our properties, not just have balconies, but in some cases have giant terraces, we have one floor plan that has three balconies, you know, these balconies live like living rooms. And you know, especially with our new house, how housing product at jewel, you know, our pen terraces, which, literally two storey, you know, penthouse like condos that open up onto the pool deck, and each of them have their own giant outdoor terrorists with credit mean, they’re gracious and expansive, private
Shahn Douglas 10:58
gate all around beautiful landscaping.
Uri Vaknin 11:01
Yeah, people are willing to pay top premium for it, because it’s like having your own backyard without all the hassle of the backyard. And, you know, it was funny, you know, we talked about this, and I think, our first episode, the pivot, where, you know, we realized how important the balcony was. And originally people said, Oh, no one’s gonna want to live in condos anymore because, you know, the pandemic, and they’re gonna want to have a house. And we all know that people really love the condo lifestyle, the lock and leave lifestyle, the men Richie Rich lifestyle that it provides the sense of community and connection that living in a condo provides, but yet, they still want that access to the outside. And so, you know, what we did was, we did a whole promotion, all around our balconies, you know, visually, we did it, you know, where everywhere, we took these incredible photos of our expansive balconies and terraces, and really promoted that. And in looking back, you know, historically, of the past, you know, six years that we’ve been promoting condos in Las Vegas, have all of our posts and response to imagery, whether it was Google or social media, on the highest ranking stuff was on our balconies, which really said a lot, which really meant that that type of imagery, and and the importance of the balcony resonated with buyers today. And so, you know, again, this is important for, you know, everyone, for all of our listeners, you know, whether you are looking to buy a condo, whether you’re looking to sell your condo, whether you’re looking to build a condo is this concept of outdoor space. Obviously, not all buildings have balconies, I mean, some of the most expensive buildings in Las Vegas, and none of them are ours, don’t have balconies. You know, during the pre, pre pandemic, one of the things that some buildings even promoted was this concept of recycled air, but they didn’t even have the ability to open up a window. So if you’re not going to have a balcony, you better at least have some sort of operable window to allow fresh Aeron people are going to require that that is going to be you know, one of the top things on everyone’s list, and it’s because it’s a healthier way of living. I just heard a story yesterday talking about how people during the holidays, if you’ve been spent time with your family, how can you be safe while being indoors. And they said only 50% of a home’s fresh air is recirculated only every hour, so it takes several hours to replenish new air into a home if you have all of your windows shut, and that’s assuming you have heat or air conditioner on. And so what they said is even if you have in cold environments, you know, open your windows a little bit to allow to accelerate that movement of fresh air. And so people are going to want with healthier coming out of this. And so this concept of having a balcony where you can step outside, and then you know we all go back to be on three bus at least go back to that amazing CBS Sunday morning show that had this whole thing on balconies during the pandemic and how balconies became the place where people, you know, congregated in New York, I think it was it was at 7pm everyone rang bells to thank all the frontline workers in Italy, everyone got their balconies and people were doing performances, playing instruments, opera singers were singing from their balconies. And those images are going to resonate with people again too and so on. I think it’s really key to have that out to our space.
Shahn Douglas 15:07
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Uri Vaknin 15:58
But what do you do if you know you live in a building, or you have you’re about to sell you a condo inability, or you want to buy a building that doesn’t have its own personal outdoor space. The other option that could be what you see a lot now and a lot of new york buildings is built is communal outdoor space, where there’s a space to be whether it’s rooftop, whether it’s you know, it’s strategically placed above the garage, or wherever it might be, but some sort of outdoor space where you can at least communally be, but that those are some concepts that are going to be really important for people going forward. You know, Shawn, remember, like how much people responded to that campaign that we did?
Shahn Douglas 16:47
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Now, I mean, that was that was, you know, it was something that we felt compelled to do, I don’t know that we were really expected to get the outcome. But I think, you know, with the CBS Sunday morning show, it just really proved our point. So it was, it was great. And I think that it also helped for people that, you know, want to contact us about place to purchase. So yeah, that’s great.
Uri Vaknin 17:13
So, you know, two of the big things, you know, as we mentioned, is his ability to have a home office. And then this kind of personal outdoor space, whether it’s a balcony terrace, where at least the access to some sort of communal outdoor space, these are two really key things that I think are going to linger on post pandemic. And the pandemic made people we always had these things are very important. But that also leads to, you know, buyers. And one of the things that we talked about, you know, in the, in the pivot, and Episode One is that the pandemic has forever changed how people are going to buy real estate, you know, going into the pandemic, there was already a statistic that said 92% of all buyers start their home search on the internet, I would argue that that number is higher now. But I would argue also that it’s not even that they start their search on the internet. Now, buyers expect to do most of their search on the internet, I think the days of getting the backseat of, you know, a real estate agents car and driving around from house to house are somewhat over there. I mean, it’s not totally over. There’s some people who still need to have that experience. But younger people, I can assure you, they are going to spend all their time on the internet, they are going to look through everything. And when they are finally ready to they probably they will narrow down. I mean, they’re going to read everything about the building, they’re going to read reviews from other people about the building, they’re going to look at other people’s photos about the on the building, they’re going to, you know, as we talked about in our social media podcast, or podcast about social media, and condominiums, they are going to researches the social media outlets to learn about that building. They’re even going to look at the hashtags on social media around that building and see who’s you know, hashtagging the building, kind of seeing who lives there, and so forth. And then the images that people post because we all know that the images that that you create for marketing aren’t always 100% of how the, you know, a place might actually look. And so, people are really going to do all this work. They’re also going to do all the research on you know, the values are that we know, some these websites that you know, the the estimate or whatever is called, you know, there’s sometimes there are terrifically you know, off But, you know, nonetheless, you can look at actual sales prices, and learn what the real value is in the neighborhood, they’re going, Okay, crime statistics in the neighborhood, you’re going to look at all this stuff. So they’re going to spend a lot of time online first, and then when they get to you, especially if you’re an on site agent, or, you know, just a buyer’s representative, they’re really going to what they’re doing now, the physical Look, it’s more going to be to pick between their options, one, two, and three, or to affirm the decision that they’ve already made online. I’m not saying that every buyer is going to do this, but this is how we’re seeing this more and more, um, you know, and, obviously, you know, so that’s really important. So we that’s a major shift in the real estate market, is how buyers are buying real estate during the pandemic. And this is not going to, it’s not going to snap back after the pandemic, where people are going to say, Oh, I want to drive around again, because people wanted things we also learned during the pandemic is efficiency of time, you know, like this not driving to work. And the amount of time you save a day, and not driving to work is really important. And so the efficiency in the home buying purchase is also going to be really important to the buyers. But you know, Mark, what, you know, this is what you brought up, when we were talking about this podcast is well, now all these by now, but it these buyers are all really searching online. And so we have to have increased marketing requirements is no longer just an MLS listing some good photos, and posted on MLS, and then that feeds into hundreds of other websites and on and then you might send out some eblasts or, you know, do some social media around it, you know, Mark used to talk a little bit or Shawn about it a bit more of the increased marketing requirements that go along with this new way that buyers are searching for real estate mark, you
Shahn Douglas 22:17
can you can speak to that, and you’ve been instrumental in getting all these additional materials together for us.
Uri Vaknin 22:26
Well, Mark, let’s start with the basic thing with these Matterports, which is obviously a trade name. But it’s the 3d virtual tours, which we never like to use the word tour, we like to use presentation, but we’ll stick with tour for the sake of these 3d virtual tours,
Mark Bunton 22:43
I would have probably I approach and how I think about this as is looking at myself as a real estate agent and how I would do business. You know, working with buyers, and definitely having an increased exposure and additional methods to engage buyers and to be able to market a property and show them the property from the convenience of their computer is not only easy, but it also it saves time. And it also at this point in the in the middle of the pandemic it decreases you know, human contact, basically.
Shahn Douglas 23:21
Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, you’re right.
Mark Bunton 23:22
And, and, right, and we don’t have to have people looking at it from a sales center approach, we don’t have to have people coming in and out of our sales centers four or five hours working with our sales agents. And, you know, and it’s always been important and always will be to keep everybody as healthy and as safe as possible during the pandemic. And these, these additional new marketing things that we’ve done. gives us that, that that
Uri Vaknin 23:50
we’re talking about those new marketing, I mean, let’s, let’s get granular and talk about it.
Mark Bunton 23:54
And, you know, we we’ve, we’ve always used the matterport set in our market even before the pandemic, but it definitely increased after, after that, that came to light. And we we started doing a lot more and start started advertising them and sending them out to agents and sending them out to our database of buyers and, you know, providing this, this additional tool for them to, you know, decide on a home or to look into what it is that we have for sale. And I think you know, even to the extent where we have virtual open houses all the time, where these virtues are the matter ports are front and center of showing this this group of people on those zoom calls in the virtual open house what it is that we have, and giving them exposure to that without having to you know, go through the community with 30 different people.
Uri Vaknin 24:49
And that’s a very great point. So one of the things that you know, we’ve talked about that we’ve done during this time is instead of having obviously open houses where people came in To the building, we did virtual open houses. And it was really great as although, you know, we’ve had great response to open houses pre situation, we’ve actually had amazing, you know, engagement virtually, because people could actually, one things we’ve talked about earlier is, you know, a lot of times people don’t want to come to the sales center, because they’re scared of being sold to, but they do want to learn about the property, and they are interested. And so these virtual open houses have given them the sense of an anonymity, but yet, they still get to learn about the property. And that was been so key. And that is how we literally kept sales going during this entire time. Because you’re right, Mark, people didn’t want to come into the sales centers as much, or they were lived in another market and couldn’t travel. And so we were able to, you know, do the virtual open house that people could come on, anonymously, although we did have their obviously, their contact information, and then we could reach out to them afterwards. And then we could actually set up individual virtual presentations of even specific homes that they might be interested in. So we did so much of this virtually. And then eventually what happened is, they would say, Okay, I’m ready to come in, and they would come in and they would, you know, know, one or two or three, you know, of the homes that they definitely wanted, sometimes they knew exactly what they wanted. And it was just a pure affirmation physically the touch and feels, but I like to call it and they would then go under contract. So this is a really, this is not, this is not a fad, this is not something that was just happen, because of COVID. This is how people are probably going to one to you know, buy real estate, you know, moving forward in the future. So that is really key. That’s one of the big things. Technologically that has changed. But that also means you have to have the technology to do it. And you know that, and that’s really important. And one of the things that we know about, you know, a lot of real estate agents who sometimes they’re not always so technologically savvy, don’t get me wrong, there’s some unbelievably savvy, technologically savvy real estate agents out there.
Mark Bunton 27:19
I think, I think you’re absolutely right on that. I do know, a lot of resale agents and I talked to them, you know, all the time, and I can’t, off the top of my head, I can’t think any of them that are continuing to do business continuing to get new listings that have embraced the the matterport technology, and it’s not expensive, I don’t think that we’ve ever paid more than, you know, 200 bucks for a matterport for some of our largest 3000 square foot homes. They’re, they’re very affordable. But and, you know, I think sooner or later and maybe with me talking to them, they will give it a try. But, you know, for us, it’s it’s not only is it convenient to be able to have these map reports and to meet with people in a zoom conference call or what have you, but we can completely drive that presentation how we want to do it,
Uri Vaknin 28:11
Mark, you’re exactly right, what you just said to control, you know, with the virtual open houses and with the technology you get to you can you can control the presentation. Great point mark.
Mark Bunton 28:24
And I think that that that you know, controlling the presentation allows you to, to really sell this home and to and to give your impression and to give the presentation to the to your to your buyers or to the people on your zoom call and show them what you want to and then you know at the end have a question and answer session. So anything that you didn’t cover or people want to know you can address it in front of all those people at that time. And this this can easily translate to you know, working one on one with resale buyers, he got a listing, you connect with that person. No longer do you have to set up an appointment or they have to go with their agent to the to the condominium and do all of that parking stuff to get in to see it when they’re on a tight schedule because they’re seeing 10 condos in one day. It’s now it’s a it’s a zoom call. And it’s so easy.
Shahn Douglas 29:19
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Uri Vaknin 30:14
you lead us into our next lesson learned, which is really kind of cool. But before I go into that, I do want to say, in addition to the 3d virtual presentations of tours, which is a matter of courts, where you’ve been using coats the brand name of one of the companies is also to have really good video. Video is really great in today’s world with the air, the new Apple phones, unbelievable video quality with drones, you can, you know, on your own, create unbelievable videos of the property. So you have to, you know, really embracing the technology and really utilizing today’s technology is key.
Mark Bunton 30:57
I’m going to say one more thing about about the 3d tours and even the videos is all of the MLS is that we have ever worked in have had a field for you to drop that information and your links into. And and I know our MLS here in Nevada in Las Vegas has three different fields where we can have different virtual tours, 3d tours, branded unbranded. And it’s super simple. I mean, of course, email blasts, and getting the word out on your own helps. But MLS is, you know, shooting it out, like you said already to hundreds of different places, and the link is right there for everybody to see, that happens upon your listings somewhere.
Uri Vaknin 31:36
And you’re bringing up a good point. And when you don’t have those fields filled in, the buyer feels like there’s something wrong, like why are they showing me the 3d tour? Or why are they showed me a video? Is there something wrong with the property? Two very, really good point mark. Really, really important point. Because, you know, this is your this is the base case, I mean, the bare minimum that you have to do in today’s world is obviously the photos, and not a you know, and not just put up photos, but captions about each photo, so people know what they’re looking at, and you want that caption to help sell it not master bedroom, you know, you want to point out some really great things because you have a little bit of room, and you want the video and you want the 3d tour. And if you don’t have those in today’s world, you’re not doing the bare minimum that you need to do in order to sell in this new world. But that leads into point number five of recapping lessons learned is that this also has changed the sales process, obviously. And it’s getting, you know, it’s really getting the agent to adapt to this and to learn how to sell virtually. And not because you’re now not necessarily in front of the buyer one on one. And we know we can recreate connections best. When we are in front of someone one on one, you know, there’s hierarchies of communication, right? There is one on one, you know, you see the person they see you You talk to them. Number two is telephone number three might be an email you can form, you can really write out your feelings. And number three are the next one is text messaging. And now people even communicate through platforms like social media, which you know, some somewhere in same line is text messaging. You know, obviously, if you can’t do that form of communication, number one, which is one on one, and you’re going to go to a telephone or zoom call, actually that that’s another form of communication right now on obviously zoom is probably the primary form of communication for the business world right now is being able to still infuse our salesmanship, but into this more technological platform. Because if you don’t do it, you’re not going to sell your product or your your listing or whatever it is, you have to be able to still infuse salesmanship. And so that’s been really hard for a lot of real estate agents to understand how to do that. And we’ve done a lot of, you know, role playing with our agents on this on, you know, how do you respond to an email to get a person to call you back? How do you speak to someone on the phone? Do you just get their information to say, Okay, thanks. I’ll send you some information. No, it’s Shahn, you always say, you know, you’ve got to
Shahn Douglas 34:36
act tonight knowing your buyer and you have to qualify any which way you can. And, you know, I know we’re gonna continue on this route. But another thing that I think we have to highlight as well as agents have to have their own social media pages. And I know that we struggle with that sometimes, you know, with some of our agents just wanting to put themselves out there because it is it’s vulnerable and you have to be able to make a video and talk about your product and yourself, you want to show your personality in the video. But again, these are all forms of technology that need to be embraced in order to be a successful sales agent.
Uri Vaknin 35:12
Right. So, you know, agents, developers, you know, everyone needs to really embrace all the technology, but then also layer on top of that technology and into that technology, still salesmanship. Because if you don’t, you’re not going to sell, you can’t just, you know, expect the technology to do the sales for you, you still have to be a salesperson, you know, I firmly believe that real estate sells best. And for the most amount of money, when a real estate agent, a good real estate agent is involved, because they know how to sell the property, you can all I mean, images are great, but top talking about the experience of living in a place is very different than just seeing images. And so I think that is really key. And so the biggest thing I think we’ve learned from 2020 is to be ready and willing to adapt and to be nimble, and to be able to pivot on a dime. Because if you don’t, you’re just not going to make it and in this world, and you know whether it was even during this past year of 2020, or even coming out of 2020, things have changed permanently. And so, you know, there’s some really great lessons that we’ve learned, we’ve just highlighted
Mark Bunton 36:32
them, I think following up on what Shahn said a couple of minutes ago, about agents and social media. And I connected with what you said, I’m not interested in having my life splashed out all over social media is just not me, it’s my personality. But if I was actively in sales at this time, I would embrace social media, but I would come at it from a standpoint of my business. And this is what I do, this is what I’m doing. And this is how I can help. And this is what I’ve got for sale and and make it less about myself as a person, person and more about who I am, as far as a real estate agent and what it is that I do and how it is that I do and what I’ve got going on, which makes it a lot more accessible to me. I mean, I don’t, I don’t need to post something, Oh, I got a new shirt today in the hope I get a bunch of likes. I don’t, that’s not important to me. But selling a house is bringing people into my sales center to sell condos is important of utmost importance.
Uri Vaknin 37:29
Well, that’s why you know, it’s a great point Mark, real estate agents could easily just create their professional pages and weave their personal social media as their personal social media, a lot of them try to infuse the two together, which is not always a good idea, you know, your pictures can Kuhn you know, at a some sort of beer party or beer bong is probably not what you want to have on your professional page. But you know, as is a recap, which recap the things that we’ve learned, you know, in 2020, um, you know, one is this home office concept, it’s not going away, prepare for it, plan for it, if you’re building something new, if you have to retrofit, figure it out, we did it for all our condos, you can do a two, no longer is the kitchen counter viable. You know, office space, a home office,
Mark Bunton 38:23
I think I think the the home office goes in hand in hand with being a real estate agent, I think most real estate agents I know, have some type of a setup, because they, you know, they work for themselves for entrepreneurs and have some type of space carved out for themselves at home to work. So that should go hand in hand with you know, set setting up an office space or designing when to go into condominium.
Uri Vaknin 38:45
Well, real estate agents do but we got to get you know, now the buyers, you know, they’re they’re working from home and they weren’t working from home before. So we have to help them or the sellers or to help sell or show how they can demonstrate a home office. And, you know, developers really need to think about this when developing new properties. Um, so that’s number one. Number two, it’s really the outdoor space buyers require outdoor space, do not build a condo without some sort of either personal outdoor space. That’s what they call it in Canada. We call you know, terrorists or balcony or minimum communal outdoor space so that people could feel like they have, you know, a private area where you don’t always have to go out into the neighborhood into the street is also great for communal, a dog walk, you know, on site. All of our properties have dog parks or dog walks. As you know, we say 60% of condo dwellers have pets. And so you have to think about that, but the outdoor space is really key. And that really was highlighted and 2020 and that’s not going away. It’s part of healthy living. It’s part of being able to go outside and have a breath of fresh air. And you know, for me every morning, when I went to, you know, see what the weather was like, I don’t even know you can look at your app on on your, on your phone, but you want to feel what the weather is like. And so I think
Shahn Douglas 40:14
like today with the 25 mile an hour winds, but yet it’s 45 degrees and sunny,
Uri Vaknin 40:19
but it’s right, exactly. So then number three buyers are searching for real estate differently and is doing, they’re not just initiating their search online, they’re doing the bulk of their search online today. So that’s really important to remember. And so due to that, it ties into big lesson number four, which is that that requires increased marketing requirements. Whether it or not, whether it is 3d virtual tours, it is videos, it is great photos, a lot of photos, it’s information on detailed information about the home. And then when you do have photos, if your MLS allows for it caption for those photos, it is if you are a doing on site property, it’s doing virtual open houses, that’s doing virtual open houses, not just for buyers and prospects. But also for real estate agents, you know, real estate agents don’t want to run around town as much anymore either. And then, you know, it’s following through with those virtual open houses by also doing, you know, virtual one on one virtual presentations, or with FaceTime, or zoom, or whatever it may be, to really take the buyer through the property, and to show them the specific home and get them you know, maybe virtually to find their one and only in your community. So that’s really key. And obviously, with the increased, you know, technological and marketing requirements, it also demands that we as you know, real estate agents in still, you know, that we accept this technology, we work with this technology. But not only that, we have to learn to infuse our salesmanship, you know, into these technological platforms. Because if you don’t do that, you’re you’re going to miss the opportunity. You know, the technology, technological platforms are there to help you, but they don’t make the sale. And so it’s whether it is through still talking to them on the phone, whether it’s through zoom call, you still have to qualify them, you still have to demonstrate and do presentations. And you still have to ask for the clothes. And that’s the key thing. You know, you’re no longer maybe asking for the clothes, you know, in person. And so we have to become more and more comfortable with this. I mean, obviously, everyone has become more comfortable with platforms like zoom or FaceTime, you know, during the year 2020. But it’s going to continue. And so, obviously, lastly, the most important thing is to be ready and willing to adapt and be nimble. You’ve got to be nimble and be able to pivot when necessary. So thank you to our listeners. This was our recap of 2020 lessons learned. We are going to take off for the holiday for a couple of weeks. We’re going to start back the first week of January with a very exciting episode on looking into the future. And what does the future hold for real estate world but specifically for condos. We all know that coming out of 2020 the number one thing that people are going to want to do is to reconnect and to be with community. And there is no Vegas and come to Las Vegas. You’re right. But there’s no place better housing wise to reconnect and to be with community then by living in a condominium. Right guys?
Shahn Douglas 44:14
Uri Vaknin 44:15
So with that said, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. Happy New Year. We will speak to you in 2021 and we are optimistic about a great new year. Thank you for listening to another episode of Condo Artist: The Other Side of Real Estate. This episode was 2020 recap and lessons learned. Thank you