How Houston agents connect with colleagues during COVID-19

by Kerrie Kennedy

For many people, coworkers are their main source of daily human interaction. For Realtors, coworkers — whether team members, competitors or industry partners – are also an important source of daily information about the local market.

But with the coronavirus pandemic disrupting daily life and work processes, Realtors are having to navigate new ways of connecting with colleagues they no longer see in-person every day. Here are what some Houston agents are doing to maintain those relationships:

“I have 25 agents who work with me and we do virtual happy hours, and everybody has their own drink and we all just talk about what’s going on in our lives just to stay in touch. Realtors are Type A personalities who thrive on other people’s energy. It makes them more competitive and it makes them want to do better. As a managing broker, I’m also encouraging agents to take classes and/or get certifications. Right now, is the best time for that. – Cindy Hamann, Integrity Texas Properties in the Woodlands

One of the biggest changes that we made to connect more during COVID is hold a daily 8:30 AM Zoom call with our team. On Monday, we’ll go through the most recent real estate data and then we’ll work on script practice for the rest of the week. It’s been an incredible way to bring our organization together during this time, and our agents are on track for a record year.” – Paige Martin, Houston Properties Team, Keller Williams Memorial

“Connection on a personal level now is more important than ever. I have been able to connect virtually through mastermind groups with colleagues in the Houston area and nationally. I’ve also started using Facebook Rooms as a way to engage with folks looking to chat live.” – Nicole Lopez, Founder, True Houston

“Locally, I am in contact with agents via text, zoom, and in person while social distancing. Whether it’s getting an opinion on a home we are preparing for the market or a quick question, our local Houston agent group has not missed a beat during the last 4-5 months. I have also been able to connect with several different groups of agents nationally via zoom. We have had meetings for the last few months where we discuss each other’s markets, team building, marketing, outreach opportunities, how to stay connected with your clients and everything in between. Compass has also held national classes and seminars virtually to keep agents constantly motivated and to provide tips that can help them grow and maintain their business.” – Caroline Bean, Compass Houston

“One technique I’ve been using is Instagram Live. It allows me to have an interactive video tour of all our listings to reach our agent network.  It is a real time tour and agents can ask questions during the tour or will watch the post on my feed and will message me with questions on behalf of their clients.  It has been very effective.” – Caroline Schlemmer, Compass Houston

“Prior to COVID-19, I was hesitant to use virtual meetings of any kind, but since COVID-19, we have fast-tracked into technology and are now using Zoom and GoToMeeting for almost everything we do. My Wednesday meetings with agents have increased attendance with 90% of my agents preferring the online meeting versus live meetings, and we just finished a six-week course on Zoom called Path to Success. In addition, I have been meeting with my Relocation Network Group via GoToMeeting on a monthly basis, and while I miss seeing everyone in person, it saves time commuting to a location and I am at my home or office when I finish. Real estate is evolving at a fast pace today and we have to get onboard with technology. – Sherry Campbell, Energy Realty

“Our offices are open now, and we’re encouraging agents to come in if they feel comfortable. A lot of agents really want to be in the office and connect with people, but we’re also doing a lot of Zoom meetings with our agents as well as online training. We launched a new CRM program at the end of March, which was good timing because our agents had time to learn it. I’m also making a lot more phone calls, just reaching out to thank agents for having an awesome year or to check in with them. And taking the time to write a personal note still means so much. We can still do a lot of the basics, and they’re nice surprises.” –  Chaille Ralph, VP of Operations, Better Homes & Gardens RE Gary Greene

“Connecting, whether with clients or colleagues, is incredibly important during these times.  Now, more than ever, it is so easy to feel isolated, on an island. Connecting with others is a mental health issue, a business and professional development issue, and just a great way to reach out and make sure that others are doing okay. Look for ways to connect beyond Zoom. What about a game night, virtual happy hour, or even getting together in person in a safe way? How about setting up an accountability or mastermind group?  This is a time where truly deep connections can be made that will last a lifetime.” – Chance Brown, CB&A Realtors

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