I own a dog. A beautiful fox red Labrador, who goes by the name of Skye – that’s her in the photo! She is one of the reasons I have stayed sane during the past few weeks because every day Skye and I have continued to head out on our lockdown walkies.
Before lockdown we would walk for miles together across the fields, Skye happily bounding through the tall grass, me reflecting on life. We would often barely see another soul. But, as we can’t travel any distance right now, my walking partner and I have taken to trotting around the block. We live on the outskirts of the town, so our journey takes in a variety of green areas and suburban areas and our route in the past few weeks has been interesting!
During the first few weeks of lockdown, we didn’t encounter man nor beast! The streets seemed silent. There was an eerie sense of hush as we walked. The sun was shining, but windows were shut, cars were parked on driveways. We would hear the occasional burst of laughter or chatter coming from children playing in back gardens.
Then slowly, we saw people begin to re-emerge from their homes.
Not to go ‘out out’ of course but there was a steady increase in people’s visibility! To start with Skye and I spied people mowing their front lawns or washing their cars. General jobs that typically would be done weekly.
Next, we started to see people power washing their driveways. We counted four separate instances one day, beating our previous daily record of two!
We have even seen an entire house built from scratch during lockdown! It’s still a shell so not quite ready, but the roof is now on, and it’s being advertised for sale by a local agent.
Skye and I began to look forward to our daily observations. So much so that we never detour anymore! As the weeks have moved on, so have the occupiers of the homes on our route.
Do you know what everyone is doing right now?
- They are painting their soffits
- Cleaning their windows
- Decluttering their homes
- Weeding their gardens
- Fixing things
- Building things
- Improving things
According to average monthly Google searches, reviewed by online broker, Mojo Mortgages, the most searched for DIY ‘how to’ was ‘how to build a pergola’, with searches up by 950%.
And I can believe this as my parents have built a fully functioning ‘taverna’ in their back garden, complete with twinkling lights, grapevines and wall mounted bottle opener during lockdown!
We see overflowing skips on driveways, piles of turf ready to be laid, empty paint pots, tall ladders, revved up power washers and bin bags bulging.
Doing home improvements is the new going out. Because obviously, we can’t actually go out!
And in a few weeks, the conversations will be happening:
“Hey Susan, I think we should get the house valued as we’ve really improved it over these past few weeks of lockdown.”
These people could very well become your customers. They will need you. But just because they don’t require you right now, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put yourself and your estate agency in front of them subliminally.
Property is a people business, and right now, the personal side of estate agency is more important than ever to provide reassurance and build confidence.
Throughout lockdown, you should ideally have made sure you stayed visible. You may have chosen to consistently publish content through your social media accounts, on your blog or news page, or perhaps you’ve arranged initiatives in your local community aimed at helping the vulnerable, sick or house-bound.
Staying visible and in the minds of your future prospects has been key throughout lockdown – and it’s not too late if you’ve been a bit lax.
Homeowners are still starting projects!
They are still making DIY efforts and will continue to conclude that once lockdown is over, they want to put their home on the market. It’s possible to reach out to these people by pushing out relevant content, based around DIY, home improvements, interiors, gardens. As the survey shows, people are actively looking for help online before starting projects with ‘how to do decking’ and ‘how to build a firepit’ searches up 300% and ‘how to make a bird feeder up 250%!
This is your opportunity to be an authority on this and connect with your target audience.
So, keep pushing out your content. Keep showing up online, and you will win the business. Maybe not right now. But soon.