How to keep kicking A$$ during COVID-19 with Ryan Serhant
When I look back on 9/11, I think of that tragic day as the moment we knew we were vulnerable as a country, and the event that changed travel forever. Twenty years from now, when we look back on COVID-19, and the PAUSE orders put in place around the world for hundreds of millions of people, we will remember the horrific loss of life, followed by its effect on our understanding of “work.”
In the days before COVID-19, most adults would wake up and ‘go’ to work. The commute–whether by foot, car, train, or other means–is as commonplace in modern day society as the cubicle. Now both of those may go away for millions of people immediately, and hundreds of millions over the course of the next two decades.
As salespeople, we do not have the luxury (for better and for worse) of having a superior tell us what to do and where to be. We are entrepreneurs, and the risk/reward deal we make with ourselves is that we have to move with the punches; we must adapt to selling in a post-COVID-19 arena. My business has been set up for a long time now to handle this shutdown, and I want yours to be as well, even if you are just starting. Here is how my team and I are kicking ass, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
My team started selling through social media about two and a half years ago, not because we knew that one day there would be a pandemic that would force our business to exist solely on our screens, but because we saw a shift in attention. More and more buyers and sellers were discovering properties, and real estate agents, through video.
We wanted to make sure we were ahead of the game, and there’s still time to get your online presence up to speed. We made sure my personal Instagram feed had two personal, for every one business, post. We also created a team Instagram feed and Facebook page, and a personal YouTube account.
They say all exposure is good exposure, but I’ll add: “when you control the exposure.” We make sure our exposure is consistent, with great content. Our property tours on YouTube drive more leads than Zillow (we just sold a $10M condo in NoHo with a YouTube video), and they build brand equity. Our Instagram posts are free advertising about what we sell: our properties and us as agents.
Every Sunday night my team circulates a calendar of posts and videos for the week, so we know what our weekly exposure looks like, and it has been great. You can do all of this as well, if you just commit to a schedule, and consistency. You can sell through social media and all you need is your phone!
Network, Network, Network
One of the big action items we have worked on during quarantine has been networking. Even though you can’t physically network with anyone right now, that’s OK! There’s still a lot you can do! I’ve been pushing the following strategies to my team and to all of my course members.
The 5/5/5 Rule
First, there’s the 5/5/5 rule: five calls, five texts, and five emails everyday, to people you otherwise would not have spoken to. Pick people who it would be good to connect with, but who might have slipped your mind during busier times.
For real estate agents, I’d suggest reaching out to attorneys, bankers, other salespeople, and even general contractors and interior designers. For everyone else, go back into your calendar and see who you haven’t followed up with over the last year that you could reconnect with. I promise you they have time right now, and they probably have their phone in their hand this very minute!
Becoming a Community Leader
Second, you can become a community leader. Choose something you like doing outside of work, like working out, or playing with your cat, and make a Facebook Community Page for that group for your town or city. Then email the link to everyone you know, and tell people about it.
Even if you just get five people to join, those are five new people who know five other people that you can connect with who now have a similar interest as you do. And what’s even better is they will look at YOU as the one who connected everyone.
We are learning to work more creatively than ever before, so that we can sell even more than before quarantine. We are also learning new ways to be needed, by our clients and by the people we work for, when we’re not physically in front of them every day. The old saying of “out of sight, out of mind” cannot hold true in the new world! So here is how we stay relevant and successful:
1. Practice Immediate Follow Up
One thing that not enough people do, is to follow up immediately with any client, superior, or co-worker as soon as you’ve finished speaking to them. This shows professionalism and it can be as easy as a simple emailing saying “So great speaking to you just now. As discussed, I will get that report to you by 5 PM!”
And then–bonus tip–BCC yourself and leave the e-mail unread so that your inbox acts as your to-do list. If you use Monday.com, or Slack, or another similar program–you can skip the last part unless it’s helpful. But forgetting to do something is never acceptable.
2. Help the Company
If you’re good at Excel, and you know the company you work for is trying to pitch a big project without your help, create a budget template for the project lead and send it to them as a favor.
“Jim, I know you don’t need my help, but I thought the attached might come in handy while you’re preparing for the big Zoom pitch next week.”
Don’t ask for anything in return. That’s called gratitude, and that’s where promotions are born. Work for the whole sometimes and not just the part (you) and you will get much further, a lot faster!
3. Sell More TOGETHER
Call up a co-worker and tell them you want to team up to go after a particular client. Don’t be the hero every time. You can get a lot more done with a handful of partnerships than you can on your own. And if you’re integral to the sales operations of 10 of your co-workers instead of just yourself, then you’re far less likely to be fired when budget cuts come into play.
4. Sell the Past
Review past clients your firm has lost, or pitched and lost, and go after them. Bringing home a client that your company thought was long gone not only makes you more money, but puts you in the driver’s seat when the company is thinking about who to give business to.
These are all things–from creating content to the 5/5/5 rule to the 4 steps above–that you can do from HOME. Mark my words: “work from home” will not be called WFH for much longer, it will just be called WORK. There are so many ways you can thrive during this time to set yourself up to succeed once COVID-19 is a distant memory. Use this time to set up amazing habits, and new tasks, and Future You will thank you!
If you’re looking for career advice in addition to Ryan’s suggestions above, check out SoFi’s career coaching benefit through Korn Ferry—a complimentary service for our members.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Guest Participation: The individuals interviewed for this article were not compensated for their participation. Their advice is educational in nature, is not individualized, and may not be applicable to your unique situation. It is not intended to serve as the primary or sole basis for your financial decisions.