Banning physical contact, firm adopts new selling strategy

BUSINESSES that have invested heavily on digital infrastructure see no reason to halt operations, even if most buyers are on a “wait and see” mode during this time of coronavirus pandemic.

“Now is the time to build new strategies,” said real estate broker Anthony Gerard Leuterio, founder and president of Filipino Homes and Leuterio Realty and Brokerage.

His company, where 95 percent of real estate agents are doing business online, is not a stranger to the work-from-home arrangement.

He said while businesses are temporarily closing doors, real estate selling activities remain open but with physical contact between sellers and buyers banned.

Leuterio said they are adopting the cross-selling system, wherein an interested buyer is passed on to the developer or to the person who is in the showroom.

“We already have a representative who will take care of them,” he said, adding that such practice eliminates the need for buyers and sellers to meet up.

The real estate agent is encouraged to do video tours and use other methods to virtually give a tour of the property.

“We’ve done so many adjustments already, and I think this will be the new normal,” he said.

Real estate brokerage firms are utilizing the wider reach of social media and other online platforms more than ever in response to the viral pandemic that has shut down businesses, compelled consumers to stay and work from home and crippled economies around the globe.

Leuterio though has yet to gauge how massive the negative impact will be on the industry, but he expects a “decrease in sales,” especially since the countries where overseas Filipino workers are working are on lockdown.

“But this is temporary. Business always has ups and downs. All of us are victims (of this virus). But this is a season for new business models. This will be about how fast you can get up and how fast you can create or build new ideas to capture the market (again),” he said.

Leuterio is optimistic buyers will continue to search for properties in online marketplaces in the comfort of their homes, especially during this time of weak market sentiment.

“Investors will continue to spot new opportunities during these challenging times,” he said. “So we need to be online and prepare for a platform war.” (KOC)