How Miami 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, real estate professionals are having to navigate new ways of connecting with colleagues they no longer see in person every day. Here are what some Miami agents are doing to maintain those relationships.

Zooming in

 “We immediately connected through Zoom with colleagues across the country. As COVID-19 impacted other states, we received up-to-date information for us, our local colleagues and our customers. These connections helped us understand what was coming, how to handle what was currently happening and gave us all a chance to empathize with each other. It also helped us figure out how to navigate the changing environment for ourselves and our clients. We are continuing to build on these relationships, as everyone we connected with had our same work ethic and same focus on their customers and businesses.” – Judy Zeder, The Jills Zeder Group, Coldwell Banker Realty

 “Our most powerful connection tool we’re using right now is video. Apps like FaceTime and Zoom have allowed us to continue to work and maintain connections with clients, team members and industry partners, while keeping safety at the forefront. ” – Talbot Sutter, Sutter & Nugent Real Estate

“I started hosting coast-to-coast Zoom calls with colleagues in New York, Texas, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Florida and Dubai and putting them out on social media. Not only is it a great way to have face-to-face time, stay in touch and discuss the real estate market, I have discovered it’s a great way to give back and support my colleagues in their businesses.”– Marlene De Cespedes, Douglas Elliman

  “It has been extremely important via Zoom calls to not only keep training on point, especially for those newer agents, but also to find out how the agents are doing personally as well as professionally.  Being able to find out what their concerns have been allowed everyone to be able to help each other in this ever-changing environment. There were a few agents that, for their own personal reasons, didn’t feel comfortable getting out and showing properties or even being around others outside of their immediate families.  Because of these checkpoint calls, we were able to pair them with other agents that were fine with keeping business as usual. I think, through all of this, we have learned the true power of teamwork. While the real estate market is in general an individual effort by each agent, being able to reach out to others and know that they have your back is truly a positive outcome in a very unprecedented situation.  – Kay Conageski, The Keyes Company

“We’ve been connecting with each other and with our agents through bi-weekly Facebook Live events. We’ve shared everything from productivity tips to updates on what we’re doing for fun, and we encourage our members to share their experiences in the comments. It’s helped us to share ideas and stay connected.” – Dawn Pfaff, President, My State MLS

 Working the phone

“Our team has experienced the most success connecting with colleagues through personal phone calls. These calls are not scheduled like your typical Zoom meetings, but are unplanned calls to check-in. The subject of real estate naturally comes up and our colleagues are appreciative to know that we are always thinking of them.  I think, now more than ever, people are missing that personal connectivity that real estate agents thrive on. It is imperative to keep in touch with colleagues to stay top of mind for new opportunities. Currently we’re in the process of negotiating on an off-market house in Miami Beach. This offering came to us simply by picking up the phone.” – Ben Jacobs, Douglas Elliman Miami Beach

 “Instead of isolating socially, I made a commitment to reach out by phone to everyone I knew …  I also have three groups of agents who meet on Zoom on a recurring basis. We discuss strategies, market trends and outlooks for the future market.  – Eddie Blanco, Stratwell Real Estate

 “I’ve used this time to truly build relationships. Some people have lost family members throughout this pandemic and others are alone, stuck in the home and [with] no idea what to do. I’ve found myself stopping by people’s homes with baskets or sending them a gift card through our Loop & Tie program with Keyes. – David Corriolan, The Keyes Company

Virtual food & drink

“For the last 16 weeks, I’ve collaborated with other RE/MAX brokers and directors from around the world. We have a standing Zoom call every Thursday afternoon to discuss recruitment, retention and how to grow your office virtually. We have 60-80 regulars on the call each week.  I also connect monthly via Zoom with the leadership of the Miami Association of Realtors.  Zoom has been a game-changer for our brokerage. To stay connected to our agents, we host virtual sales meetings and coaching seminars as well as weekly happy hours. We’re becoming more connected as a team as we learn more about each other through frequent communication.” –  Aroosa Rauf, RE/MAX Presidential.

“A brilliant idea from a family law attorney we work with is to have virtual chocolate tastings via Zoom. The chocolate is delivered in advance and you provide the drinks.  You can take the chocolatier’s recommendation on drink pairing or come up with your own and experiment.  The chocolatier is on the Zoom call beginning to end. It has kept many of our referral partners engaged and it was a lot of fun.” – Carlos Gutierrez, Compass

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