3 COVID-19 era masks with the word outside printed on them

Member Spotlight: Sarina Bergman On Wins, Challenges, and Professional Development During COVID-19

the InstituteAll, Institute Community, Luxury Home Marketing Tips Leave a Comment

Real estate success stories are looking a little different this year.

In some ways, COVID-19 has made luxury real estate a bit easier than usual. As a whole, we’re seeing properties move faster now that the initial uncertainty has dissipated, and we’re seeing serious sellers and serious buyers taking action with more urgency now than ever before.

On the other hand, moving your entire business online can be daunting, and there are still some markets that haven’t quite picked up speed.

But whether you’ve mastered the art of touring luxury listings on Facebook live, invested more into professional development, or you finally got around to organizing your CRM, it’s never been more important to celebrate the small victories.

When we released a survey to our Members asking about their wins and challenges over the last few months, as well as how their commitment to professional development has helped them during this time, our community came back with impressive insights.

In fact, the overall resilience and professionalism we’ve seen from our community this year is inspiring, and it was difficult to choose just one Member’s experiences to share.

However, one Member whose positivity stood out was Sarina Bergman, Institute Guild Member and realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Here’s what she had to say about 2020 so far:

COVID-19 and Client Relationships

Like most real estate professionals, Sarina has spent the last few months on more phone calls with her clientele.

“Sometimes real estate agents are so busy with their everyday that they run out of time– or forget– to call clients. And even though I have a great relationship with 99.99% of my clients, it was nice to call and see how they were doing.”

She mentions that the conversations were geared more towards offering help in any way, like picking up groceries for older clients or referring handyman services.

“I’m a realtor for life, I just want to be there for people to be a resource whether or not they buy or sell,” a sentiment the Institute echoes in its many professional development trainings.

Sarina also says older clients especially wanted to talk, and that more clients wanted to steer the conversation towards real estate, and wanting to know where the market is going.

That’s why for six weeks, Sarina hosted a themed, online Friday coffee chat with her network so they could ask her questions about things like home inspection, financing, and other real estate topics.

On the flipside, she mentions one challenge is keeping the conversation professional.

“When you’re having these long conversations with clients over the phone, sometimes people want to talk about politics, especially when you have a more personal relationship with them. So one challenge is keeping that conversation neutral.”

Successful Clients’ Wants and Needs Are Changing In Response to COVID-19

With no clear end in sight to a total lift on quarantine restrictions, people are choosing to relocate or add secondary homes to their portfolio.

Sarina says buyers are now considering things like having space at home for kids to homeschool, having enough square footage for everyone to feel like they have some personal space, and proximity to nature so they can get out and stay active.

The More Options You Can Give Clients, the Better

In Sarina’s Scottsdale market, some quarantine requirements are partially lifted, making it easier to return to in-person appointments if the client so chooses.

“I always tell them I’m going to wear a mask and they appreciate that, and they want to do that. We also have some people who are okay going out to properties, but we take precautions. I try to leave lights and doors open so they don’t have to touch as many things – so it’s a minimal touch experience,” she says.

As for marketing properties, she likes to do virtual walk-through tours to give prospects the feeling of being there without having to physically show up first. This can help narrow down showings to serious prospects and gives sellers peace of mind that you’re covering all the bases to help sell their property.

Professional Development is Key

As for taking the time to fine-tune her skills, Sarina says:

“I’ve been a Member since 2012 and the Institute content right now is incredible… There’s so much great information, it really helps you with your business with things like increasing your price point. And with a little more time on your hands, you can actually do that stuff now.”

She says at the beginning of quarantine, she took the time to go back and watch some of the Institute webinars she missed and has been working her way through the Luxury Marketing Blueprint.

Ready to Take Your Professional Development to the Next Level For the Final Quarter?

The Institute has a wide range of professional development resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career – even if it hasn’t begun yet.

If you’re ready to commit (or re-commit) to your success, here are a few ways we can help you do it.

Leave a Comment

Anti Spam Measures *