How Do You Sell Real Estate During COVID-19? Singapore-Based PropNex Uses Zoom
PropNex used Zoom to provide employee training, sell high-value property, and reach out to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry: Real estate
Challenges: Business continuity during COVID-19, including employee training, virtual property tours, and customer outreach
Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Webinars
Business benefits: Migrated business to virtual, frictionless and safe training for employees, improved customer outreach
Since we’ve started on Zoom, we’ve closed on hundreds of units with clients who have not visited the show-flat or actually seen the physical unit, and all those clients made a decision to sign on the dotted line via Zoom. With these virtual tours, we’ve been able to close on properties that are between $1 and $3 million. In the last 10 weeks, we’ve closed over 60% of the newly launched properties in Singapore over Zoom.
Ismail GafoorCEO and Founder, PropNex
PropNex provides a full spectrum of real estate services, including property management, real estate consultancy, sales training for staff, and real estate brokerage as Singapore’s largest listed real estate company. PropNex supports over 8,600 sales professionals within the Singapore real estate market, and with a growing presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, PropNex has become one of the largest real estate companies in Southeast Asia.
Since its founding in 2000, PropNex has received multiple awards and accolades for its renowned professional real estate agency services, and has quickly become a trusted brand in Singapore and across Southeast Asia.
An alternative to in-person tours
As a real estate company, PropNex relies heavily on its salespeople conducting property tours with clients to close on properties. However, when COVID-19 swept across the globe, PropNex could no longer provide in-person property tours due to social distancing requirements, presenting a unique challenge for real estate.
“When COVID-19 became a global pandemic, we realized we were facing a huge issue,” said Ismail Gafoor, CEO and Founder of PropNex. “I asked myself, ‘How are we going to continue our business?’ In Singapore, even a lower-end private property can cost well over a million dollars, and getting clients to sign for a property when they can’t tour in-person was a huge challenge.”
Gafoor and his teams needed a solution that would enable them to continue selling properties and cultivate new clients. PropNex also required a way to provide constant communication, guidance, and training to its regional staff across Southeast Asia during the pandemic, which includes nearly 10,000 sales professionals.
Webinars could expand reach
To get the organization up and running quickly, the teams at PropNex sought an easy-to-use video conferencing solution to host effective virtual tours and conduct company training sessions. Gafoor and his teams decided to implement Zoom after witnessing the “Zoom boom” around the world.
“A close friend of mine told me about Zoom and the success it was seeing across the United States,” Gafoor said. “I did some further research, and the simplicity of Zoom’s user interface and its feature set were so much better than anything else.”
PropNex also implemented Zoom Webinars, which provided the organization with a platform to reach a larger audience of customers and train employees how to effectively sell to clients using Zoom’s video platform.
“We started with one webinar license but quickly upgraded to reach a wider audience and train more staff. And we used Zoom Webinars to train our entire staff - thousands of people - in just a few days, which is pretty shocking. We also use webinars for customer outreach by hosting consumer seminar programs and other programs focusing on leadership and branding.”
Ismail GafoorCEO and Founder, PropNex
One of the most useful webinar features for the PropNex team? Polling.
“When we conduct webinars for customers, we use the Polling feature to get a feel for how the audience is responding and what they want, which allows us to really optimize the webinar and our customer outreach,” Gafoor added.
Using Zoom, PropNex and its sales team were able to continue selling properties through engaging and informative virtual open houses and property tours.
“Since we’ve started on Zoom, we’ve closed on hundreds of units with clients who have not visited the show-flat or actually seen the physical unit, and all those clients made a decision to sign on the dotted line via Zoom,” Gafoor said. “With these virtual tours, we’ve been able to close on properties that are between $1 and $3 million. In the last 10 weeks, we’ve closed over 60% of the newly launched properties in Singapore over Zoom.”
Changing consumer behavior patterns
PropNex used Zoom to quickly pivot to a largely virtual business plan and provide robust employee training, more convenient property tours, and effective client outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gafoor is confident that the organization will continue to leverage Zoom in its business plan as it moves forward.
“This pandemic has changed the behavior patterns of consumers moving forward,” Gafoor said. “We will continue to use this methodology of communication because this has proved that productivity is hugely enhanced with a virtual tour rather than a client physically traveling to a property and viewing it. We will have both in-person tours and virtual tours in the future, but this is the way our new business model will be operating.”