With breathtaking speed, COVID-19 has changed how Realtors and their clients interact for the foreseeable future. You would think after sixteen years in this business I could not be surprised by anything, and yet nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to COVID-19.
First, let me say that the real estate market has not, I repeat, has NOT come to a standstill. Homes are still selling because home buyers are still buying. Interest rates are still very low and for some home buyers, a home purchase is not a choice – it is a must.
It is inevitable, as this pandemic continues to evolve, that the number of active buyers out in the market will decline as social distancing and quarantining is embraced by more of the general public. On the flip side, home sellers will most likely start to limit the number of people through their home while it is for sale. In some cases, we are already seeing that home sellers are not allowing “in person” showings at all but rather “virtual showings” only. As I said before, our entire business model has changed and is still changing as I write this.
So how are we overcoming the challenges that COVID-19 presents? Here are a few examples.
3D Virtual Tours- as of March 16th we are providing 3D virtual tours on all of our listings. These tours allow for a home buyer to virtually walk through a home and are the next best thing to touring a home in person. Here is an example.
“Tour safe” kits- for any in-person showings, our team will be equipped with a kit including gloves, antibacterial wipes, and booties to cover your shoes. We will ask the agent representing the home seller to ask the sellers to turn on all lights, open all doors in an effort to limit the need to touch any surfaces. Our team agent will enter first and exit last in order to clean the lock box and door knob upon departure.
No overlapping showing appointments- moving forward a best practice will be that only one buyer touring group will tour a home at a time. Historically, especially with a new listing, you could have several groups touring the home at once. This will most likely not be the case moving forward.
“Healthy listing” checklist for sellers- in order to set the stage for a safe and healthy showing experience, we will also coach our selling clients on how to prepare your home for showings in order to minimize the need for surfaces to be touched. In addition, we are suggesting that our sellers sanitize their surfaces after each and every showing.
Virtual open houses- we will be incorporating the 3D virtual tour in a virtual open house via Zoom conferencing which will allow potential home buyers to see a new listing while also getting more information from the agent in real time.
Zoom everything!- Zoom conferencing has literally become my best friend over the last week. I am now performing my listing consultations on Zoom. This allows me to go over all of the needed information (by sharing my computer screen with the potential client) and review comparables in detail all while social distancing. My feedback so far has been very positive. Moving forward our home buyer consultations will be conducted in the same manner.
I was on a coaching call earlier this week and the coach asked, ” Can you imagine if this pandemic were taking place in 2000 instead of 2020?” In 2000, we could not FaceTime with clients instead of touring a home in person. Zoom conferencing did not exist. For goodness sake, I think that I still had a Razor phone in 2000. 3D virtual tours did not exist, and electronic signatures for real estate contracts were not even on the horizon.
As challenging as this pandemic has been and continues to be, I am so grateful for the technology that we now have at our fingertips which allows us to continue to serve our clients in a safe and healthy way. As always, we at the Taylor-Made Team wish you and your family the best of health. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our goal is to bring you the most accurate real estate information available in real-time.
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