COVID-19 and MY Real Estate Business
March 22, 2020 | Eric Beepat
Us Realtors are in crisis mode just like everyone else. Our industry is facing uncertainty as we attempt to work virtually as we “shelter in place”. I just attended a video call with my Broker explaining that we cannot do physical showings, in person listing appointments and open houses for the time being.
Well where does that leave Realtors like me. Prior to the crisis, many Realtors and the home buying and selling public were using virtual experiences for buying and selling homes. This appears to be my only option for now. Home buying and selling process is stressful enough. With the addition of the crisis, it will be a bit tougher. However, that’s where a good, ethical, and proactive agent comes in.
Some virtual options that us realtors have been using or adopting are:
- Virtual Open Houses: Using video and/or live streaming to have a virtual open house. Basically, an agent sets up a time to go live and announces it to their social media following or any other social avenue where buyers are. The Realtor goes live at agreed upon time, walking through the property, room by room. We point out key features and may answer any questions. Viewers can go through a home and get good idea of the layout and features.
- Virtual Tours: A virtual tour is interactive walk through of the home, allowing buyers to view the home at their own pace and according to what draws their particular interest. Again, users can go through a home and get good idea of the layout and key features.
- Virtual Broker’s Open House: A broker’s open house is a showing of a property for sale to other real estate agents. Other Realtors get to see the home and determine whether it may be of interest to any of their clients. As you may have guessed already guessed, a Virtual Broker Open House would be performed using your video application of choice, For example, Facetime, IGTV, or Facebook Live. The Agent would do a virtual walk through a home for those agents that are live. The video could then be shareable to agents that could not attend.
- Virtual Staging: Using computers programs to fill an empty house so you don’t have to rely on an actual stager using real furniture. This would limit personal interaction of all involved.
- Video Conferencing/Calls: Check in and review offers and reports virtually in Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts, where documents can be shared and reviewed in real time.
- Electronic Services: Use e-signing, e-closing and mobile notary services to get to closing virtually.
In a time of “social distancing” there is uncertainty all around, but I need to remain as close as possible to clients to provide the value they expect and to let them know where the process stands. Myself, other Realtors and clients must be flexible in these uncertain times. We are in this together. I have been tracking city courthouse closures and paying attention to the news, especially those that affect my business.
While in my opinion, there is nothing like experiencing the home in person, we must use these virtual options to stay in business and do our part to keep things moving.