Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been major public health consequences and the pandemic has caused devastating effects on the global economy. Just about every industry is being affected in some way, and this includes real estate, as the strict precautionary measures implemented on real estate showings has put a strain on the industry.
Mortgage rates have dropped to an all-time low which has been a win for buyers and has kept the industry going. However, the pandemic is still a major issue and realtors who can do showings now must follow specific precautions to allow for social distancing. Here are some steps that agents can take to keep themselves, buyers and sellers safe in the new normal.
Postpone In-Person Showings in Highly Affected Areas
It is advised to limit unnecessary contact as much as possible. In many areas, this may mean putting a pause on open houses and real estate showings, especially in markets where high local rates of infection have been recorded. In places where brokers and agents provide in-person showings, masks should be worn and everyone should keep the recommended 6 feet away from their clients while touring a home.
Use Technology as an Alternative
Video is a great option for showing properties to clients. As a real estate agent, you may want to take advantage of 3D home tours, aerial footage, and virtual neighborhood tours to offer clients a thorough understanding of the property from the comfort and safety of their homes. It is best to use technology to your advantage in order to adapt to current times. Real estate professionals who are not equipped to take video footage of a property themselves can partner with a professional to give their listings an edge over the competition.
Agents should also consider scheduling virtual showings with Zoom or FaceTime to present the listing to clients. Alternatively, livestream showing can be hosted on social media. Agents can be safely alone in the listing while generating buzz around the property.
Another option is using a smart lock system, allowing clients to check out a property in person without an agent present. Sellers or agents can control entry to the property remotely by smartphone, or give a one-time access code. They can also track entries and exits and limit access to certain time frames. This option has been very popular even before the pandemic since it helps increase the amount of possible house viewings, so now it is even more of a worthwhile investment.
Take Extra Safety Precautions
Even thouugh there are many virtual options, buyers typically want to physically view a property before purchasing it. For agents who are permitted and opt to still do in-person walk-throughs and other real estate showings, safety precautions must be of utmost importance.
Rather than hosting an open house and allowing people to show up at any time, set up walk through time frames so people can view the property without excess exposure to strangers. Have people wait in their car or outside and text you when they arrive so you can make sure you are prepared for them to enter. Consider keeping some doors, drawers, and cabinets open to prevent guests from touching things as they tour the property. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant between visitors to help prevent cross-contamination.
Stay Current on News and Changes
The pandemic situation is changing at a rapid rate, and no one can really predict with 100% certainty what long-term effects that COVID-19 will have on the real estate industry. If mortgage lending isn’t too affected, real estate will continue to be a good option for those seeking safe investments in a financially tumultuous time. As of now, agents must secure Augusta real estate insurance and make a conscious effort to keep all agents, staff, and clients safe in the hopes of flattening the curve and helping business make a quicker return to a new normal.
About Provident Protection Plus
At Provident Protection Plus, we have served the businesses and residents of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution, and we are prepared to offer you personal, business, employee benefits, and risk management solutions. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.