June 5, 2020
It’s easy to see that every industry in the United States has been upended by the spread of COVID-19. From retail to our university system, dining out to working out, everyone has had to change the way they serve the public in the last few months. The pandemic has also affected the real estate market. However, at first it seemed like a temporary stop in momentum, but the market is now starting to resemble a new normal for at least the rest of the year.
For a real estate agents who are used to showing homes to potential buyers in person or hosting open houses to people who come and go as they please, they have had to change the way they show a listing. Whether it’s Instagram Live video streams to setting up one-on-one meetings via Zoom video call, the real estate market looks almost nothing like it did before. And while it may have been heading toward a more digital future, it’s the thrusting into this new digital norm that has put some real estate agents on skates.
However, most economists will say that the real estate market doesn’t decline too much during a recession. Even the Commercial real estate sector is poised to stay afloat as most deals were done pre-pandemic. People will continue to buy and sell houses over the next 12 months, so it’s up to real estate agents and the Real estate appraisal market to adapt and lean into these unprecedented times.
Here are a few ways that the industry is set to adapt moving forward.
The idea of selling someone a house or other property without them physically seeing it and touring it may seem strange, but sight unseen purchases for things like land and luxury properties have actually been happening for years. But with everyday home buyers, real estate agents are now having to offer up this sort of option, letting people purchase a home without stepping foot inside. This can be done via Zoom call, Facetime call, social media, and shared images and videos.
Real estate agents should start by doing practice runs first, so they are comfortable with the technology and can work out the kinks. It’s also important to note that a virtual open house should be held to the same standards as a real life one. Real estate agents should make sure the home is staged as it would be if someone were to enter it and look around and film during hours when the property is getting the best light. Since tours are now heavily going to depend on visuals, using visuals towards your advantage is key.
If you tap into your phone and go to Google Maps or Apple Maps, you usually have the option to dive into a street and get a 360-degree view of wherever you click on. This 3-D view of the area you’re interested in is now more important than ever in the real estate market as agents and brokers, and even appraisers, are utilizing the tech to show buyers and sellers a more authentic look at a property.
Making a 3-D tour isn’t as complicated as it may seem as agents and brokers can download certain apps to piece together a 3-D tour. While they may seem specialized, mapping a 3-D tour of a property only takes a cell phone with a good camera and a tripod, or a really steady hand. A 3-D tour will help give prospective buyers a more immersive and substantial sense of the property they are interested in.
The Future for Real Estate Agents
In the short term, the real estate market is headed for at least a modest downturn. Buyers and sellers are holding back from the market somewhat and people who planned to sell their home in the next year are starting to delay that plan. What’s more, if Americans continue to see economic stress of their own, either through losing jobs or money in the stock market, for instance, it’s understandable to assume that a boom in discount agents and services will appear, as sellers look to save as much money as possible.
Agents who make the shift early to a discount mode will certainly have a major advantage in the market as homebuyers and sellers return. On the other hand, when and if the market flattens out, agents should be equipped to argue against FSBO (for sale by owner) options. There’s usually a surge in owner-sellers when money is on the downturn and times are tough.
About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)
The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.