Home » Coronavirus Spurs Online Transformation in Real Estate
Whether you want to buy or sell a domicile in the U.S. these days, chances are you will do it almost entirely electronically. Virtual technology is certainly not a novelty for real estate agents. They have long been offering distant services to their clients. With the novel coronavirus outbreak wreaking havoc across the nation, however, the market’s online transformation has reached new heights.
Visitors to online listing platforms now realize that it is possible to take a virtual tour of a property more than ever. They also discover that having a teleconference with their agents and the other parties of the transactions they intend to complete is almost as good as having an in-person interaction.
The rapid growth of such opportunities comes at a time when many sellers cancel open houses or simply take their homes off the market altogether.
“Those numbers skyrocketed in the last two weeks,” says Clint Mann, president of Urban Pace, a real estate firm in downtown D.C., in an April 6th report. “We had 72 of those temporarily off the market in week 11. We had 232 in week 12, and we had 332 in week 13.”
Better to Skip Hand Shakes In Real Estate
The seriousness of the ongoing health emergency has left many industries in tatters. Businesses are struggling to survive while trying to adapt to a life where almost all their clients are now ordered to shelter in place. For some, demand has simply disappeared as a result.
In this context, real estate agents have discovered the importance of online tools. Only with them, it seems, that they will be able to keep the activity going, understandably at a slower pace. At least for as long as the novel coronavirus remains a fatal threat outside. They also take solace in that strict social measures are highlighting the importance of having a place to call home. So, they expect a solid rebound when this is all over.
“If their family is growing and they needed more space before, one can only imagine how they will feel after this time in self-quarantine with their family,” Mann says in the same report. In the meantime, it will be just better for them and their clients to skip handshakes.
Uncertainty Poses Biggest Challenge
The problem with the novel coronavirus is not only that it is highly contagious and potentially life threatening. How it originated in the first place and spreads so much faster than similar pathogens remains a mystery. It is also unclear why it affects some patients, both old and young with and without pre-existing conditions, so terribly. There are believed to be a larger group of people carrying the virus with only mild to no symptoms.
Before this, scientists will answer all those questions and come up with an effective cure. Therefore, it may be hard to go back to our life routines. But when we do, our new normal may also be a bit different, with more interactions online and less face-to-face. The real estate market is keen on being ready in advance.