Real estate is changing. Will realtors swim or sink?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the real estate industry to a near halt, and what seemed like a temporary disruption may stretch well into 2021 and beyond. A few days ago, England PM, Boris Johnson, announced a second lockdown as COVID-19 deaths escalated.
Earlier in September, Israel became the first country to impose a second lockdown in the wake of the rising number of cases. Many countries across Europe, including France, Paris, and Germany are also on partial lockdowns—a clear indication that the worst isn’t over yet.
But what does this mean for real estate agents?
Real estate agents will have to adapt to the changing times. They may have to rethink every area of their business—working from home, closing deals remotely, conducting virtual open houses, etc.
And this presents a lot of challenges, especially to the new agents. This article will discuss the various struggles that real estate agents have to contend with during the pandemic.
1. Adapting to the ‘New Normal’ for Office Space
The novel coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have forced a radical shift in working habits as many organizations shift to remote work.
However, remote working is proving difficult for many people, real estate agents included. How can real estate agents work from home while the better part of their jobs involves meeting clients and conducting open houses?
One way is by creating a “home real estate office” that gives an impression of a typical office. Agents would then use relevant software to manage all transactions from home and virtual property viewing tools to conduct house showings remotely.
For instance, all the paperwork that you usually handle while in the office is suddenly out of reach when you are stuck at home. Fortunately, with the right software, most of the real estate processes can be done paperless and from home.
2. Attending Networking Events
The stay at home policies and social distancing rules have made it extremely difficult for real estate agents to attend networking events.
These events provide real estate agents with an opportunity to meet with industry professionals, gain new knowledge, stay current with the trends, and build new relationships with vendors.
While working from home doesn’t preclude agents from attending these events, everything became more difficult due to COVID-19. Many people are reluctant to attend these events due to the risk of infections not to forget the travel bans imposed in many countries.
3. Interacting with Clients
The real estate business involves a lot of human interactions.
If you’re not conducting house showings you’re discussing the terms of sale. Also, from time to time, you’ll need to schedule meetings with clients as well as meet up with the various parties involved in a real estate transaction.
In the past, these interactions were fluid as there were no risks involved. Then came COVID-19 and everything changed. Now, people are urged to stay at home or at least 1.5 meters apart to minimize the spread of the virus.
But real estate agents have been adapting to these changes. Savvy realtors have been using video conferencing tools that replicate face-to-face meetings when working from home.
Over the past few months, tools like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype have gained so much traction and are slowly changing the real estate game.
The Final Thoughts
The pandemic may have disrupted the industry but real estate agents have adapted to these changes and are working as usual. With the right real estate tools in place, real estate agents have proven that working from home is possible with or without the pandemic.