It seems like all industries have had to shift their practices in some form or another to digital interfaces. From groceries and automobiles to wine and online degrees, many have made the leap. These services create a space where the customer feels a sense of control and convenience. With the onset of the current pandemic, could we see a huge shift in how the Real Estate Industry interacts with its customer?
Real Estate and COVID-19
Like every person and every industry around the world, the Real Estate Industry is having to adjust to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As states decide how to respond, many realtors are already having to stop showings and limit many housing transactions. In our previous post, we advised that all realtors in all states should pay attention New York State. As New York City is the first major city with large outbreak numbers, its statewide choices will impact the states that follow. Realtors must look at how the industry is shifting in New York in order to prepare for coming days. Given the limitations of many states at this point, it seems that the RE Industry is asking for a digital upgrade in order to keep business moving.
Let’s Get Digital
According to Jeff Andrews of Curbed, “Situations like this are playing out all over the country. With much of the United States under shelter-in-place orders, real estate professionals are having to find innovative ways to finish transactions that were already underway and create a path forward for future sales.” Given these situations, it is critical that agents have the ability to digitize. REALLY allows Realtors to complete legally binding referrals within the platform. During this time, many Realtors themselves could be considered “high risk” individuals. The opportunity of referring clients to other Agents has never been a better idea. Additionally, REALLY offers a Community space where Agents can consult with other Agents. This is especially important during these trying times.
As most Real Estate Professionals know, a lot of our industry is analog. Curbed states that “the traditional real estate transaction is an antiqued process that relies on redundant paperwork and in-person meetings for things like notarizing paperwork, appraisal, inspection, and final walkthroughs. None of those elements allow for easy social distancing.” However, digital technology can offer a solution. The Real Estate Industry has resisted going digital. COVID-19 has caused a shift where it almost seems to mandate the change. No one fully knows or understands where the housing industry will be in the next few months. Yet, in order to keep the housing market afloat, we must adapt.
What Can We Do to Digitize?
As far as showing homes, many Realtors have started using digital technologies. Some have used sites such as a Zoom showing or 3D home tour. There are many services out there such as Matterport that offer a 3D experience. Matterport promises that their “powerful all-in-one 3D data platform” turns any space “into an accurate and immersive digital twin.” Fortunately for the real estate industry, digital technology can solve these problems. The industry has been slow to adopt these technologies, relying on old methods, but COVID-19 has turned digital technologies from a novelty into a necessity, and it could end up being what finally forces the real estate industry into the digital age.
Lindsey Quistgaard is the Content Marketing Director at REALLY. She has experience writing and curating marketing content and materials for various companies including NLyte DCIM Software Company, Orange-Ulster BOCES, and REALLY. Lindsey is also freelance writer, adjunct college professor, and published poet.