Key Highlights

  • Real estate brokerages, associations and independent firms/agents/brokers now adjusting their work schedules, meetings and conferences to respond to coronavirus threats and fears
  • As of March 5, Redfin, Realogy, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Compass, Zillow and National Association of REALTORS® began altering business practices and events to accommodate those who do not want to travel or meet in-person
  • Caution is name of this game

The federal administration and government entities in the US have been slow to the plate in preparing for and responding to the threat of exposure to COVID-19, a potentially life threatening form of coronavirus, up until the first week of March. Businesses have been much more on the ball.

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As of March 5, many real estate firms, associations and independents have picked up the reins. NAR, Redfin, Realogy, Zillow, Keller Williams. RE/MAX and Compass have postponed events/meetings, are asking their agents and clients to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the risk of infection and are utilizing already available technology in order to work with their buying and selling clients virtually and electronically. At this point in time, no doubt additional real estate businesses, buyers/sellers, associations, etc. have picked up these same reins.

For industry association members, agents/brokers and clients who are opting for tools and apps such as Zoom, Slack, Facebook’s Work Chat, Facetime (will Facetime replace face time?), etc. rather than traveling and face-to-face meetings. These tools and others are enabling video conferencing and face-to-face meetings, on-demand video home tours, video chats and, depending upon state laws, mortgage and title services for closings.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, is advising Redfin agents and clients who want to continue their transactions as before the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus to follow CDC guidelines…frequent hand washing and wipe downs on household surfaces with cleaning sprays. Kelman said, “We’ve advised our agents not to shake hands with customers…we’re asking our listing customers to have wipes on hand during private showings and for agents from other brokerages to use after a tour. We’re also supplying our agents with…cleaning materials.”

Strong demand for housing remained unabated until the beginning of the first week of March when the first US coronavirus was confirmed on February 29. Since, some buyers have “paused” their home searches and/or rescinded pending offers and some sellers have taken their homes off the market for the time being.

We’ll know sooner rather than later whether or not demand for real estate transactions will continue, flatten or drop substantially in light of this coronavirus. We’ll also know sooner rather than later whether or not all aspects of real estate transactions will become virtual and electronic realities.

 

Thanks to InmansNews’ Marion McPherson for source material/data.

Also read: Podcast: Top 10 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Listing (+Secrets to Getting it Signed!), Redfin Blows Away Earnings Expectations, Podcast: What You Must Know Now: Coronavirus, Recession, Market Crash