As COVID-19 cases plateau across the country, many industries are opening up. Is it time for Realtors to get back to work, too?
The Spring real estate cycle is upon us. With interest rates at historic lows, many buyers are ready to purchase a home, even amidst a pandemic. Home sales have slowed during the shutdown, but owners are eager to sell their homes as summer approaches. There are indications that the real estate market will bounce back quickly.
Realtors and other real estate professionals are ready to get back to work, too. A massive drop in the number of homes bought and sold in March left many agents worried about the future. But now that states are loosening restrictions, how can you make up for lost time and stay safe while jumping back on the real estate horse?
Is This the Right Time for Real Estate to Reopen?
Realtors Going Back to Work
Each state is reopening essential and nonessential businesses based partly on the White House’s reopening guidelines. Each state – and each district within the state – has experienced the pandemic differently. Coastal states like New York and California have seen considerable surges in hospitalizations. The hardest-hit areas of the country will take longer to reopen according to the White House guidelines. But states where Coronavirus cases have leveled off will begin Phase One of the plan, opening up some businesses, restaurants, and yes, reopening real estate operations.
Whether or not it’s the right time depends on several factors. For instance, consider your location. Is your area seeing a downward trend in cases? Are there enough hospital beds and personal protective equipment for medical personnel? If you live in an area where Coronavirus is limited, you’re well within your rights to get back to work.
However, if you’re in a hard-hit area, or if you or someone you live with is part of a vulnerable population, you may want to wait. There are ways to keep your real estate business operational virtually, so consider those options as an alternative if you feel unsafe.
Real Estate During COVID-19: Is It Back to Business as Usual?
For most of us, jumping back into our regular real estate routine is perfectly safe. However, it’s likely to be months – or even years – before things look “normal” again.
Each state issues its own guidelines regarding real estate activity, but some rules are standard across the nation:
- Realtors and their clients must wear masks during showings, closings, and other close-proximity activities.
- All parties should minimize large groups and use virtual tools whenever possible. For Realtors, this means increasing the number of virtual showings you offer and boosting your listings with 3D maps and virtual floorplans.
- Continue to practice social distancing, wash hands regularly, and keep from touching your face.
Why it’s Time for Real Estate to Get Back to Business
Real estate has always been a part of the American dream. As many are anxious about the state of the economy, businesses that can return safely to work are doing their part to get people back to work.
The real estate industry is unique in that people always need to buy and sell property, no matter what else is happening in the world. There will always be job transfers, weddings, births – all the milestones that require citizens to buy and sell homes.
Even now, as the world around us is shut down, sold signs are popping up, moving vans are backing into driveways, and Americans are moving. It’s our responsibility to help them buy and sell their homes safely.
Realtors Back to Work: How Agents and Clients Can Stay Safe
Public health and safety is the most crucial factor. Some states aren’t yet allowing in-person real estate activities. Pay close attention to your state’s guidelines to ensure you and your clients stay well.
There are plenty of ways to keep your real estate business afloat, even amid restrictions.
1) Utilize virtual tools like 3D animated tours and virtual open houses. Technology offers real estate professionals so many options to work remotely, so take advantage of every tool at your disposal.
2) If you do conduct in-person business, make sure you take precautions to protect yourself and your clients. Wear face masks any time you’re in public, and insist your clients do the same. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash your hands whenever possible. Skip the handshakes. Cover your cough. And do not work if you are sick. These precautions drastically reduce your chances of catching the virus.
We’re all trying to figure out what business looks like in this new landscape. But real estate never stops, and we shouldn’t either. By taking proper precautions, we can ensure home buyers and sellers continue to seize their piece of the American dream.