I know, we aren’t quite there yet, but we will hopefully be there before long, so it’s time to think about post-pandemic real estate.
Some, if not many, buyers and sellers will remain fearful.
How could they not, when the news media keeps telling us that the virus will not go away, and it could take years to develop an effective vaccine and/or cure? Even if there were no new cases for 90 days, I think they’d still be hollering “Danger!”
Just this morning I read that Spokane County was cleared for the next stage pf re-opening. It was all good news, until the last few sentences, which contained a warning. This isn’t over. Don’t relax!
Due to the fears, here are my predictions for your post-pandemic real estate business:
- Open houses and broker tours may become a distant memory.
- Post-pandemic real estate will retain elements of protection. It could be that all buyers and real estate agents will wear booties and gloves when touring homes.
- Technology will play a much more important role.
- Buyers will rely more heavily on their agents’ expertise and knowledge to reduce the number of homes they consider.
- Prospecting and maintaining contact with past clients and your sphere will remain as important as ever.
Technology will enable post-pandemic real estate agents and clients to do business with less contact.
While it is necessary for an agent to view a house before listing, and necessary for a photographer and a stager to spend some time in the house, I think contact with prospective buyers will be minimized.
Virtual tours will become more and more common as buyers demand remote viewing.
Up until now, agents and brokers have been having fun with virtual tours and using them as a listing tool with their higher-end clients. I think agents dealing with all but low-end fixer properties will begin using them as a matter of course.
Virtual tours will save time for buyers and save gasoline expense for agents. They will also become a listing tool for sellers at nearly every price point.
Property descriptions could also become more important for post-pandemic real estate listings.
Virtual tours let buyers “see” the house, but descriptions will fill in some blanks. For instance, descriptions can reveal brand names on fixtures and appliances, talk about what the sellers enjoy most about living in the house, and answer common questions that buyers have when touring in person.
Since MLS systems probably won’t start allowing more space, extended descriptions will have to be included as attachments, or on an agent’s website.
More and more contracts will be signed and negotiations will be conducted remotely.
Where agents used to sit down with clients to fill out listings or purchase agreements, they may now sit down in front of a computer to do a Zoom meeting. This is good because it reduces travel time, but perhaps not so good because it disallows part of the connection between agent and client. Still – it’s better than a phone call, where you can’t read any body language – and much better than an email.
Buyer agents will become more important – and have to work harder.
I think buyers will come to rely more heavily on their agent’s market knowledge area knowledge in helping them first choose a neighborhood or neighborhoods, and then choose a house.
An agent who is well armed with information from his or her buyers can guide them to neighborhoods that fit their budget while being convenient to the places they need or want to go on regular basis. After that he or she can use their want and need lists to narrow the choices within those areas and direct them to those listings on line.
If virtual tours are available, buyers might need only to personally tour one or two homes before making a decision.
Prospecting and maintaining contact with past clients and your sphere will remain as important as ever.
These activities might be even more important when your opportunities to network in person are limited.
We don’t know when society will get back to normal, but we do know that sellers and buyers will always want the best possible representation. Your prospecting letters, emails, and phone calls can show them that you are that agent.
Visit my prospecting letters page to choose from more than 40 different sets of prospecting letters, ready to download and use today. And… if you don’t see what you need for your specific niche, get in touch. Every letter set I offer was written because some agent said “I need…”
Those are my predictions for post-pandemic real estate…
What are yours? I’d love to know, so please leave them in the comments below.
Fears graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net
Remote agreement Image courtesy of Kookkai_nak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Leo L Linn says
People react based on feelings, not logic. That’s why people are afraid to fly when statistically it is one of the safest modes of transportation there is. the media has always sought sensationalism, even when it is not in the best interest of the public. I was in the Bay area, close to the epicenter of the 1989 quake. Based on the news coverage yo would have thought the area had been leveled and there were few survivors. Most of the area was fine. Rattled a bit, but only about 5 people out of every 100,000 perished. Every death is tragic, but the “News” people were definitely looking for headlines. COVID19 is definitely a virus to be respected, but it will likely run it’s course like past epidemics. Smoking, on the other hand, kills an estimated 480,000 Americans every year, and people still do it. COVID19 won’t ever approach that number. It’s a worthy adversary, but not nearly worthy of the attention, fear, and reaction it is getting.
Leo – That is so true. I agree that this will run its course. However, there are pessimists among us.
Bonner County has had only 4 cases – no deaths. And yet, when we talked with the doctor at V.A. in Sandpoint (Bonner County),he said “It will never be over. It will only get worse.”
Bah humbug to THAT kind of thinking!