Friday, March 13, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is pushing real estate agents around the country to show homes over video chat


The Seattle-based brokerage, Redfin, is looking to virtual home tours as a way to mitigate the coronavirus' impact on its business.

On March 4, the company added a tool to its app that allows prospective buyers to request that agents lead home tours virtually, through video chat. The app also has a feature that allows prospective buyers to request private in-person tours.

But it's not just Redfin looking for creative open-house solutions. As Curbed reported, other brokerages like New York-based Ideal Properties Group and Brown Harris Stevens are also encouraging brokers to offer virtual tours or private showings instead of hosting traditional open houses. In fact, a team from Compass has gone as far as partnering with RICOH Tours to stream open houses, according to Curbed.

According to Halstead's Open House Index, during the weekend of March 8, 13% of open houses had no one show up. Two weekends prior, that percentage was just 9%.

An internal memo from New York-based Warburg Realty gives a detailed layout of how agents should prepare for open houses and showings that are still taking place. These tips include making sure to have the names of all attendees (brokers, buyers), carrying cleaning supplies, and confirming beforehand that no one ill has recently been in the house/apartment on show.



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