Real Estate - Again an Essential Business
The real estate industry, struggling with coronavirus-linked limitations, got a boost with its sales business reclassified as an “essential” industry. The California Association of Realtors said Saturday, March 28, 2020, that commercial and residential real estate services were included on an updated list of essential services from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The association said this new “essential” designation does not mean back to business as usual.
Every aspect of the real estate industry, from brokerage operations to how listings are being marketed and the ability to close transactions, is requiring Realtors to adapt to these extraordinary circumstances. We want clients to know that we will continue to service them and can continue to market their homes using an incredible array of available technology. Three-dimensional interactive property scans, virtual tours, live tours and virtual staging to showcase a property are just some of the tools we have.
Our affiliates are also quickly adapting to this new normal. Escrow companies continue operations but are dramatically limiting physical access. Physical inspections are no longer a group event, traditionally attended by the buyers, their agents and sometimes the sellers and their representatives. Instead, inspectors arrive with masks and gloves to do their work alone. Lenders are offering an entirely digital experience, 100% free from physical human contact through closing. And in some cases, are allowing drive-by appraisals without appraisers risking infection or transmitting the virus to and from homeowners.
Following these best practices will enable all real estate professionals to demonstrate care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19 while providing the essential services of residential and commercial real estate recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as being necessary for the maintenance of America’s critical infrastructure.