Covid Hit and Technology Exploded
2020 started off as the best year ever. Valentine’s Day was on a Friday. 4th of July was on a Saturday. Halloween was also on a Saturday. Christmas on a Friday!! Then Covid-19 came and the world changed.
The challenges of 2020 have created massive opportunities in the real estate industry. As restrictions for home showings and face to face interactions have occurred we’ve seen an explosion of new ways for accomplishing the same goals developed. The adaptation of technology has accelerated to meet this ever changing world. As we continue to understand and accept the “new normal” we are finding that technology is stepping up to make it work.
Get The Basics out of The Way
Buyers should make sure they are 100% ready. Why spend the time or take the health risk if it’s not going to work out? Meet with a lender. Get the loan fully qualified and verified prior to seeing homes. Make sure you can afford the home you’re seeing.
One important way to avoid unnecessarily seeing homes is doing your homework upfront. Request the seller’s disclosures upfront. Listing agents can easily provide access to these to other agents through the MLS. If there are any concerns with HOA’s rules and regulations, find out before seeing the home if there’s a deal breaker.
When you buy a home you also buy the neighborhood. Before going out to see the inside of a home check out the neighborhood. If the neighborhood has a deal breaker then you can avoid going inside the home.
How Tech is Transforming the Process
Technological developments have existed within our industry for years. The first experiments with video conferencing were back in the 1930s. While some people have embraced tech others have been reluctant. Covid has forced everyone to evaluate tech and how it can be used.
Generally the first step to selling or buying a home is meeting with an agent, Face to Face. That meeting is critical. It establishes the goals and expectations for the client and the agent. 93% of all communication is non-verbal. In the world we live in today this meeting is still very important to have the meeting. Through technology we are able to still have this meeting and have it in a safe way. Video conferencing as a tech tool has been able to help with this. Being able to meet by video conferencing has enabled us to continue meeting Face to Face safely.
Seeing a home in person truly helps in the decision making process. Photos are helpful, video is more helpful, 3D walkthroughs can showcase a home at a high level. Photos cannot capture every angle of a home. There are a lot of limitations. Video will show more; however a viewer is limited by what the videographer actually captures. 3D tours like Matterport and RICOH are able to truly showcase a home. Utilizing technology enables buyers to avoid unnecessarily seeing homes. It also limits the amounts of buyers that come into a sellers home. This limitation of contact limits exposure to Covid. It also saves buyers time and limits inconveniences to the seller.
When a real estate agent shows a home the first thing they normally do is retrieve the key from the lockbox. The old fashion lockboxes are mechanical. Agents must touch the box, push buttons to put in a combination. This increases the risk of contracting Covid. Newer lockboxes can be opened without an agent touching them. These electronic lockboxes utilize Bluetooth technology so that agents don’t have to physically input a code. This can cut down drastically on contact upon entering a home.
The E-Signature is nothing new. Use it. Save a tree and save a physical contact point.
The online platform has become incredible for home shopping. Whether it is a website or App the amount of information available is incredible. Different websites and Apps focus on different information. The online platform that provides the information you’re looking for. By doing a thorough vetting of a home online, consumers will be able to have a much more enjoyable and safeer home shopping experience.
As we continue with the evolving “New Normal” the consumer real estate shopping experience will continue to evolve. The evolution is providing consumers with the best buying experience ever. From the comfort of their couches they will be able to do nearly the entire home buying experience. Going to the home will be only to verify their home choice. Closing will be the other time they physically have to be there. By working with a Tech Enabled agent the consumer experience will continue to be safer and more seamless.