One of the biggest changes coming to the real estate industry in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak could be an ever-deepening reliance on technology. Many agents were already using more and more of the online tools at their disposal to list and promote properties, but now, with all the sudden changes brought on by the outbreak and the measures enforced to limit its spread, they will find even more ways to keep in touch with their clients.
As many home seekers have declared in a Point2 Homes survey, they are still interested in buying property and they are still keeping an eye on the market, but the changes that they want to make include relying more on pictures and virtual home tours, and counting more on their agent for advice and recommendations.
To see how real estate agents and professionals are dealing with the current events, what their challenges are and how they are optimizing their business to meet and overcome these challenges, we talked to Jeremy Beard, Director of Business Development at LoKation® Real Estate.
What are some of your biggest concerns and the greatest challenges you are currently dealing with?
“Obviously the uncertainty of recent events has thrown every realtor for a loop. The initial issue was ensuring solid communication via multiple outlets. As such, I would probably point to the major successes. Chiefly, seeing the fruits of building-in fully scalable and operational redundancy to bolster continuity of operations for times like these. We are able to keep running at 100% with cloud-based systems including proprietary online office, The Sphere, VOIP phone system and converting all employees to laptops.
The next hurdle was educating REALTORs on how to continue with showings and other business as constraints were levied at the federal, state and local levels. This largely was providing answers for workarounds and using technology. Lastly, our Agent-to-Agent Communication platform has been instrumental in keeping agents abreast of latest intel and flow of corporate communication.”
What are some of the solutions and ideas that you think will help limit the ripples of the outbreak in the real estate industry?
“Technology, technology, technology. While we would hate to see this become the new most important aspect of Real Estate (given our name), we do feel that the success we have had in recent weeks with our REALTORS and our Family of Services (the Closing Team, The Mortgage Center and K Insurance) by employing smart tech will be the new norm. Specifically, on Jan 1st, 2020 Florida approved Remote Closing using just a laptop or tablet. This is lender dependent, but we have been utilizing often so there is no co-mingling of parties. If that does not work, we utilize Certified Signing Agents to go conduct closings in the new homes of clients.
Then there is just being smart or creative in modifying things we took for granted. Our LoKation Connect video platform allows for professional-looking walk-through of listings and also 3rd party services for virtual mapping using 3-D cameras. Positive handoff of keys using sanitizing bags and protocols for disinfecting a listing. Once the Stay Home orders abate, our agents will take to our platform for listing agents to find other LoKation agents to conduct showings for them at a small price. This has been a huge success. Finally, Agent-to-Agent and Corporate Communication is essential for the benefit of the collective. We have seen a massive spike in the use of these platforms.”
LoKation® Real Estate is a nationally ranked, vibrant company that’s paved its way as a premier full-service real estate firm.
With over 1,500 agents and a broad range of talent, they help people purchase their first homes, investors building their portfolios, businesses leasing space, homeowners looking to redevelop or build new homes and more. The company delivers a wide range of services and they arm REALTORS® with all the resources needed under one roof.