Real estate agents and brokers are trying to figure out how to do their job while maintaining social distancing, especially because the status of brokerage activities has been changing.
From non- essential to essential, realtors are still trying to understand how they should be conducting business.
“When we’re going out we’re meeting with clients at multiple different houses and touching lock boxes," said Howard Hannah Realtor Dylan Wise. "There definitely can be more of risk involved especially when it’s person to person meetings.”
Recent backlash, including a petition, against the decision to allowing property showings, the Empire State Development agency has clarified the guidelines for real estate brokerage actives. While still deemed an essential industry, brokers cannot do business as usual.
“There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered we’re non-essential with liquidity what does that mean," said Gloria Realty Group Broker Gloria Barbano. "We can still conduct business we just have to be creative.”
A spokesperson with the Empire State Development agency said agents are allowed at their offices to do showings and oversee transactions, but anything else is off limits. For Barbano, a broker who’s worked in real estate for 30 years, that means doing virtual house tours.
“So, on zoom, there I am with my customer form California, an agent with her customer, with her sellers. They gave us a virtual tour and it was really even nicer because it was a personal tour. They could tell us what they loved about the property and what their concerns were when they first bough it, they showed us the neighborhood, it was really, really lovely," said Barbano.
In the last two weeks she’s sold three houses, proving that people are still interested in buying homes, despite concerns associated with the health crisis. Real Estate agents are continuing to work from home in order to protect themselves and the public.
“It’s just about safety and being patient. I would just ask all clients out there if they’re trying to purchase a home, just give us a little bit of time," said Wise.
Appraisers are also able to visit properties for inspection.