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Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have negatively impacted virtually all U.S industries, with real estate being no exception. While low interest rates continue to bring many buyers to the market, many sellers remain hesitant to list their home during the pandemic.

As states progress through their roadmaps to recovery, businesses are slowly reopening, which is encouraging news for our country. According to the Washington Post, the economy gained 2.5 million jobs during May. This was excellent news because this is the first time jobs have been added since February. Much of this can be attributed to the opening of many states during the middle/end of May. 

Real estate agents who have taken a proactive approach during the pandemic should be in a primed position for an influx of buyers in the coming weeks. Agents who have not already invested in their website, online lead generation and other marketing campaigns will likely be at a disadvantage from their competition. However, it is important to remember it is never too late to invest in your real estate business. No matter the circumstances, there will always be people looking to buy and sell homes in the U.S. 

There are Americans who put their home search on hold because of job loss or because they didn’t believe now was a good time to purchase a home. As we progress into the summer, we should see real estate transaction totals continuing to climb as more restrictions are lifted. While we are nowhere near being out of the woods with COVID-19, there are positive signs that people should be optimistic about the residential real estate market.

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With the right precautionary measures taken, buyers and sellers can still safely carry out their real estate plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both processes require additional steps/precautions, we have the tools and resources to complete real estate transactions. Read on and discover a few practices for safely buying or selling a home during COVID-19.

Digital communications

We are heavily reliant on technology during COVID-19 to conduct business operations. Real estate agents are communicating through email, phone, text messaging, or video conferencing applications. Some of the most popular video conferencing applications for agents include Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Although there is a learning curve for some, these platforms are well received by most buyers and sellers today.

Virtual tours 

Many buyers are hesitant to attend in person showings. Although they already had a presence in the real estate industry, they spiked in popularity over the last several weeks. By integrating 3D tours and videos, one can generate more traffic to their online listings. 

E-Transactions 

Not only are e-transactions safer than in person closings, but they are far more efficient. With the help of e-signature technology, home transactions buyers and sellers do not need to sit together at a table and pass around pens. 

Routinely disinfect surfaces

In addition to wearing face masks and washing your hands, we must ensure that high-touch areas are routinely disinfected. This includes countertops, doorknobs, handrails, lockboxes, cabinets, and so forth.

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With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to make predictions about the housing market in the upcoming months. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the U.S, buyers, sellers, and agents are pressured to modify traditional real estate practices to meet the unprecedented needs of these challenging times. Interest rates are at a continuous low, bringing many buyers into the market, and this trend is predicted to continue into the summer. Read on and discover a few housing market trends to anticipate into the summer. 

Individual home visits

Traditional open houses may not be a part of the summer housing market as a result of precautionary measures surrounding the pandemic. With these social distancing measures in place, individual visits will continue to be the norm this summer due to current COVID-19 guidelines. Prospective buyers who want to see a listing in person will be required to schedule a time to limit the number of people in a home at once. 

Bidding wars

While it is difficult to predict, there is reason to believe that because there may be inventory reductions in many markets across the country, there will also likely be a spike in bidding wars. Sellers this summer should keep this in mind as they are pricing their homes. 

Digital reliance 

The ongoing pandemic continues to increase the need for digital applications for real estate professionals. Not only are agents using virtual as a way to show homes, but electronic document signing has also increased in popularity in previous weeks. Regardless of what unfolds with COVID-19 in the upcoming months, we should expect the industry to continue to adapt to digitized processes. In many ways, digital usage promotes efficiency and is a cost-effective way of conducting business.

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The COVID-19 outbreak in our country has brought much uncertainty to the real estate industry. Buyers and sellers want to remain informed about the current state of the market this spring, whether or not homes are selling in certain areas, updates about the virus, and other information that would affect their real estate plans. 

Email continues to be one of the most widely used digital communication methods in the world today. Businesses of all sizes use email to connect with customers. In terms of real estate businesses, it is a great tool for sharing relevant information with current and prospective clients. 

Not only can you provide relevant news updates over email blasts, but you can also promote your business. Because Americans are remaining at home during the pandemic, they are spending more time online and as a result, are hungry for fresh content each day. Potential buyers and sellers are curious to know how your real estate services will be able to help them reach their goals. They also want to know whether or not you are taking the proper precautions to serve clients while practicing social distancing, as well as any special offerings you may be having.  

Many businesses today will advertise their email lists over their social media accounts. This is also an excellent way to direct people to your website. Once you have identified your target audience for your email list, you can begin tailoring your campaigns to provide the most relevant types of content possible. You want to be sure that the landing page you provide has an opt-in/subscribe button to those who wish to enter their email. 

If your real estate business has yet to create an email list you are missing out on an excellent opportunity to gain subscribers and potentially turn them into your clients.

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While some Americans love being able to work out of their homes, many are struggling with this significant change in their work environments. If you are accustomed to working in an office or traveling throughout the day, it can be difficult to adjust to working from home during business hours. Consider the following potential benefits of working from home as a real estate agent during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Improved work-life balance 

A vast majority of American workers do not enjoy long work commutes. Not only can traveling to work every day be expensive, but it is time-consuming. Now that many employees have the opportunity to work from home, they can also enjoy less time spent driving, sitting in traffic, or dealing with public transportation. This time saved from eliminating your commute can now be used to spend more time with your family, exercising, or personal hobbies you would otherwise not have the time for on a typical work day. 

Reduced stress

People generally feel at ease when they are at home. When a person is more satisfied with their surroundings, particularly in their work space, they tend to feel happier and more productive throughout the day. As a result, they are more efficient in their role with greater job satisfaction. 

Increased productivity

While this is not necessarily the case for every agent, many agents are more productive when they are working out of their homes. This is because office settings can sometimes be loaded with distractions from working with members of a team. When an agent can work in a remote setting, they can tailor their workspace to make it an ideal personalized workspace. For example, an agent may enjoy working in a room with windows or prefer to work with soft background music playing to help them concentrate.

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The COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S has increased the need for digital notarization and e-signatures this year. While they have been in use for some time, they are becoming more common in real estate transactions in recent weeks. Home buyers, sellers, and agents want to continue practicing social distancing while carrying out home closing procedures. Instead of keeping 6 feet away from others while wearing a face mask, many people are choosing the virtual route instead. If we continue to see successful remote closings, we should expect them to be used readily even after the pandemic comes to an end. Besides the obvious benefit of being able to stay at home, here are three significant benefits of remote closings during COVID-19. 

Remote closings save time.

In 2020, people work on all different types of schedules. Because of this, it can be challenging to get all parties involved in a real estate transaction together in one physical location. However, with remote closings, you do not need to worry about scheduling or everyone driving to one place. 

Remote closings are easier signing experiences.

For years, paper documents needed to be printed and distributed to home buyers. Because several documents are needed, it is easy for a page to go missing or for a buyer to miss a signature. With remote closings, this eliminates this concern because they ensure everything is filled out entirely.

Remote closings are less stressful.

It can be stressful for buyers to sit at a closing table. For most people, buying a home is the largest purchase a person will make in their entire life. People tend to be less anxious at remote closings because they feel less rushed when asked to sign several online documents. Buyers can review documents ahead of time before the eClosing to be sure they fully understand everything.

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