Real estate's theme of the month is “Look, but don’t touch.” Virtual showings are surging for real estate companies as the industry pivots to digital strategies to limit person-to-person contact. The listing companies hope to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect buyers, sellers, and agents. With the focus on virtual showings, some companies such as Redfin and Zillow are seeing triple-digit increases. Even though people are not necessarily buying now, they are still keeping their eye on homes in their preferred markets, sparking hope that once the pandemic passes, the industry will revive.
As more people are urged to stay home due to the coronavirus, many are still proving that they are interested in purchasing a home.
Although many real estate companies have paused home showings, the desire for digital home showings have risen rapidly.
In a new report from Redfin, the brokerage said it saw a 494% increase in requests for agent-led video home tours last week alone. As of Sunday, 18.9% of its tour requests from Redfin.com were video-chat tour requests, which was up from 0.2% at the beginning of March, a 94-fold increase, the company said.
“The future of real estate has come earlier than any of us could have anticipated,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in a statement. “The way things are during the pandemic won’t last forever, but at the end of all this, things won’t go back to the way they were either. We hope we’re well prepared.”