Real estate brokers switch to virtual open houses amid coronavirus outbreak

Nothing is safe from the coronavirus.

As the outbreak continues to impact daily life for many Americans, businesses are bracing for a difficult number of weeks (if not months). While many of the affected businesses seem obvious (restaurants, bars, movie theaters), even real estate agents are struggling.

Real estate brokers from New York City spoke with the New York Post about their current situation. According to the report, brokers are struggling to show off properties when many of their clients are worried about infection.

“I had a seller in Manhattan say, ‘I can’t allow anyone who’s recently been to Italy, South Korea or China’ to enter his home,” David Kong, a salesperson for real estate company Keller Williams NYC, told the news outlet.

He also told the outlet, “We do not have any casual lookers coming by because screening is so tight.” According to him, “We’ve been dealing with this for a couple weeks now in Long Island.”

Kobi Lahav also spoke with the New York Post, saying, “In the open house itself people are not shaking hands, there is always Purell. Some brokers I noticed refuse showings right now — don’t want to get exposed.”

The current situation has led Kong to start using remote 3-D tours on a wider array of locations. Previously, he reserved these sorts of tours for pricier listings or ones that might appeal to people from other countries who wouldn’t be able to visit in person.

When asked how long he thinks the situation will last, Kong told the New York Post, “I don’t think anyone has that crystal ball.”

He does, however, have a positive outlook, saying, “I think this’ll make for a lot of pent-up demand for when things get safe again.”

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