(Black Press files)

REAL ESTATE: Face to face is now FaceTime, as tech savvy market adapted to forge forward

Real Estate columnist Freddy Marks ponders the social-distancing aspect of future real estate

Social distancing across the globe brings the already tech-savvy real estate market to the ultimate test.

Real estate is an industry born from face-to-face contact and will always need a human touch. But as we are urged to distance ourselves socially the impact on face to face business has to change… quickly!

The real estate market is already a tenacious, tech-savvy industry that utilizes all aspects of digital technology available to streamline how we go about buying or selling property. You can search, perform due diligence, submit an offer and perform an electronic closing of a property purchase while you are wearing your pajamas having a tea on your couch. Realtors communicate, showcase, validate and complete electronically signed property sales transactions daily. This is an important factor, as we may not have the freedom to travel anywhere we would like to in the near future. Communicating by live video chat platforms, instant messaging, email, cell phone or wifi calling. These are communication forms people already use daily and in the coming months will play a very important part of our lives. Citizens are choosing to work with technologically-advanced realtors who use all methods of online and social media marketing and now that online effort to showcase your home and property will be of utmost importance this spring. What can you do right now to keep moving forward with your real estate needs and goals?

If you’re buying at this time you should: keep actively searching and vetting listings.

1. Stay on the couch and use the amazing technology available to search for and vet homes and property online. Between YouTube, drone tours, 360 degree photos – realtors can even stream you a real time video walk through so you can ask questions and see what you want to in real time. Confirm digital documents through email and order inspections needed by phone with request to digital documentation to review.

2. Retain a tech-savvy realtor who is able to complete your home purchase with electronic signing technology so you can sign official documents remotely without leaving home on your smart phone or computer, this is becoming the norm and helps with personal safety at this time.

3. Make sure you shop the mortgage market online and with your broker, ensure you are getting the best rate possible as rates drop again in a stimulus response by BoC. You’re not going to get the best rate if you accept what’s advertised as prime by banks, so do some comparison shopping or work with a qualified broker.

4. This unprecedented time can be opportunity for investors to examine what is needed to revitalize our own provinces industries. It is apparent that even having a port shore that the BC needs to create our own supply chain of manufacturing to ensure that food, critical medicines and products are made here.

If you’re selling at this time: Your online listing profile needs to be extensive with video tour components.

1. Retain a realtor who is able to create a stunning online property profile with photo drone and video components that allows searchers to get as much information possible so they can make an informed decision about your property without being there in person. Confirm that your realtor can close on the sale of your home with electronic signing technology so you can sign official documents remotely without leaving home on your smart phone or computer.

2. Stay at home and stage it, use the time to touch up and clean clutter, then, use your digital camera or smart phone to take new photos and a video walk through to add to your existing online listing.Have your agent attend and take a video tour walk through, so interested clients can do a virtual tour of the home or property without actually being there. This will replace a showing and solves the issue needed at this critical time of social distancing and isolation.

3. Update and reword your listing description to ensure it highlights all the wonderful things that your location offers. The more information about the surrounding area or what activities you partake in regularly or where you shop and what schools and parks. Supply this to your realtor, no one knows your home and area like you do.

As we face abrupt changes and adversity, lessons are being learned about how BC needs to diversify our industry sector, production of food, hemp and value added wood products. Investors and individuals will be starting new business in new areas with new ideas. We will all need to adapt in some way to what the outcome of the financial crisis, the crippling of our oil and gas projects and the now front line health crisis with COVID-19.

Humanity with intelligence and ingenuity will prevail. The break down of the global supply chain has taught us that we must become more self-sufficient, as a province and a country. We can all do this as individuals with our everyday purchasing power. We can do nothing wrong with purchasing made in B.C. products to help our own economy and our own citizens.

Freddy Marks, together with his daughter Linda Marks, runs Agassiz’s 3A Group Sutton Showcase Realty. He has been a Realtor in Canada and Germany for more than 30 years and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs. Read the full column online at www.agassizharrisonobserver.com.

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