The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has quickly triggered novel ways in which real estate agents approach their business. Case in point is the fledgeling virtual open house.
Traditionally, we Realtors host face to face broker and public open houses, which enable us to promote our listings, and get the word out about a specific property. That all changed with the onset of this pandemic. Now, thanks to video, and live electronic meeting programs, we have the opportunity to host virtual open houses, where the listing agent schedules an open house as normal, bute adopts a platform such as Facebook Live, Zoom, Facetime or other similar live two-way video feed to 'virtually' show the property.
I'll be hosting my first virtual open house this Sunday April 19th, 2020 between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., at 3 Chinn Lane, Middleburg, VA 20117 , and I am pretty psyched about it! And mildly apprehensive too...as happens with something new.
I've chosen Zoom as my platform of choice, which I have been using for online meetings lately. Zoom has a lot of great features, one of which is requesting that participants register in advance, which I will be implementing. In this way, I will know how many 'visitors' I should expect, but it also allows me to offer a prize drawing to all who register - and attend! A fun incentive and another way to create extra buzz. It is also essentially a virtual sign in sheet, and will enable me to get feedback later.
Further, for this first virtual open house, I will be interviewing my client, the seller, while we both adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. Prospective buyers and their representatives will have the opportunity to ask her about her house, why she purchased it in the first place and what she loves about it. And what she will miss.
During this unparalleled point in our lives, there is a great deal of introspection going on. Perhaps many things we have taken for granted in the past will remain things of the past. Kindness and neighborliness, appreciation and generosity can be seen everywhere. Long may that last. But adaptability has seldom been a more critical tenet, one which we will all be working on the longer this goes on.
Stay safe, look out for one another - we are in it together.
Peter writes for his local magazine, Country Zest & Style, as its Wine Editor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!