Today marks an important anniversary: It was a year ago that Covid-19 took over our lives. Shortly thereafter, the world was paused and turned completely on its head.
We have all been affected one way or another. There have been jobs lost. Painful goodbyes to far too many. Unprecedented fear and uncertainty. In many ways, it’s hard to believe that we’ve already endured a year of such extreme turbulence and discord. In other ways, it’s sometimes hard to remember a time before Covid, now that this has become our new normal for so long.
And so, having gone through the many ups and downs of the last year and the chaos it’s inspired, we sit on this side of the virus armed with the knowledge, courage, agency, and ability to acknowledge the many ways we have grown and all we have learned. We have been forced to examine the things that we can live without and the things we can’t.
Come to find, navigating the ever-changing landscape of residential real estate has forced us to do the same.
Our agents have weighed in on the key takeaways from this year, from what they are itching to get back to, and what they have come to appreciate and respect about this time.
What Are The Challenges You’ve Faced?
Unanimously, our agents agree that one of the biggest challenges is eliminating Open Houses. These can often be the bread and butter of our industry, offering human connection and the excitement of possibility. Sales Agent, Bethe Vanier notes “Before Covid, potential buyers who are not ready to start the process of buying could still meander into an open house, test the waters, and possibly fall in love with a home when they were not expecting it.”
Spontaneity as a whole is lost. Indeed, it’s often more difficult to schedule impromptu appointments: as Kellen Cole says, “Before Covid-19 you could drive by the home, call the agent off the sign, and instantly get access to the home.”
Perhaps one of the most obvious challenges comes in the form of lost human connection. Although at Kim Cole Real Estate, we 100% support the use of masks, Kellen notes that, “it does impede the ability to read prospects or buyers. Oftentimes, people say a lot more with their body language and facial expression than they do with their words.”
What Are Some of the Benefits You’ve Seen?
Yet, on the flip side, the connection between buyer and agent is stronger than ever before. There are inherently more touchpoints and one-on-one meetings between agent and buyer because buyers can’t tour a home without their agent. Because showings need to be more carefully planned, interactions are more thoughtful. Kim Cole affirms that, “This inevitably strengthens the bond between agent and client. There is serious teamwork in a relationship that previously may have been more taken for granted.”
And as the single-family home market continues to skyrocket, using time wisely and strategically has been crucial. Because there is now a strict process agents, buyers, and sellers must adhere to, from scheduling appointments to coordinating showings, the quality of prospects has improved as clients tend to be much more serious. Sales Associate, Jonathan Payne finds that this process has made it easier to “weed out the looky-loos and spend quality time with clients who are ready to buy.”
Largely, there is a greater sense of thoughtfulness and intent. There has been a terrific sense of respect for the Seller’s property as you insure hands are clean, shoes are off, and visitors are limited. Agents are more intentional in their planning and time management and are more collaborative. “We have realized the value of relationships is even more important. We interact with more respect, knowing that we all are carrying more load, and could use support, patience, and kindness.” – Kim Cole.
We have all experienced a greater appreciation for the little things – a walk in nature, the comfort of our homes, a phone call from a loved one. While we all miss being able to interact freely with our friends and family, or, heck, even going to the movie theatre for date night, there are some “Covid customs” we hope stay with us once things return to normal.
We have a heightened level of consideration, respect, and creative thinking that we will continue to practice and adopt. As we continue to fight for our clients, our relationships, and our renewed sense of self, we have proven our resilience that we will carry with us in 2021 and beyond.