ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - COVID-19 is forcing some industries to change the way they conduct business.
Many are turning to technology to keep their interactions contact-free.
“You’re not talking about 30 days, 90 days, it doesn’t matter. What you do now, and how to adapt and pivot your business now, will affect your business six months down the road,” said Shawn Layton, realtor at Central Florida Home Boys.
Shawn Layton and his coworker Jimmy Hendrickson, aka the Central Florida Home Boys, have modified how they sell homes in an attempt to survive the coronavirus shutdown.
They’ve transitioned to a completely virtual process.
“We still have deals that we’re working on that fortunately we’re able to move forward with based on the virtual technology that we have available,” Hendrickson said.
Starting with video consultations, the realtors then provide a video tour, a high-tech 360-degree home walkthrough, virtual inspections and even contact-less closings.
“Then, do a virtual or mobile notary closing. Everything is available, still, using different technology now,” Layton said.
Internet real estate brokers are a new option for sellers
According to real estate website Zillow, new listings are down 27 percent nationwide.
“There’s so much unknown in the market, whether it be ‘will I have a job in a month? Will my hours be cut? How’s my stock portfolio going to be affected?’” Hendrickson said.
Another business changing with the times, car dealerships.
Starling Chevy is offering contact-less vehicle buying.
“You can do video walk-arounds. We can email as many pictures as you would like. We’re dropping-off vehicles at guest’s houses,” said Walker Starling, owner at Starling Chevrolet.
The realtors at Central Florida Home Boys say they're trying to lift spirits.
“Our mission going into real estate was creating a fun, positive, uplifting customer experience. Now is more important than ever to keep that going,” Layton said.
Some advice for home buyers, the realtors recommend video tours over stills to get a better idea of the flow of the home.
For sellers, they say utilize technology to sell your home and invest in professional-quality video.