16 December 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Changes in how we do real estate

Even though 2020 has been an active year on the sales side, how we transact in the buying and selling of real estate has changed in many ways due to covid. Some of these changes I think will stick around post covid and once we return back to some sort of semblance of our early lives. 

Let’s take a look at some of these changes and my thoughts on if they will stick around or not? Let’s have a look.

Public viewing on Open Houses. This quickly became a hot topic amongst Realtor groups on social media as many Realtors shared their opinions against those still doing them when we first went into lockdown. There were some very angry exchanges and opinions shared, some pretty downright ugly. I actually had to remove myself from one of these groups as it quickly became so toxic in nature.  O.H.’s tend to  be favoured mostly by real estate teams so they can generate leads (buyers for other properties) for their junior team agents, or agents who don’t have clients to run around with on the weekend. 
My prediction: They will fall out of favour and probably only be done on lower end property or vacant homes. With the advances in technology, virtual tour and photography quality, savvy agents will turn instead to leveraging these tools and to only “by appointment viewings”. We may even see an increase in shorter viewing times and ones in which the selling agent is present (I like this for many reasons). For most of 2020 we haven’t been allowed to do public open houses and this will be a top 3 year ever in sales. So they’re not needed. Broker opens will continue as they offer more value.

More virtual meet ups and less face to face. Out of necessity and mandate I went to virtual meetings immediately, along with many other Realtors. Technology platforms adjusted quickly and the user friendly zooms or google hangouts became the norm through much of the first half of the year. When summer hit we all longed to get outdoors a bit…but the virtual meetings kept on. 
My Prediction: This one is here to stay. We can now consult pretty much from anywhere, and at more flexible times. Also anyone who has bought or sold this year would have seen that meetings with lawyers were virtual as well. This as historic in nature along with the changing of banking changes to allow the ease of wire transfers. When was the last time you met in person with your bank or mortgage person? Video meetings are here to stay and will continue to evolve over time. 

Privacy. This has always been a hot button topic and has wide reaching consequences. Access to sold prices through public portals, reverse address searches to pull up names and contact info, social media searches on names for lifestyle and personal information are all free flowing today. It’s pretty easy to get a lot of valuable information in a family quick manner.  
My Prediction: I’ve long rallied against the weakening of privacy around information that flows around and out of real estate. I’m now waving the white flag on this, as individual privacy rights are eroding. This change is not only here to stay, but will only become more invasive. For example, on our Realtor Fintrac forms that must be completed on every purchase or sale, its now required that we ask for banking account details on where the funds were drawn for with the property deposit. For now, you can politely say no thank you…you don’t need my full legal name, current address, valid picture ID and banking information. But soon enough, this will become mandatory. Also, if you were getting help from someone else with the deposit (even if it were say a short term loan as your money is tied up in RRSP’s, they too need to fill out a full Fintrac form. Some say its to crack down on money laundering. I call bullshit on that. Laundering has been rampant and Fintrac has been around for a long time. These forms are only required to be filled out by SOME groups, such as Realtors. You want to launder money? Go buy/sell a house privately. Your good. 

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