Real Estate Showings Head Online as Industry is Reclassified Essential - 27 East

Real Estate News

Real Estate Showings Head Online as Industry is Reclassified Essential

icon 3 Photos
The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic.

The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic.

The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic.

The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic. By Alec Giufurta

The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic.

The real estate industry, which was just deemed essential by the state, is scrambling to keep going in the midstof the pandemic. By Alec Giufurta

Alec Giufurta on Apr 7, 2020

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shuttered all nonessential businesses on March 22, the Hamptons real estate industry lost one of it’s tools in social distancing: live virtual showings.

As many agents moved to FaceTime, and even Zoom calls to show prospective tenants Hamptons rentals, Mr. Cuomo’s Pause order stopped new filming. On April 2, however. that changed — real estate was reclassified as an essential business.

Under the new classification, agents still must show houses only virtually: For some, like Taleb Adla, an agent at Douglas Elliman, this transition comes easy.

Mr. Adla has been integrating virtual showing technology into his business for years; His use of 360 degree technology “Gives me an edge over competition,” he said. Clients can view all angles of a property in Mr. Adla’s videos. “It’s completely transparent.”

Douglas Elliman decided to keep its offices closed, and agents working from home, Dawn Watson, senior public relations manager for Douglas Elliman said.

The move to virtual showings came as the Hamptons rental market saw a boost as Urbanites fled out East.

“We’ve seen an increase in rental activity over 40 percent over this period,” said Geoff Gifkins, regional manager at Nest Seekers International.

Nest Seekers’ agents, Mr. Gifkins shared, have innovated with virtual tours and virtual walk-throughs to show properties.

Mr. Gifkins said clients have been understanding of compromisations: “Nobody wants to get sick. Nobody wants to infect anybody else.”

“With rentals, most people are taking them for what they see on the internet or videos that have been shot by the agents and things like that,” Mr. Gifkins added.

Before the reclassification, Mr. Gifkins said his agency had to use programs that splice together high resolution photographs of a property to appear like a video tour.

Contract closings were also moved online. Buyers and sellers have used electronic signatures. “The lawyers [then] get together and do the closing with the title company,” Mr. Gifkins said.

As an essential industry, however, real estate agents are allowed to oversee transactions in person, while maintaining social distancing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

For home sales, Todd Bourgard, senior executive regional manager of sales at Douglas Elliman said the virtual alternative is less viable. “The chances of somebody buying a home before they can even walk into it is slim to none,” he said.

Mr. Bourgard attributed any sales bump in the East End to a particularly active January and February. “Those deals are now coming to fruition and closing,” he said.

“Will there be a slowdown in sales until this passes? Yes,” Mr. Bourgard added.

Mr. Adla appreciated that agents were forced to utilize virtual showing technology. “To do FaceTime and regular video is super easy,” he said, noting that the 360-type videos he has used are considerably harder to produce.

“I think it’s something people should’ve been utilizing a lot sooner, and it’s great that they’re learning now,” he said. “It’s the future”

You May Also Like:

Attorney General Announces $10 Million In Housing Counseling Funds To Stave Off Foreclosure

New York State’s Homeowner Protection Program, or HOPP, now has $10 million in grant funding available for housing counseling and legal services to help protect homeowners from foreclosure in the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Friday that HOPP connects homeowners to free, qualified mortgage-assistance relief services across New York. Ms. James noted that the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that 170,000 homeowners asked for mortgage forbearance in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 7,000 requests in the fourth quarter of 2019. The funding supports a network of more than 80 housing counselors and legal ... 3 Aug 2020 by Staff Writer

State Legislature Passes Bill To Deter Discrimination Among Real Estate Agents

The New York State Legislature has passed legislation protecting state residents from discrimination by real estate agents, and now the bill heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk to be signed into law. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor said in a statement this week that the bill is designed to help end discriminatory practices in the real estate industry that disproportionately affect minority homebuyers. The legislation makes clear that real estate brokers and salespersons may be fined and their licenses suspended or revoked for subjecting prospective homebuyers to discriminatory practices. Mr. Thiele’s office noted in press release that ... by Staff Writer

Rachael Ray, John Cusimano Sell Southampton Home And Land

Quick-and-easy-cooking television personality Rachael Ray and her husband, attorney and musician John Cusimano, have sold ... 31 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer

Parking Variance Request Ignites Debates Over Residential-To-Office Conversions In Sag Harbor

A request for a parking variance to convert a third-floor Main Street apartment into office ... 28 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Sag Harbor Architectural Review Board Sends ‘Imposing’ Madison Street Proposal Back To The Drawing Board

The Sag Harbor Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review sent plans for a ... 27 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Manhattan Broker Lisa Maysonet Now Working In The Hamptons

Lisa Maysonet, a top Manhattan real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, is now working ... 25 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer

Officials: Updated Southampton Housing Plan Will Go Beyond Affordable Housing

Southampton Town’s updated housing plan will go beyond addressing the need for affordable housing and ... 24 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Second-Quarter Hamptons Home Sales Dip 13 Percent

Amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York and the state mandates that ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Community Preservation Fund Revenue Up 39 Percent In First Half Of 2020

The Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund collected 39 percent more revenue in the first ... 21 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer

Transitional Southampton Village Oceanview Estate Sells For $14.6 Million

An 11,000-square-foot oceanview and pondview Southampton Village home that is the cover star of its ... 20 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer
logo

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported