Get the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
What should be the busiest time of year for the real estate market has become stagnant. In areas like Long Island, New York, real estate agents are struggling to put buyers into homes.
“It's like it's came to a halt, like the world ended. We're down probably in listings 70 to 80 percent, according to the Long Island Board of Realtors,” John Schoonmaker, Managing Partner of Berkshire Hathaway homes services Laffey International, told Fox News.
Schoonmaker has been selling homes in the Nassau, Suffolk and Queens area since 2009, and says they can’t show houses due to social distancing. His firm is now reinventing itself with virtual showings to make sure they “ABC” (always be closing). In addition to virtual tours, he says motivated homeowners are doing something unique, too—FaceTiming.
“We're putting the seller and buyer together and they'll FaceTime to walk through the house," he said. "It's just reengineering our business for the time being.”
The paperwork necessary to sell homes has also been completely digitized. Although there is only about 6,000 listings on the market compared to the usual 10,000 listings for his area, Schoonmaker’s outlook on the market post-COVID looks bright, especially in suburbs.
“We're going to see that people who have been in city life are going to say I want a little separation. I want a little privacy,” Schoonmaker said. “Suburbia America will see an increase of purchasing through this.”