Is virtual everything here to stay?
Month two of the COVID-19 crisis has brought pain – emotional, physical, and economic – throughout America and the world at large. Still, many of us that are fortunate enough to be able to conduct business are finding ways to do so, despite the cognitive dissonance that it often creates.
In this edition of the Antenna Group Spaces COVID-19 Newsletter, we’ll be examining a couple of ways in which the industry is adapting to our current climate. It’s not news that professionals are leaning on technology to navigate social distancing restrictions, but the question remains: could these new practices lead to more permanent shifts, even after our public health crisis has ended?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, and learn about other creative methods that you’re employing to adapt everyday real estate industry processes to this new normal. Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
and let’s set up a time to chat!
Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness.
-The Antenna Group Spaces Team
Trends, Ideas, Innovations
Video conferencing, and lots of it
Whether you’re Zooming, getting together for a Hangout, or hosting a Houseparty, you’ve probably been part of a video call over the past few weeks. You’ve likely had some mild dread about needing to put on a presentable outfit or finding a quiet place to situate yourself. Maybe you’ve rolled your eyes at a colleague testing out yet another wacky backdrop.
So, it’s tempting to think that video conferencing is a stopgap – a necessary inconvenience as long as we’re all stuck at home – especially for a real estate industry that’s so often driven by in-person meetings and communications. But, after we spoke with David Goswick, part of the development team for the master-planned Waterlights project in Lago Vista, Texas, we began to understand that the benefits of video meetings may be far greater than we originally thought.
“I was in charge of arranging a meeting with a 49-person team of high-caliber developers and consultants from around the country – the kind of meeting that could take six months and $50,000 in total business costs to set up. We accomplished it in a week,” he said. “Not only did we cut down on time-consuming travel and logistical expenses, but we had an incredible level of participation from everyone involved, which is no guarantee for a meeting of this size.”
That kind of juxtaposition will be too drastic for organizations to ignore. Especially for large developments, these “all hands on deck” meetings can be extraordinarily cumbersome. Once restrictions are lifted, will we see more RE companies opting to conduct these critical meetings virtually, and, as David predicts, an overall reduction in business travel? We’d certainly lean ‘yes’ on both.
(Like some others in the industry, David also predicted a population shift back to the suburbs in the coming years – something we’ll explore in a future newsletter).
The housing market goes (even more) virtual
There’s no question that the housing market has slowed, but the fact that it hasn’t ground to a complete halt is a testament to the technology available to brokers, buyers, sellers, and renters today. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, we witnessed the increasing use of tools like immersive video walk-throughs and virtual staging to supplement sales and leasing efforts, but now, they’ve become a necessity.
While some areas still allow in-person showings, many are making the decision to rent – or even buy – after attending virtual open houses, signing contracts online, and even using remote notaries. There are even examples of those that rented based solely on static photos of the apartment.
It’s hard to imagine that renters – or especially buyers – will no longer want to physically tour a home before making a decision. But, there appears to be a growing number of people that trust in the digital assets that are available to them throughout the buying or renting process, and that sentiment will only grow as long as social distancing guidelines remain.
From Our (Home) Desk:
New e-book: Doing More With Less in B2B Marketing
While ROI is top of mind in any market cycle, the current pandemic has put added pressure on companies and marketers to make every dollar spent really count. To help, Antenna Group has created an e-book, Doing More With Less in B2B Marketing, which provides best practices for messaging, content, digital marketing and media relations in the age of COVID-19 and beyond.
Check it out here.