The East End is now more than a week into Phase 2 of New York Forward, the initiative to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 quarantine. As more and more businesses open up to customers and clients, real estate groups weigh in on safety practices, health concerns and more.
Brown Harris Stevens Executive Managing Director Robert Nelson urges prospective buyers to exercise prudence. “We are cautiously proceeding on opening following state mandated procedures,” Nelson says, which include “strict mask and sanitation policies with limited agents working in shifts and screening questions before employees, agents and the public enter an office. We encourage everyone to work remotely with phone and conference video.”
For Bridget Terry, Real Estate Salesperson at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Real Estate, working remotely has proven highly successful. “I think the pandemic has changed the way we do business permanently,” Terry says. “The reality is, when you are buying, you only need to actually get inside the one or two homes that make the top of your list. Every rental I did this year was done with a FaceTime tour or video. That is how I am still doing them.” Terry also notes, “I was an office person before this started. I know every agent is not like that, but I was in the office every day. Now that I have been working remotely, I’m not sure how often I will go to the office.”
Other real estate offices emphasize the importance of safety first. “The health and safety of our agents, employees, and customers are of paramount importance,” Compass said in a statement provided to Dan’s Papers and Behind the Hedges. “In addition, the company is also recommending that agents pre-qualify buyers, share video tours ahead of in-person showings whenever possible, create walkthrough strategies, and properly disinfect homes after every scheduled showing.”