Brave new world for real estate agents

With the outbreak of coronavirus in Australia, real estate agents have had to embrace some old ways of working along with some new.

Open homes are out and the traditional one-on-one personal home viewing is back in.

New technology is also being embraced, such as online auctions and virtual inspections.

Chapman Real Estate director Jonathan Crisp.

Chapman Real Estate director Jonathan Crisp.

The changes come after the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) demanded all real estate agents across Australia make significant changes to the way they conduct their business, particularly concerning house inspections and the conduct of public auctions.

An REIA spokesperson said the past practice with open homes and public auctions needed to cease.

"We need to take the Covid-19 Virus seriously. The deliberate organising of a gathering of people by a real estate agent flies in the face of the directives of the Prime Minister, " the spokesperson said.

"To continue to arrange unmodified public open homes and auctions is clearly irresponsible. One on one private inspections by appointment must become the norm coupled with the appropriate safeguards as recommended by health authorities."

Chapman Real Estate director Jonathan Crisp said his agents in the Blue Mountains are embracing the new changes.

"We have had in place for a number of years the technology platforms to help our agents do business more efficiently and as a result, they have adapted more easily to the current climate," he said.

"All our offices can handle the entire process with the technology we have, from listing your home for sale or lease, booking inspections, viewing a home, even signing on the dotted line".

Some of the tools used for marketing are virtual tours and virtual floor plans, you can actual measure your furniture at home and "virtually" move it in to see how it fits.

"Whilst we continue to monitor the advice from the government and health authorities, right now [as of April 2] we can still offer property inspections or market updates albeit one-on-one," said Mr Crisp.

"Most of my staff have completed infection control training - COVID19 through the Australian Government Department of Health, which should keep people's mind at ease. We take this very seriously and know how to conduct ourselves at these inspections, should they be required.

"Any questions, we are also just an old fashioned phone call away as well," he said.