Let’s begin by establishing the fact that pre-covid Café Realty was running at full speed in an extremely active market in the Hudson Valley serving sellers, buyers and investors’ real estate needs. On March 22 the real estate industry was put on pause along with the world as we needed to protect ourselves from this invisible killer. The safety of our families and clients is always in mind, this is our top priority.
In person contact with clients and agents is prohibited and anyone found violating this order could be fined up to $10,000! We needed to think fast, act quickly and adapt. The one thing that an independent brokerage can do is adapt, retool, revise and re-invent our daily practice, much of which was formerly done in person.
So with the “no in-person” contact mindset we made some changes, which will continue to evolve as the next normal is determined. Those changes were simple to add to our already mostly digital systems and tools. Our agents too would need to pivot to address the virtual world of communication. Virtual showings, virtual open houses, electronic document delivery, social channel outreach and our all new Digital Listing Program (DLP) are some of our immediate tactics. Long term strategy is in development and will focus on the company’s financial health and our agents’ well being.
What we do know, in a sea of uncertainty, is that home is more important now than ever. People are seeking comfort and safety and are discovering a deep understanding of community. There is no community without unity and the good will experienced has been overwhelmingly beautiful. Our sincerest gratitude to all essential workers, especially the health care heroes and first responders who exemplify extraordinary human kindness.
Our agents were asked about their experience during this challenging time and how they are constantly finding solutions to every problem that arises. “It’s like jumping hurdles then being slowed down by speed bumps”, says Rita, one of our agents who is well trusted by her sphere of influence. “There are delays, information lag and unanswered questions and we need to be quick and intentional with tactics to overcome these issues.” We seek clarity as we guide our agents and our clients to the best options.
Buyers want to see homes in person and this is only possible without contact which means arranging for a virtual tour. “The fear of technology has delayed some transactions, no straight answers are given”, claims agent Joanna who is putting together 2 coop transactions and is hitting a brick wall because the technology is not in place for some brokerages and management companies. She is optimistic that it will close with her perseverance.
On a different note, Michael, Café Realty agent in NY and CT has managed to put 2 deals into contract since quarantine began. He is supporting his clients past, present and future to be sure they are OK. “I’m stepping up and getting involved, I see a deeper sense of community among people.”
Ron, a Café Realty buyer’s agent says ” I miss the interaction and relationship building aspect right now, but I am still getting it done the safest way possible.” He also noted that our core service providers (attorneys, mortgage brokers/loan officers, inspectors, photographers, title agents) have been great with assisting us to keep deals together, “the buyers closed in a parking lot!”
We have closed on 15 transactions that we entered into prior to quarantine and we continue to follow through with every client. Patience, communication, adaptability, innovation and proven results in an unprecedented time is who we are. We are optimistic that the market will rebound and that we, as humans, will be reunited in a more caring, empathetic and sanitized future world. A kinder, gentler human spirit will emerge and hopefully remain long after covid is forgotten. Business unusual looks like Café Realty…faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall challenges in a single bound!
Café Realty was founded in 2013 based on the mission to offer people guidance and options so they are able to make important decisions about their real estate needs. Experience the power and comfort of home with a local, independent, community-focused real estate company.
#safeathome #thepowerofhome #wemoveyou
Elisa Bruno-Midili, Associate Broker | Owner | Co-Founder | Creative Director