You’ve probably heard a lot about the negative impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market and related industry. Clearly, the infectious threat of the coronavirus on our economy isn’t lost on anyone. You likely understand that travel and tourism are a large part of the pathway to Hawaii’s recovery. And, who doesn’t know that it will be a while before we return to pre-COVID visitor counts? A long while. So, it only stands to reason that we will experience at least some compression in property valuations based on today’s current restrictions, the looming possibility of a resurgence, and our faltering economy. Enough said. You get it.
But, is there anything positive that has come out of this for the real estate industry at large? Have we learned anything new? Better ways to conduct business? The answer is “yes.”
Positive Changes in the Real Estate Industry
There have been many changes across the industry. Good changes. We’ve seen more paperless transactions. More efficiency and speed through the use of digital tools. We’ve learned how to showcase and sell properties virtually. As companies have faced closed office spaces, they’ve adapted. Become creative. Savvy real estate brokers have created digital experiences and services that aid the consumer. We’ve been able to expand the scope of our market universally. Needs of clients and customers are being met in new and creative ways. Ways that are likely to stay with us post COVID-19. Ways that will ultimately improve the customer experience.
We’ve also learned something about the heart of our industry. Realtors have always contributed to their communities in positive ways. Now more than ever, they are stepping up and giving back. For example, the Honolulu Board of Realtors has donated a total of $60,000 to distribute to local families who are having trouble paying rent. The Hawaii Life Charitable Fund will match $40,000 in donations to support the most critical needs in Hawaii due to COVID-19. And, fellow Hawaii Life agents have given back by partnering with Chef Hui, a Give and Go Community Meal program designed to support our local farmers, chefs and communities! These are just a few examples that display the heart of our industry at work. There are countless others.
There are no words to describe the devastating affect of COVID-19. The pain and havoc it has brought on so many is unfathomable. The far-reaching impact on our economy and our real estate market and industry is yet to be fully realized. But, there are positive things, lasting things, that will be borne out of it. Our industry is being refined. Shaped. Changed. And for the better.