Real estate agents use robots to adapt to coronavirus
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The coronavirus is redefining how real estate agents sell homes to buyers.
With open houses now suspended, sellers, buyers, and agents are trying to navigate this new world.
But one local company has patented a way to show buyers homes face to face without either one of them actually being in the home.
It’s the new way that homes can be viewed in the Central Valley, made possible by a robot and agents at 3D Realty.
“What’s cool is that the agent and the buyer can be in opposite sides of the hemisphere. We both can beam in, and as you can see, we’re not losing a lot of connectivity,” says 3D Realty President Erick Motta.
Motta first invested in the technology that’s manufactured in Silicon Valley as a way to eventually be able to show homes with just a few minutes’ notice.
“So I never have to physically be at the property, I could zoom you in and we’re both talking in real life, real time, driving around seeing the property.”
The local real estate market has been steady recently, with plenty of homes on the market. But the coronavirus is starting to show signs it’s starting to change.
Some sellers are putting their homes temporarily on hold. Others are taking them off the market altogether until the pandemic is over.
“I’m seeing about 15-20 a day. But the normal is probably about 10-15 a day. So it’s not that great of a distance,” says Don Scordino of the Fresno Association of Realtors.
The quarantine and social distancing guidelines are forcing realtors to be more creative- since selling in person is more difficult.
“…whether it’s FaceTiming through the house or having the sellers take the pictures or having the agent forward some pictures to the buyer’s agents,” says Brandi Critzer of 3D Realty.
Many real estate companies are now more heavily promoting their properties on social media and taking advantage of 3D views and tours.
But the robots are the latest tool, ideal for social distancing.
Many homeowners, who still live in the house they are selling, don’t want potential buyers coming in for up-close views. With the Beam cameras, the agent, and the buyer can both virtually visit a home without ever stepping foot inside.
The robots are placed in the home and connected through Wifi. Within the next few months, 50 robots should be showing homes, with hopes of adding more each month.