Stewart Peddemors has owned his real estate business in White Rock BC, Canada, for fifteen years.
Q: Were you still able to operate your business after your initial local shutdown?
A: We reacted quickly to the changing times. We were recognized as an essential service and began using social distancing and safety protocols right away. We also jumped online to virtual live tours of our homes.
Q: How do you feel it went?
A: The take up by the public was not as much as we hoped. Our live open house did not get the traction I think that could be there. We were live and ready to take people on 3D tours but had few visitors online. We tried a couple of different options to our online live tours. The simplest turned out to be Live Zoom tours of a listing at a scheduled time.
Q: What did you hear from customers about changes to the business?
A: There was a quick response from buyers to use PPE products and keeping a safe distance. The sellers were very concerned to the safety of their home and how the showings would be managed.
Q: What phase of reopening is your county/city currently in?
A: We are in Phase 3. Gathering up to 50 people permitted but not often being used.
Q: What would you say are the most important things you’re doing right now to make your business as successful as possible during the pandemic?
A: We have not closed, only modified our business operation to the times. Since we are deemed and essential service we have had to be creative to keep the operations going.
Q: How are you utilizing social media to support reopening?
A: We have concentrated on our social media platforms a little more and to use them to guide our clients to be involved.
Q: What would you say is the biggest success you’ve had during reopening?
A: Buyers have begun to take advantage of low interest rates and the low inventory has made it good for seller’s keeping prices at a stable level.
Q: What has been one of the biggest challenges you've had during reopening?
A: Getting some of the PPE equipment and cleaning supplies were challenging in the beginning. Still some products we use are not always readily available.
Q: Do you have a contingency plan for if your state rolls back reopening phases?
A: Keep doing what we are doing in the new environment we work in.
Q: Advice for businesses like yours as they work through COVID-19 challenges?
A: Keep being innovative and finding new ways to connect. Keep clients involved and know the buying and selling process has changed in some ways that are better than before. More professional are using better 3D technology to help people make better decisions when deciding to visit a property that is for sale or sellers getting less showings but better quality buyers coming that are actually interested in the property. Not as many showing that are a waste of everyone’s time. We are doing a lot more video conferencing and with that it saves people a lot of time in meeting and doing it from the comfort of their own home.