How is coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting U.S housing markets, market decisions, and basic real estate agent practices? 

Homebuyers across the nation are encouraged to stay at home and avoid large gatherings. As COVID-19 continues to spread, many real estate professionals are transitioning to digital applications for showcasing property listings. Many buyers are hesitant to attend open houses, and many sellers are unwilling to host them. As a result, we should expect to see more real estate professionals become reliant on digital technologies in the near future. 

With the continued emergence of live streaming capabilities over the last few years, virtual tours have been increasingly popular. These tours allow homebuyers to browse listings from the comfort of their phone, tablet, or computer screen. While nothing can compare to viewing a home in person, virtual tours are especially ideal for buyers during the COVID-19 outbreak, as these tours allow buyers to eliminate prospective properties that do not fit their personal criteria. 

Many real estate businesses today have only ever invested in high-resolution photos. However, with many states now enforcing varying degrees of quarantine, businesses are forced to consider alternative forms of content at this time. Mobile apps such as FaceTime are quickly becoming a popular choice of realtors throughout the U.S.

In addition to the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, no one knows with certainty how the housing market will be affected over the next several months. Because it is difficult to predict how long this virus will present a threat to public health, business professionals need to rearrange their existing operations to accommodate COVID-19 precautions over time.