With the weather turning to spring, many of us are increasingly anxious to get back to normal routines and prepare for a busy summer showing homes. As we continue to adjust to COVID-19, Pearson Realty Group wants to remind everyone to stay motivated and optimistic during these challenging times. Additionally, we encourage everyone to stay updated on how COVID-19 is Affecting the Real Estate Market.
Pearson Realty Groups’ Day-to-Day
Our office is currently closed to the public to protect the wellness of our team and clients. However, it’s important to note that Pearson Realty Group is still operating by appointment only. This includes earnest money drop-offs, closing document drop-offs, key pickups, and essential in-office activities only. All of our staff is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM to assist with any needs.
Currently, Pearson Realty Group Agents are noticing a decline in the number of sellers willing to list their home, buyer willingness to see new properties and investor sentiment toward the market. That’s why prospecting is essential, and staying in touch with clients is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. We advise our agents to utilize PearsonCORE, our CRM used to routinely engage with clients, and to help ease their minds.
What To Do About Showings
While property showings are essential in the real estate industry and the shelter-in-place order set until April 30, 2020, in-person showings are rare, but still occurring. Illinois considers real estate an essential business, and in-person showings are allowed under two circumstances:
- If a property is unoccupied or vacant
- If an owner provides advanced authorization for a showing to occur
Showings conducted during this time must follow all social distancing guidelines. Group showings may not exceed 4 individuals including the real estate agent. Properties that are tenant occupied may not be shown until further notice.
Here at Pearson Realty Group, we understand how difficult this time is for real estate agents. The safety of our agents and staff is our top priority. We advise that all agents use their best judgment, practice social distancing, and reach out to our office if they’re uncomfortable or showing any symptoms of COVID-19 before showing a property.
Digital Marketing is More Important Than Ever
With COVID-19 causing a shelter-in-place order, it’s important to remember that showings can still happen virtually. Offer sellers a free virtual tour of their home during this time. Remind them of the importance of utilizing digital marketing right now, and how almost all buyers begin their home search on the internet. A Matterport tour provides sellers a perfect way to show off their home to buyers by giving them a 3-D virtual experience. Some examples of digital marketing include:
It doesn’t stop at digital marketing. Pearson’s Marketing Department is here to help agents create customized content for their listings with professional flyers, creative social media posts, and one-of-a-kind graphics. Make sure to check out Pearson’s digital content by visiting their YouTube channel.
Don’t Worry! Continuing Education Has Been Extended
For agents worried about their real estate license expiring and unable to renew due to COVID-19; don’t panic. Pearson Realty Group and the IDFPR have everyone covered. Continuing education’s new expiration date is September 30, 2020. Not only does everyone have an extra 5 months to complete their CE, but Pearson Realty Group will be offering CE right here at our office. Twelve, thirty, and forty-five-hour classes will be offered along with sexual harassment training once the shelter-in-place order is lifted.
Why Real Estate Agents Should Care About the CARES Act
Millions of Americans are unfortunately out of work due to COVID-19. Thankfully, the government stepped in bypassing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Why is this important to real estate brokers? The CARES Act relief fund soon will be giving 1099-independent contractors like real estate agents the opportunity to apply for up to 39 weeks of temporary unemployment. To stay up-to-date and apply check out IDES.
Although Illinois hasn’t begun accepting applications for 1099-independent contractors’ unemployment, the federal government will be sending one-time stimulus checks in the amount of $1200 for individuals making $75,000 or less annually. Individuals who are married and making less than $150,000 annually can expect up to $2400 combined plus $500 per child.
Loans are a critical aspect of home buying. It’s important to note that homeowners with FHA loans can apply for loan forbearance on payments without penalties, fees, or interest for a minimum of 180 days. Foreclosures are suspended for a minimum of 60 days while evictions are on hold for at least 120 days. Make sure to keep your friends, family, and clients who are homeowners up-to-date during this time.
Remember to practice social distancing, offer sellers a free virtual tour, only show vacant and sanitized properties, and stay updated about unemployment benefits over these next 3 weeks. More importantly, don’t forget to contact us with any questions or concerns. If you’re interested in becoming a Pearson Realty Group Agent make sure to check us out!