LAFAYETTE, LA –The global pandemic, COVID-19, is impacting industries around the world. As businesses and communities quickly adjust to what’s become the new normal, some are wondering how the Coronavirus could impact the real estate industry.
In Lafayette, local real estate experts explain that while it’s impossible to certainly predict the future of the market, real estate companies are doing their best to keep employees and clients safe. Managing Broker, Troy Hebert, explains that the response to COVID-19 has already changed the way real estate agents do business.
“We have all these incredible tools: virtual tours, professional photography, walk through videos. A lot of stuff that we can be doing on a virtual basis,” says Hebert.
To further fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor John Bel Edwards is one of eight governors to issue a statewide stay at home order. As part of the order, individuals are urged not to get closer than six feet away from others. Hebert says his company is doing their best to maintain social distancing.
“We stopped open houses. We’re not going to have any more open houses for a period of time,” says Hebert. “The real estate agent’s asking questions like, you know, make sure no one is feeling bad, make sure everyone washes their hands when they come in.”
Agents who are still showing homes take extra precautions to protect themselves and their clients. For potential home buyers like Sharlee Jacobs, the new precautions are unusual, yet re-assuring.
“The realtor did ask me if I had any flu like symptoms as a precautions before we went and did these home, and we also got the approval of the home owner to make sure we were able to go inside,”
Prior to the Coronavirus threat, experts says the residential real estate market in Acadiana has done exceptionally well. Troy Hebert explains that low interest rates result in higher purchase power.
“For two years in a row, it broke a billion dollars in sales volume, and for the second year in a row it was the most units sold through Acadiana,” says Hebert. “I think it’s been mainly driven just by the affordability of interest rates, and peoples ability to purchase homes on very low amounts of interest they’ll have to pay.”
During this time, experts suggest that both agents and home buyers get used to the new business climate.
“You know we’re just going to take this day by day, and i think that’s the best way to do it,” says Hebert. “We’re going to listen to what we’re being told to do. We’re gonna take every precautionary step we can because lives matter and we care about our agents.”
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