How could COVID-19 bring the housing market into the 21st century?
It goes without saying we’re currently living in unprecedented times. With the rise of the covid-19 pandemic in early March this year, the outbreak has caused mass disruption across our economy both locally and internationally, and the housing market is no less affected than any other sector.
With no end in sight to the current restrictions it’s becoming painfully clear that the industry isn’t fully prepared to handle the true long term effects of covid-19. Businesses less affected by the pandemic are those most effectively transitioning or transitioned towards digitisation and with online services supporting the brunt of previously physically achieved tasks it’s no surprise.
With many aspects of the housing market still relying on archaic methods such as physical valuations of property, personal viewings and many aspects of the paper trail having to be carried out in person there is no wonder that the housing market and many mortgage lenders have been brought to a grinding halt. Not only does this allow for no further development in potential buyers and clients but the current clients within the buying and selling process are requiring more support than ever. Unfortunately given the circumstances many estate agents and mortgage lenders are seeing reduced working hours as well as international call centers and back offices being closed down due to the same lockdown occurring internationally.
it’s becoming very apparent that the offline stages of the processes within our industry is where the issues are being caused. If we would see the digitization of these zones, we would be better equipped as an industry to handle the lockdown as well as any other potential issues with physical work faced in the future.
Those companies within our industry that have already adopted online and desktop versions of evaluation methods (AVM) are better suited to continue processing these customers throughout the pandemic. This may well see e-documentation processes and e-signatures becoming the norm within our industry as businesses without these implemented technologies are suffering catastrophically and many may not recover.
Covid-19 has really displayed that online services and technologies are more important than ever not just in our industry but in the entire economy. This virus should be seen as a catalyst that should push forward the digitization of our industry. With increased automation across our businesses will be better prepared to work efficiently and effectively and help people achieve the homes of their dreams and to keep the economy moving forward.