Covid-19 and the Real Estate Market
Firstly, me, Adam, Charley, Myrna, Creenagh, Shila, Jennifer, and Carmen hope you are well and coping under our current Covid-19 pandemic.
If any of you are in need of any support or assistance during this difficult time please reach out to us and we will do what we can to help.
You can also visit our PRG Covid-19 Government Assistance page here.
Secondly, the entire PRG team and I want to thank you for the support you have shown us over the years. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the changes we have made at PRG Realty and what is happening in our market.
I am happy to announce that the team and our families are healthy and adapting to this new and changing world. Managing our way through the Covid-19 crisis is what it seems all of us are doing in everything we do. Day by day we find new ways to do things and turn things around to work better. It’s been a fun and creative process for all of us.
Many of you are wondering what is going on in our real estate market while you too are busy adapting to this new way of life. The kids are at home virtual learning, we go for walks/runs crossing the street to avoid oncoming people, and look for comedies on Netflix to offset the morbid nightly news. Never in my lifetime have I experienced something that has affected everyone in the world so dramatically. The REW did an in-depth survey of how Covid-19 has impacted all of us and how long people think a recovery will take. It makes us aware that we are all truly in this together (sorry I know you have heard this too many times, but it’s true). Life will never be exactly the same when things return to ‘normalcy’. My guess is we will also see a dramatic shift in how we interact with each other, how we do business, and of course how appreciative we will be, just to be alive and healthy and visit friends and family.
Times like this allow us to reflect on what is really important to us. Yes, many will lose loved ones, many have lost their incomes, and many businesses will close their doors as a result of C-19 but there is another side to the story.
The silver lining perhaps?
- Things are moving slower and at a pace where we can easily get accustomed to.
- People have more time to spend with family, to exercise, and do those jobs around the house you have been putting off.
- People in general seem less stressed and relaxed (apart from the odd person unable to cope under today’s environment for fear or uncertainty of what is to come.)
- Emissions are down by 20-40% worldwide depending on which source you use and major cities like New York’s pollution levels are down by 50%.
- Our sense of community and appreciation for our health care workers, cooks, truckers, etc. is at an all time high. When was the last time you saw all your neighbours out banging pots at 7pm every night?
- We have seen swift and strong action by our Prime Minister and provincial government officials to protect us and guide us through this. An impressive feat when you consider the logistics involved.
Our family here at Pospischil Realty Group, instead of shutting down, have acknowledged the fact that we are an essential service. Providing people with the opportunity to sell and buy is extremely important, especially in times of change. So, immediately upon the onset of the Covid-19 Health Guidelines we spent many days rethinking how we have done business in the past and how best to provide these essential services in this changing environment.
After several weeks in the making, we are proud to have launched this new platform and excited at the great results it is getting for our clients. So, in order to provide the same level of service and results to our clients in this new environment we have rolled the PRG Virtual Platform.
Our new PRG Virtual Platform consists of four parts:
- Virtual Listing Presentation (VLP)
- Private in-house no-touch Listing Preparation/Staging Service
- Virtual Marketing Plan (VMP)
- Dynamic Virtual Offer Presentations (DVOP)
Each of the 4 components of our new PRG Virtual Platform allow our clients to do business in a safe and effective manner without the need for face-to-face interaction with anyone. Each step is fully support online by various tools that we have tweaked and populated to be most effective and yield the very best results possible.
Since its inception, we have been averaging a sale or two a week. The exciting news is we are not just selling properties but this new platform, in many ways, is outperforming our previous real estate model. New tools in the Virtual Marketing Plan from our 3D Virtual Diagram and Walk Through to our Live Stream Broadcasting of new listings have exposed our clients’ properties to audiences much larger than we could have otherwise had using conventional methods. Open houses in the past were exceptional if we hit 100 visitors, now we are getting 600-1000+ viewings per listing. Accordingly, we have generated multiple offers in all our sales since we launched the new platform. On one sale just over a week ago we generated 19 offers and sold 3655 Trafalgar $240,000 above list price. An incredible accomplishment that many would have thought impossible in today’s changed market. And the best part was our clients enjoyed the process from their own home with a glass of wine on a Dynamic Virtual Offer Presentation allowing us to still negotiate on their behalf.
The safety of you and our community was our first priority in formulating our new way of doing business. Once this established then each area was expanded to ensure maximum impact to not just meet previous sales results but surpass them. Not only is our entire Virtual Platform no-contact, we have carried this protocol throughout the entire process from the day we list the property to signing the top offer. As 90% of the Virtual Marketing Program is online, the majority of your market exposure comes as zero risk to the community. And for the 10% of the program that involves private showings, we have introduced our in-depth PRG Covid-19 Showings Protocol that incorporates all the latest health guidelines into showings procedures. So rest assured we have taken every precaution to keep you, your family, and the public safe in our new Virtual Platform.
The trillion dollar question. The best detailed forecast we have been able to find is that put out by our BC Real Estate Association which has a strong team of economists working on exactly this question. Interestingly enough, BCREA put together a graph showing the impact of the real estate market over various recessions from 1981 to 2008 Savings and Loans Crisis and overlapped them to see what happened to monthly unit sales as a result. Of course we can see each event caused a sharp drop in activity immediately, followed by a gradual market recovery.
In this forecast they are estimating that it will take approximately a year for our market to recover to today’s pricing. As measures implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are gradually lifted, we expect that low interest rates and pent-up demand will translate to a significant recovery in home sales and prices. But this will only begin when measures are lifted and from that point it will take 9-12 months for a full recovery.
While we can only forecast where our market is going, we do know exactly what is happening right now in our market. And at the moment it is moving along at a healthy pace. But this to can change at any point in time, and when it does it will change quickly.
Is It a Good Time to Buy?
Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal about a savvy South American family that bought 8 prime units in Manhattan’s Upper West Side for $27M as a safe place to store money over C-19. Uncertain times yield some great buying opportunities when acted upon can give great returns. Real estate is perceived by many locally and internationally as a safe haven for money in uncertain times. When our stock markets are all over the place (see Bloomberg graph below) many now are turning to investment opportunities for a more stable and potentially far better returns. Vancouver like New York is a world class city where investments are considered very stable.
Interest rates are at an all-time low, there is tons of inventory on the market to choose from and buying opportunities will only get better over the next couple months. But remember, they don’t toll a bell when the market hits bottom! The time to buy an investment is before the bottom as we don’t really know exactly when that magical spot will be hit. If you are fortunate have still gainful employment and some down payment saved, it is a window you may wish to consider. So having a Virtual Buyer’s Information Meeting now is the best thing we can do to get things started and we will guide you from there.
The Covid-19 crisis is an unprecedented event in our lifetimes and is causing major disruptions to everyone, their employment and businesses. We need to be strong and work together to support one another through this. And this will pass like any other crisis. The more we work together to adapt and flow with the changes the more able we will be to come out ready for the new environment that will unfold before us, as the crisis passes us by.
And from a real estate prospective, the bottom line is there are many people ready, willing, and able to purchase property today that you may wish to sell to, and there are great opportunities about for those who wish to buy in this market. While many Realtors have closed their doors, we want all of you to know that we are open and have the tools on hand now to help you take advantage of what this market has to offer you.
So whether you are selling or buying and want to explore our current market, we are happy to say we are open and here to help.
Contacting Us During Covid-19 Crisis
Since we are open for business you can contact us through all our normal channels:
Office Number: 604-263-1000
Our main office number above is still operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our menu system will direct you to the team member you are looking for. Call this number anytime and choose the person you wish to leave a message for. The system will take a message and immediately alert them that you have called and direct them to your voicemail.
All our Emails are the same:
firstname.lastname@example.org for Creenagh (listings manager)
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It is more important than every that we stay connected during this period, we are doing everything we can to keep our social interesting, with daily videos, updates, fun, helpful, we aim to make our channel a positive addition to your network. Please follow us.
Its simple, just go to our page, and click like and fol