Alberta real estate agents use virtual tours and heightened safety measures

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Real estate agents continue work with virtual tours and heightened safety measures
WATCH ABOVE: Due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, people have had to adapt quickly. Like many other industries, real estate has been relying heavily on technology, along with heightened safety measures, so agents can continue their work. Taz Dhaliwal has this story. – Apr 16, 2020

Technology is once again helping out another industry looking to survive these uncertain times. The emergence of virtual tours during this pandemic is helping some Alberta real estate agents carry on with their job.

“What we’re seeing right now is the advent of the virtual [walk through]… certainly the photographs are enhanced, a lot more information online,” said David Agema, an associate broker with Agema Group Lethbridge.

“Now we’ve created the virtual walk through, which means the camera goes up and down, they have balancing machines, so you can see the property,” he added.

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Virtual tours can serve as a convenient resource and they may even stick around.

“I believe you will see this to be the norm. Because of a forced change, an opportunity presented itself to sell to the public, to sell to the sellers, which makes sense to everybody’s life,” Agema said.

“Theoretically open houses, where you just meet strangers, we have no idea who’s coming through your house,” he said.

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The tours can be a great tool for people who may live far away, however, in-person viewings are still possible with the help of extra safety precautions.

“Turn all the lights on, leave all the doors open. Leave the front door unlocked if you know the showing’s going to be right there at 2 o’clock,” said Justin Myer, realtor and owner of Lethbridge Real Estate.

“Maybe at 1:50 they unlock the door, so when the agent comes in there’s very little touching,” Myer said. “They don’t have to turn any light switches on or turn them off.”

Myer says practices such as disinfecting surfaces, wearing gloves… and physical distancing are being implemented as well.

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He goes on to explain that some people who are set on buying or selling property right now will continue to do so, despite COVID-19.

“That’s why real estate agents in Alberta were deemed an essential service… because you are going to have a lot of people, where maybe there’s a divorce, maybe there’s a court-ordered sale, maybe there’s an estate sale, like they just have to sell their places,” Myer said.

Although both realtors say there has been a recent decrease in both local sales and selling prices, the full impact of the pandemic won’t be known for at least a few more months.

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