With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting almost every aspect, many Atlantans are finding that life is starting to get a little bit back to normal since Gov. Brian Kemp started the process of reopening the state, allowing businessowners to resume work.
However, outside of essential workers, there is a group of professionals who never stopped working, even with a shelter-in-place order.
Real estate agents have managed to keep the wheels in their industry by finding ways to get around the virus to continue moving homes and Atlanta’s top-selling agent Jimmy Jones is no exception.
The Atlanta-native professional managed to keep providing results for his clients even with the threat of contracting the virus.
“The biggest change is being more health-conscious and sensitive about the way I interact with people, especially my clients, sellers and buyers, and other real estate professionals,” Jones said. “I also have to be more mindful of the homes. I normally wouldn’t be showing homes with gloves and a mask, but that’s my new uniform.”
According to Atlanta Agent Magazine, a lot of Georiga realtors have refused to participate in open houses or show homes in-person during the pandemic, even with the state reopening. They’ve opted for virtual home tours instead, either showing their clients a home through a video call or providing a prerecorded home tour.
“The reality is that when a home is up for sale, a lot of people are in and out of it doing for showings. Now, buyers don’t want to leave their homes to view a house, so I spend a lot of time showing houses on FaceTime or recording my own virtual tours.”
As Americans settled in their homes, there was a large increase in the usage of digital platforms that utilize live video feeds; these included Zoom, Facebook and Instagram Live, and YouTube live.
Zoom reported that it surpassed 300 million daily meeting participants by the end of April which was a 50 percent increase from what it reported a couple of weeks prior, and a significant jump from the 10 million daily participants it reported back in December 2019.
While Jones spends the majority of his time interacting with his clients virtually, he said that there are still occasions when he goes on-site with his clients.
“When I do physical showings, the 6-foot social distancing rule takes away from the experience. People don’t want to be in the same room as me,” Jones said. “And it’s hard to show a house when your clients are rushing to get away from you in fear of possibly contracting a virus.”
In response, Jones has created a kit for clients that include disposable gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes and paper towels. Not only does he keep a kit with him at all times, but he’s also placed one at each of his listings.