However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on various specific aspects of real estate. For example, lower mortgage rates and a cash surplus due to the many government stimulus programs have dramatically increased demand for specific property types and have driven a huge market boom.
Real estate advertising has changed too to reflect buyers' changing requirements in a post-pandemic world.
But how have we adapted our approach to marketing property post-COVID, and why? We spoke with Ruban Selvanayagam, the co-founder of Property Solvers Auction House, to examine some of these adjustments - particularly in the field of residential sales.
Many professional sectors had already begun to “go digital” or adopt basic remote working solutions in the years leading up to the pandemic. After all, these approaches appeared to offer greater flexibility and improved “tailoring”, making it easier to meet a wider range of needs.
However, as a result of the global emergency and its resulting lockdowns, “stay at home” orders began to be broadcast worldwide to prevent the spread of the virus. To this end, the implementation of digital-focus and remote working practices was expedited.
Business owners and managers were faced with the challenge of making social distancing possible for their employees and customers overnight in order to ensure their safety. As a result, thousands of workers - including those in the real estate industry - began working from home.
In many cases, along with their positive impact on public safety, the practical benefits of these approaches swiftly became clearer than ever. Even after societies around the globe have begun to “re-open”, many companies continue to work remotely or with a greater use of digital tools.
Below, we have described are some of the ways in which digital tools have made it easier for property specialists to advertise homes for sale following the pandemic.
Video and VR
Naturally, many prospective buyers now prefer to “view” their potential future homes remotely wherever possible in order to whittle down a tight shortlist of options instead of travelling to many properties, as this reduces the need for in-person interactions between households.
As a result, many real estate firms now display video walkthroughs and VR renderings of properties on their websites in order to provide clearer visuals of an entire property for visitors to consider from the safety of their own homes.
This approach makes the process of browsing for a new home both quicker and safer.
Social Media, TV and Radio
With people spending more time at home as the result of the pandemic, many more adverts for property companies - and even properties themselves - can be found on social media or in other online locations commonly used by the general public for recreational purposes.
Television, radio and streaming services are also employed by property sellers to a greater extent than they used to be for this same reason.
The core priorities of homebuyers have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic - and, naturally, the focus of property advertisements have followed suit.
For example, proximity to urban centres and transport links is now less vital than the presence of green public spaces nearby, for example, as more and more workers are operating on a remote or hybrid basis - and more of us understand the importance of fresh air and exercise.
As a result, more weight is now given to the desirability of home offices, gardens, communal spaces, hygiene solutions and aspects that promote mental health than in pre-pandemic times.
The way homes are advertised has changed to reflect these priorities - and, as time goes by, we are likely to see more and more residential and commercial properties of different kinds being developed to directly reflect these specific changes in taste.
The pandemic has influenced huge adjustments to a range of approaches, from the ways in which we search for properties to buy to the individual features of buildings that we are likely to prioritize.
Savvy advertising specialists have wasted no time adapting to these changes - and it is likely that the new features and techniques of property sales and marketing mentioned above will likely take root and become further embedded in the real estate industry in the years to come.