This week marked the one-year anniversary of what is widely considered to be when most people in the U.S. and Canada – and throughout the world – began to make significant changes to their day-to-day lives due to the looming COVID-19 pandemic. While the occasion is a solemn one, it’s also one that gives us reason to reflect on the progress we’ve all made to endure, despite the many hardships the pandemic has placed on all of us.
As we begin to see promising signs of a return to normalcy just on the horizon, here are a few of our positive takeaways from the last year.
Buyers and Sellers Alike Have Been Undeterred
Predictably, home showing activity took a sharp drop as the country began to respond to the pandemic. As our COVID-19 showing activity tracker notes, activity began to drop on March 11 nationwide (as shown by the dark blue line). In a normal year, showings would’ve gone up 38.4 percent from January, but by April 12 there was a 48.9 percent decline compared to the start of the year, and a 63 percent drop year over year.
Yet once the bottom hit, the industry saw a turnaround that can only be described as remarkable. Within a month, showing activity nationwide had matched that seen in the same period in 2019. Better still, by May 27 showing activity began to actually improve year over year nationwide, a trend which has continued to this very day.
The market is resilient, and the data prove it. Showings per listing are high – due in part to inventory shortages – with markets throughout the U.S. and Canada seeing massive buyer interest. The industry has weathered the unprecedented situation with a strength that’s worth recognizing.
Adoption of Real Estate Technology is Strong and Getting Stronger
The tremendous rebound in showing activity can be attributed to several factors. Of them, the increased use of technology to move the industry forward even in the face of unique challenges is unquestionably one of them.
For example, local restrictions on in-person showings clearly served as an industry roadblock. Even in markets in which showings weren’t formally restricted, many buyers and sellers alike were understandably apprehensive about attending them in person. Yet necessity is the mother of invention, and the rollout and subsequent adoption of live virtual showing technology like ShowingTime LIVE Video demonstrates a willingness to offer clients new ways to help them meet their buying and selling goals that’s been inspiring.
While technology will never replace the personal touch that a real estate professional provides, agents’ eagerness to use technology to enhance their client service has been a hallmark of the flexibility industry stakeholders have shown in the last year. We’ve heard from countless clients who have shared how their initial apprehensions toward using technology in their day-to-day business quickly faded as they saw how it could help them – and their clients – overcome the pandemic’s challenges to keep things going.
The Spirit of Collaboration is Alive and Well
Without a doubt, the pandemic had an impact on every facet of our lives. But one thing the pandemic failed to alter has been the incredible spirit of collaboration that has defined the relationship we’ve had with our clients since ShowingTime first began serving the industry in 1999.
Throughout the last year, the feedback we’ve received has helped us better understand the unique needs and obstacles clients face and implement new solutions to accommodate them. Beyond introducing new products like ShowingTime LIVE Video, we’ve also made changes to our existing products to provide peace of mind to our clients and your clients. With you, we’ve been able to remain nimble in the face of new challenges and adapt to help move the rapidly evolving industry forward.
And we’re not done listening. As we approach an exciting new chapter in our industry, we’re looking forward to future collaboration with you. To sum it up, we’ll leave you with the closing words of the message ShowingTime’s Chairman and CEO Scott Woodard shared one year ago, which are as true today as they were when they were written:
“We remain committed to you during these challenging times and will continue to provide the same level of quality service that you have come to expect from ShowingTime. We hope that you and your loved ones are and will remain safe and well.”
The market is seeing a resurgence. ShowingTime’s suite of showing management products, like the industry-leading ShowingTime Appointment Center, is helping real estate professionals handle the influx of new business by streamlining common tasks like tracking listing activity, feedback management and handling showing request calls.
If you’re looking for insight into how ShowingTime can integrate within your existing workflow to give you more time to grow your business, click the button below to reach out to our Sales team.