By Madelaine Braggs | Rose Law Group Reporter
Rose Law Group co-founders Jordan Rose and Court Rich hosted the 16th episode of The New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch with a star studded panel of real estate and coronavirus experts.
Arizona Department of Real Estate Commissioner Judy Lowe said that although it’s over 100 degrees outside it feels like Spring in the housing market. While the spring season is typically the most active for home buying, Commissioner Lowe says deals continue to be closed at high velocities, and she’s noticing an increase in all cash offers with no inspections, buyers wanting to close within 10 days.
Commissioner also noted the drastic changes the industry had to make in a short time period due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We moved quickly to rely on technology, perhaps a little too quickly for some,” she said. Before the pandemic, deals couldn’t be closed without a live notary, their stamp and signature in either red or blue ink. But now, many aspects of the typical protocol are no longer necessary, if at all possible.
Offerpad, the company that promises customers they can take the headache out of selling their homes, is at the forefront of technology trends in the real estate industry. As they take the selling process online, their Head of Legal Adam Martinez says he too is seeing unprecedented activity for this time of the year. They’re not just seeing increased sales on million dollar mansions, but also increased sales around the median price for homes.
Some may say Offerpad’s model was made for the pandemic, mostly being touchless anyway, but Martinez says even they were impacted in some areas of the business. That encouraged them to reach out to HealthyVerify Certification to implement and “above standard” protocol in the industry, to ensure they were as safe as possible when interacting with vendors, customers, inspectors and anyone who touches a property throughout the transaction.
David Krumwiede, Vice President of Lincoln Property Company knows first hand how office spaces and residential areas are changing to adjust to the new normal. Some apartment and office buildings are even having to schedule elevator passengers to limit the spread of coronavirus. There’s also a slow down in office space real estate transactions, unlike residential areas, which are booming. “People are just figuring out how to get back in their office space rather than going to lease more office space,” Krumwiede said.
Despite popular belief, offices aren’t dead just yet, according to Krumwiede. He said that while it’s true several developments were put on hold, over the last few weeks million-dollar projects are being re-activated.
With all these changes being made from every angle of the industry, many are asking “Is it worth it?” “Is this permanent?” “Are things ever going to go back to how they were?”
Emergency Room Physician Dr. Joshua Lewis says we might as well get used to how things are now. Lewis has been at the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak and he says while cases are leveling out right now, he thinks Arizona will be like a yo-yo.
He predicts schools and businesses will reopen, re-close and reopen again as COVID cases react to regulations being relaxed or reintroduced. He also noted that respiratory illnesses among children are very predictable and every year during those early Fall months, there’s a significant spike in viruses similar to the coronavirus in school age patients.
“Judging by how hard we were hit by COVID-19, I think it’s a virus that will be around for a long time,” he said. He told the audience that he doesn’t expect the virus to “disappear” anytime before the next few years, if it does at all.
For more exclusive insights on iBuying, commercial real estate, coronavirus in Arizona and the new dependency on technology listen to the discussion watch above.