Coldwell Banker sent the survey to its agents last week, and ultimately collected more than 500 responses. The first question simply asked agents if COVID-19 had impacted their business. A whopping 88 percent responded in the affirmative.
The survey did not ask agents how they were being affected, or if the impacts were negative or positive, but the fact that the overwhelming number of people said they are seeing impacts is still notable.
The survey also asked agents how they think the ongoing pandemic — which is pummeling the economy and forcing millions of people to work from home — will influence real estate preferences in the future. Perhaps in a nod to all those home-confined workers, 41 percent of the survey respondents said consumers will be more interested in home office space.
In light of social distancing mandates that are currently preventing most Americans from interacting with each other in person, the survey also asked which communication technologies agents were most grateful for. The most popular responses to that question included cell phones, email, electronic document signing services such as DocuSign, and text messaging.
When asked which activities agents are most focused on now, survey respondents identified education and training, organizational or administrative work, and marketing or brand building.
The Coldwell Banker survey was conducted the week prior to Inman’s own survey on how real estate professionals are experiencing the pandemic. Inman’s survey was not limited to agents from any particular brokerage, and found that 57 percent of respondents had already lost a deal.
Significantly, 86 percent believed that they would eventually loose a deal before the crisis is over.
Both surveys may also fail to capture the full and current extent of the economic anguish in the real estate industry because the pandemic and its fallout have worsened significantly in the days since respondents first started answering questions.
Even with that caveat, though, the two surveys paint a stark picture in which a multitude of real estate agents are experiencing a changing market.
However, some agents are also trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Cara Ameer, an Inman contributor and a Coldwell Banker agent in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, told Inman Friday that she is still working with clients, showing homes and keeping busy. The market in her area has not ground to a halt.
“Everything has moved a lot toward the virtual space,” she explained. “I’m doing a lot of video interaction with clients and co-workers.”
Ameer believes the market will eventually make up losses it suffers — “everybody has to live somewhere” — and agreed with other recent comments from industry leaders that agents should use this time wisely.
“I feel like we’ve been given the gift of time to nurture our business,” she said, adding that agents should, “look fear in the face and say, ‘we’ll persevere.'”
Update: This post was updated after publication with addition information from Coldwell Banker.