The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a lot of uncertainty, and the real estate industry isn’t immune. But through the adjustments every business has had to make over the past two months, there’s still one thing that’s certain: the commercial real estate industry never stops. However, the restrictions on human interaction have resulted in Belvoir getting creative and adapting to the ways business has changed since early March. Through the uncertainty, we’ve stayed committed to providing the same level of service to our clients and tenants, even if we’ve had to make adjustments in the process.
Since May 1, we’ve been back in the office and getting used to our new “normal.” We knew that we needed to put a strategy in place to keep our clients and employees safe and keep business running at a normal pace. Although “going virtual” isn’t a typical phrase used in the real estate industry, we’ve done just that when it comes to interacting with our clients and offsite staff. The team has shifted to having update meetings with brokers and support staff over Zoom, as well as altering our recruitment strategy to include Zoom interviews rather than in-person encounters. At Belvoir’s headquarters, we’ve set up hand sanitizing stations built by our own building engineer, Omar Castellan, and are taking turns in each of the rooms in our suite to keep a safe distance from those we share offices with.
Our brokers have adapted to a new sales process as well, as the demand for real estate in the Houston area remains steady. We’ve been meeting with clients and other brokers digitally, and even networking within our field over Zoom or the phone. Luckily, the technology of today makes doing business digitally easy, and the real estate industry has already made a shift towards digital transactions in recent years. And even with social distancing restrictions in place, our team hasn’t slowed down — we’re still getting real estate listings and closing deals regularly.
The effects of the coronavirus shutdown, much like the virus itself, are still largely unknown, and a clearer picture of the impact on the real estate industry as a whole will begin to take shape in the second quarter. But Belvoir remains resilient – much like the people who call Houston home – and we’re proud to be able to continue to serve this city’s real estate needs through this unprecedented time.