Gov. Cuomo has now acknowledged the other week that the real estate industry is a necessity, but can only provide showings by having 3D virtual tours and not by physical viewings.
However, I would like to know who out there is purchasing a home or selling a home based on a 3D virtual tour?
This being the largest investment that the average family or person may make in their lifetime, is anyone buying without physically going into the home?
I seriously doubt it! Will an inspection and appraisal be done if the seller doesn’t want anyone in their home, out of a fear that a person might be asymptomatic, carrying the Covaid-19 coronavirus, while not showing any signs of sickness, but potentially passing it on to one of the inhabitants in the home and eventually making them sick or worse die? Would this be a prudent path to allow those professionals to enter homes, absolutely not! The risks are far too great and it’s not worth the financial rewards as well as any future lawsuits; whereby our errors and omissions insurance that realtors should carry for all their agents, will not cover that specific type of situation.
Also, it is an extremely difficult situation when all of a sudden everyone’s income stops dead in its path, especially realtor’s “commission only” income being shut off like a faucet! But better to err on the side of everyone’s health over the loss of income.
However, finding a balance in this “never happened event” in one’s life was impossible to anticipate or predict. However, there should have been much greater preparation for an event of such magnitude that many doctors and professionals in the medical field had warned Congress and in books over the last 20 years.
Most crucial, as a side note to this challenging and tumultuous event, and to assist realtors, there is money from the 2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package besides the checks that everyone will receive; $1,200 up to $75,000 of income or $2400 up to $150,000 on your income tax return either from 2018, if you haven’t filed your 2019 returns.
Information about collecting unemployment insurance for wage, salary as well as independent contractors, as real estate brokers and agents and most salespeople are categorized, can be found on the following link: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/can-i-collect-unemployment-if-i-m-self-employed-2064148#cares-act-unemployment-benefits
I have been calling all my past and current clients and I recommend all brokers, associate brokers, agents and all types of salespeople in all industries to reach out to all their past and current clients to see how they are and if there is anything that they can do for them, whether it be picking up prescriptions, shopping for groceries, (banking can be done online and photographing checks via cell phones can also be done from within your home) especially those who are older and may no longer drive or are able to get out due to health reasons (although one can pay for peapod.com or grubhub or any other services to deliver and pick up food).
You can also call your local supermarket and ascertain if they provide any type of delivery service and always ask if they provide any discount if your order is large enough; but in our current challenging environment, don’t forget to tip the driver! However, most importantly, unless you have an N95 mask, surgical gloves and disinfectant wipes, I would implore you that you do not go out and volunteer, but best to stay in place and make calls to your clients and stay in touch with them.
There are enough people getting infected in Long Island and as of today 4/7/20, there were reported 30,000-plus cases in Nassau and Suffolk, with a total of 138,836 in New York State and 5,489 deaths! (data derived from state and local agencies, hospitals and C.D.C. data).
I am quite sure that everyone has been conversing with family and friends, which, I believe just maybe getting us closer to those that we love and care about and that maybe we don’t talk enough with and now have re-establish that most important connection. Although we will look back and know how fatal this coronavirus was and the toll it had taken; but that what had come out of it was a rekindling of relationships with family, friends, business associates and clients.
Most important, pollution around the globe has been drastically reduced, due to most every industry being shut down, as has been shown on satellite maps from the oceans to the land.
This will have been a wakeup call for the human race that things will never be the same as it was in the past and the new normal, should and hopefully be to not abuse what we have, and most critical to become much healthier, physically and mentally, being much more careful of our surroundings and value the environment, forests and oceans and its’ creatures much more than we have and turn the page on our ruthless and inconsiderate self-centered habits.
If we don’t change right now then our survival will be in jeopardy and might just depend moving to another planet or two, maybe Mars.
The transportation to arrive there will potentially depend on three entrepreneurs, Jeff Bezos from Amazon, who started Blue Origin in 2000, Alon Musk, of Tesla who started SpaceX in 2002 and Richard Branson of the Virgin Companies who started Virgin Galactic in 2004 who are our futuristic visionaries.
I believe they started their companies realizing back then that the earth with its inhabitants, causing greater climate change, tremendous pollution and abuse of its’ environment, that the end was in sight unless we were to change, but that hasn’t happened at a fast enough pace up until the current coronavirus, where some of us are coming to grips in how fragile we and our earth are and that the necessary changes that will be needed to protect and preserve our human race and our planet should be tops on our list and not money and power!
However, creating a balance is our greatest challenge for the future, to be able to live and let live, with health, peace, and happiness!
Philip A. Raices is the owner/broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he call or email you back. For a consultation, he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions, concerns or column suggestions and ideas.