With shelter-in-place affecting the way that everyone is doing business these days, I felt like it was really important to share some of my expertise with virtual tours with anyone who needs it. This led me to creating a series of DIY videos that I published on YouTube on Zillow 3D Home Tours and also Smartphone photography. It's great to help people any way you can, and for me that meant documenting something I'm doing anyway, and hopefully sharing some of the tips that helped me get better at what I do with folks who could really use some help!
If you are looking for ways to create inexpensive marketing content for your listing, and you want to try the Zillow 3D Home Tour App, I recommend giving it a try and if you can't make heads or tails of it, give us a call and we can schedule a professional for you to create a tour.
Photography added as essential service in Alameda, Contra-Costa County, and City of Berkeley
On April 9th, the BRIDGE AOR sent a breaking news update that photography is now explicitly included as an essential service for facilitating real estate transactions. The order concludes that only vacant properties can be toured, but that vacant or non-vacant properties can be visited by photographers if we comply with Appendix A (appendix to the various county orders issued below). This is a helpful update, as it clarifies the confusion around essential services and pre-marketing activities including the creation of virtual tours.
Appendix A is a "social distancing protocol", and we believe that it must be followed, in addition to following the CDC Guidelines as common sense practices. All Hopscotch Interactive personnel will be required to wear masks, shoe coverings, gloves, and will refrain from touching their faces. We will also wipe lockboxes and keys as an extra precaution.
This is in addition to hand-washing, and keeping a social distance of 6' at all times. To determine if your city and county are still under stricter guidelines during Shelter in Place, we are in touch with each regional association of realtors, as well as city health officials (i.e. Sonoma County), to confirm whether or not any services are permitted at this time.
We will also require the Coronavirus Addenda (PEAD) for signature with contracts.
Appendix A - NEW Update 4/9/2020
Alameda County Order
Contra Costa County Order
City of Berkeley County Order
The Coronavirus has had impacts already that will change the way that we do business in Real Estate marketing forever. Hopscotch Interactive is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is one of the first locations in the country to have a shelter-in-place ordinance. We slowed operations to adjust to the changing information that was coming to us on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. But, as things have come more clearly into view, we have followed the situation closely as it pertains to real estate and we can now share the following update:
1) March 28, 2020 There was a change in the list of California Essential Services, and Real Estate was listed as an essential service. However, local cities and counties may have stricter rules in place, so everyone must make sure they have clearance from the local health officials before proceeding with any property marketing or visits.
2) March 31, 2020 The BRIDGE AOR announced that real estate services are an essential service in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, as well as the City of Berkeley.
3) CAR issue these Coronavirus Addenda (PEAD_4-2020 & form RLA_CAA_4-2020) which now must be signed by anyone who is entering a property to acknowledge the risks, and as a declaration that to their knowledge they are not sick. You can get the documents here or download them from the MLS.
4) April 6, 2020 The CAR shared this document that helps us navigate which cities and counties are acknowledging real estate marketing and services as essential
We are not returning to business as usual just yet, even if a property is in an area where we are considered essential. Here are some of the things that we are reviewing on a case-by-base basis to determine if we can enter a property:
These are just a few of the considerations that we are making. So, we are operating with a more conservative approach to this situation than other service providers, but we believe that following the CDC Guidelines for Coronavirus is the minimum we should do, and we also have to use common sense to understand what the risks are and if we can proceed.
Our greatest concern is the safety and well-being of our clients, and the health of our community, so we will always put that first.
We will continue to update and monitor the situation as it evolves, and thank all of our customers for their understanding as we navigate this together.
I also want to say thank you so much to the many Realtor Associations and representatives that I have spoken to all over the state during the last three weeks, you have been an incredible resource for me and I appreciate it very much.