Year-over-year data from the North Texas Real Estate Information System indicates a significant change to the real estate market in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth area.
Almost across the board, the number of new listings and homes under contract in March 2020 are down from the previous year in ZIP codes 76177, 76244, 76248 and 76262.
“We are still out there working, showing homes and taking risks to ensure clients get their money on time and rates for loans do not expire,” said Raquelle Renfro, a single mother of three and a real estate agent with Dani Hampton Group in Southlake.
According to Renfro, many buyers are scared and would prefer to not leave the house. Agents have responded by conducting business through digital media, she said, such as photos, videos, Apple Facetime and text messages.
The group also utilizes a virtual walk-through tool, Renfro said, which allows home buyers to virtually stand in the doorway of their favorite home. Buyers can then travel throughout a home with the click of a mouse, she said.
“A lot of it is about reassuring people [about what they are buying],” Renfro said. “Building trust with clients is important. They are trusting me to go to these houses and get information without them being able to see it.”
An estimated 80% of business happens through social media now, she said.
The challenge has been finding new buyers, but the group remains focused on spreading the “virtual word" and helping buyers and sellers while practicing social distancing, Renfro said.
Agents are also paying close attention to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, she said. Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer are used often, and agents, buyers and others entering a home are provided gloves for the hands and booties for the feet.
“There are things you never had to think about before, like touching light switches and doorknobs,” Renfro said. “We are making sure we are doing our part as listing agents [so] that whoever walks into a house is taking proper precautions.”