As coronavirus restrictions forced many to hunker down, the real estate industry had to find ways to buy and sell homes virtually, said Vicki Fullerton, the former chair of the Texas Association of Realtors and Houston Association of Realtors.

HAR suspended the posting of in-person open houses on effective March 20 and reinstated them May 18 per Gov. Greg Abbott’s Phase 2 reopening plan.

In the interim, Realtors shifted to promoting virtual open houses and showings, Fullerton said.

“It has completely restructured how we are doing business,” she said in late May.

Appointments for property showings initially fell as coronavirus restrictions took effect. In the week of April 28-May 4, the Greater Houston area had 40,045 appointments for property showings—a 10% decrease from the previous year, according to But as virtual appointments became more common, these numbers increased, reaching 47,588 showing appointments the week ending June 22, according to

Between May 5-11, the Greater Houston area had 241 virtual open houses with 1,330 attendees, according to