Many of Los Angeles’ top real estate brokerages — including Compass, Douglas Elliman, Hilton & Hyland and Deasy Penner Podley — are telling their agents to work from home as the area deals with the spread of coronavirus.
The office closures arrive after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday advised against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. As of Tuesday, there were more than 140 cases of the virus reported in Los Angeles County, an increase of 50 overnight.
It will likely be a big adjustment for many agents, who usually rely on person-to-person interaction to show listings and close deals. Many open houses planned for this week have been canceled.
On Monday, Compass sent out a nationwide memo to its staffers offering advice on setting up virtual house tours, adding that it’s currently working on additional online tools to aid the process. It noted that agents can still decide to give in-person tours of their properties.
Deasy Penner Podley is encouraging its agents to take a similar route, whether that means using a 3-D tour to market homes online or FaceTiming with prospective buyers instead of meeting up.
Lynwen Hughes, Deasy Penner Podley’s vice president, said the company has an online bidding platform in place to sell homes, and it’s working on expanding its use. She added that many agents have canceled showings and broker open houses, except for a few she’s seen