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Why real estate actually won’t return to normal once lockdown ends

Many agents and principals are stuck in lockdown right now, and are operating in a kind of holding pattern.

Even though you should be able to list and sell (even if under constrained circumstances), you might be waiting for restrictions to end so real estate returns to normal.

The problem is, when restrictions end, real estate won’t return to normal. Just the opposite, in fact.

This is a lesson I learnt from One Agency’s Victorian licensees, who went through a succession of lockdowns in 2020.

As soon as restrictions lift, everyone rushes in at once. That leads to high demand for associated service providers, causing bottlenecks in the process.

So, the immediate post-lockdown environment is actually likely to be very different from business as usual.

That’s why it’s so important to take steps right now to set yourself up for post-lockdown success.

How to set yourself up for post-lockdown success

Styling and staging experienced big bottlenecks in Victoria last year. There are only so many styling professionals and so much staging furniture to go around, which means there’s likely to be a big queue for this service when lockdown lifts.

One way to get around this problem is to support vendors who want to sell right now. This can be a great option, because while vendor numbers are down, buyer numbers are still strong, which means vendors are facing less competition than usual. So, while you won’t be able to freshen up the property, it might not matter.

If vendors prefer to wait until lockdown ends, you should try to book styling and staging appointments right now. If appropriate, you could offer to pay a deposit. That way, you can get to the front of what’s likely to be a long queue.

The same logic applies with contracts for sale and pest and building inspections. Demand for conveyancers and inspectors will shoot up once lockdown ends, but supply will remain unchanged. Let vendors know that now might be a good time to go to market, because if they wait until lockdown is over, it might become harder for them to sell their property.

Of course, if your vendors want to wait, that’s their right. In that case, speak to your favourite conveyancers right now and ask them what you have to do to get to the front of the long post-lockdown queue.

These are conversations you need to be having right now.

Paul Davies is the founder and CEO of One Agency.

This story first appeared in Real Estate Business

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