The world has seen dramatic changes in the past few weeks, forcing businesses to reevaluate how they interact with each other, customers, partners and everyone else. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has infected over 250,000 people (as of time of publication) in 172 countries, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Nobody knows what the impact of the virus will be over the long-term, and lots of changes, such as “social distancing” are being implemented across the board to try to slow the spread of the virus.
At New Silver, we take the health and safety of our borrowers seriously which is why we have strengthened the following existing policies:
100% Online Application Process
Since inception, New Silver has given priority to developing tech-driven decisions and solutions that give borrowers dynamic and efficient access to funding. From the start, we created a loan application process that could be completed 100% online, in under 10 minutes.
Appraisal Process And Online Proof of Funds
Once you have successfully been approved for a loan with us, we do a property appraisal and schedule the closing. Our typical appraisal process is done without any personal contact required – an appraiser can visit your property, do a solo walkthrough and send the results by email. No handshake is necessary!
We will be working hand in hand with our appraisers and closing agents in order to do what we can to further minimize contact for the sake of safety. New Silver can also provide you with instant proof of funds through our online application portal, giving you verification of funds when you need it. We will be exploring more ways to make our loan process future-proof, and ultimately safer for our valued borrowers during the next few weeks.
Other Measures We Are Developing
Technology is a great solution for today’s issues, and we believe this crisis will increase the adoption of new real estate technologies. This global pandemic has already accelerated what we have been building at New Silver, and other companies will follow suit if they have not made announcements already.
The process of closing real estate transactions is changing as well, and we are looking to introduce remote closing so that no visits to the attorney offices are needed. We are also looking at the value of launching e-recordings and other options that we will provide more details on in the near future.
What Are Other Companies Doing?
Many real estate companies are introducing new technologies or online-based services as alternative options for real estate services. Redfin brokerage is one of these companies, launching video-chat tours for in-house listings and listings provided by other brokerage firms on top of offering virtual open houses and virtual contracts to minimize contact between buyers, sellers and real estate agents.
The real estate social platform BiggerPockets is moving future conferences to Zoom and hosting dedicated webinars about running your property business or investments remotely. Compass is another real estate company creating plans, and they have teamed up with VR company RICOH tours to allow realtors to live stream open houses and client walkthroughs.
We will see many others follow this example in the next few months.
What Will COVID-19 Mean For Real Estate?
Historically, stocks and real estate have been completely separate asset classes, but the performance of one has a trickle-down effect on the other. With stock prices down to record lows amidst the coronavirus panic and shutdowns, the real estate market has seen a significant, and understandable slowdown due to the uncertainty surrounding both the local and world economy.
A slowdown does not mean a crash is looming, however; the silver lining would be that a drop in real estate prices can represent good buying opportunities for real estate investors with a keen eye and the patience to hold long-term. It is sellers who will suffer the most over the next few months while the market struggles to regain stability, and they will need to get creative to get the prices they want during the downturn.