NYC Real Estate is Essential, but Showings are Virtual

Written By Dylon Harbottle | April 08, 2020 | Published in Real Estate Market Trends
2020%2f04%2f08%2f20%2f44%2f33%2f80863837 b81b 45e0 bb33 fbcae23b3342%2fberenice melis

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo deemed the real estate business to be non-essential a couple of weeks ago, things have primarily been “on hold” in the property market. However, this week, there is some good news. New York State’s economic arm, The Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), has now declared that the industry is essential and should be allowed to continue to operate. Admittedly there are several conditions to be met that will change the way business will be conducted.

The guidance from ESD requires agents to “maintain social distance to the extent possible,” and to observe all public health protocols to help prevent the spread of the virus. This revelation means appraisals and inspections can resume for both residential and commercial properties for sale or rent, while showings will only be available “virtually.”

Back-office real estate workers will be working from home as much as possible, and any essential face to face meetings must take place respecting social distancing guidelines. At Elegran, applications, payments, and lease signings can all take place online, and virtual tours are already being offered on many properties.

This attitudinal change is undoubtedly welcome news for the real estate industry. At the start of the shutdown, the week of March 16, the Manhattan real estate data firm, UrbanDigs, revealed some worrying statistics. Half the number of contacts, 109 compared to 214, were signed compared to the same period in the previous year. Additionally, four hundred and fifty listings were taken off the market, and the number of property listings going live dropped by a massive 79-percent.

The new guidance gives agents an opportunity to keep things ticking over, but it is unlikely to be business as usual. Like everything else right now, we need to adapt, and to put the health of everyone at the forefront.

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on All data displayed on is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.