'It truly feels as if you're inside the house': Technology helps real estate market thrive during pandemic

From social media to virtual reality, agents have been selling houses in a new way.


Real estate agents are doing business differently than they were six months ago.

"No shaking hands, we're constantly sanitizing and wiping everything down," Mike Tesnar said.

Tesnar and his wife are agents with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Omaha, Nebraska.

"We're still selling houses. The pandemic hasn't changed that," he said.

The pandemic has changed the way they sell houses. The biggest change comes with showing homes.

"There's a lot of people who would just go out and look at houses because they wanted to look at houses, but now when you're going out to physically view a house you know that that person is going to be buying a house," Tesnar said.

At one point, in-person showings all but stopped. Agents turned to Zoom to do tours and used Facebook Live to host open houses.

"Virtual tours of homes have been around awhile, but prior to the pandemic it was something typically reserved for more high-end listings, but now we're using the technology on a lot more listings," Tesnar said.

Virtual reality allows people to feel like they're inside the home without ever actually being there. Some agents use special headsets to to give the potential buyer the maximum experience.

"It truly feels as if you're inside the house. It's about as close as you can get to being there. This type of technology is something I think will stick around," Tesnar said.

Tonya Javadi just bought a home with Tesnar as her agent.

"The virtual tour made it real easy. It was literally every nook and cranny that I was able to see before I even decided to come," Javadi said.

Javadi appreciated the convenience the technology offered. She's still getting settled in and couldn't be happier with the house and the process buying it.

"It feels great. It's a long time coming," she said.

As for Javadi's agent, he's glad she got the things she wanted and happy the industry has been able to adapt to the changes.

"We don't know how long this pandemic will last. We'll just have to wait and see what happens," Tesnar said.