Amid the coronavirus pandemic, brokerages are finding new ways to close deals, often leaning on tech tools and virtual technology to get to the closing table. One brokerage, Luxian International Realty, recently completed a 100-percent virtual luxury real estate transaction.
According to CEO and Founder Luciane Serifovic, the midtown Manhattan apartment closing with a Canada-based buyer was achieved with the help of high-definition video, virtual showings, secure mobile apps and blockchain technology. Here, Serifovic tells RISMedia what it means to close 100-percent virtually, and why the ability to do so is an incredibly powerful asset during these difficult times.
Why is it so important to leverage technology during this time?
LS: Technology was already here to stay; however, during COVID-19, individuals and companies had no choice but to expedite the use of technology and a virtual experience to support their clients’ needs. I do believe that, moving forward, at least 30 percent of the work force will remain virtual, forcing companies to integrate technology and digitization as part of the standard operating procedure. If a company wants to remain relevant and be sustainable, they must adapt immediately.
What is the competitive advantage of being able to transact completely virtually, especially in the luxury real estate market?
LS: I’ve always used technology to interact with high net-worth individuals who are extremely busy and need to save time. My first transaction was with a professional MLB player and everything was done virtually. His priority was training and winning on the baseball field—I needed to make it extremely easy for him.
The luxury real estate market has been on a decline for quite some time; therefore, the convenience and ease of use is a key part of the process in order to get properties sold. A luxury property off-market, that isn’t shown virtually or is not marketed digitally, has minimized their chances of finding the ideal buyer. The use of technology actually benefits luxury homeowners, protecting their personal property until a legitimate and qualified buyer is serious and ready to do the final walk-through that, today, doesn’t always happen.
What can you say about consumers’ comfort level in purchasing a property completely virtually?
LS: It is becoming more commonplace, but what can agents and brokers do to make this a better experience for consumers? The customers have to feel comfortable and it will certainly take time for that to happen. Agents and brokers will have to create and educate customers on their virtual procedures that are in place. Showing the room sizes with measuring tools, showing the rooms with and without the lights on, showing the common areas, lobby and exteriors, etc.—these are just a few things that must be considered. In addition, high-definition videos are critical for the customers to make an informed decision. If you think about it, most people decide to buy a property after seeing it only once. With this experience, they can look at the details and have access to the information to analyze their purchase in depth and make a more informed decision.
What does this transaction mean for Luxian, and what is your goal for the future?
LS: We have always been at the forefront and pioneers in the virtual space; however, many clients weren’t ready to adapt. This transaction shows consumer behavior is changing, and this may be the new way of conducting real estate transactions—we are the first ones to prove it. Our mission is to virtually sell the most luxurious properties all over the world, we have the exclusive network and the platform for it.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.