COVID Crisis Accelerates Realtors’ Use of Tech in Mid-HudsonWith the real estate transaction process still done for the most part on a virtual basis, sales volume has slowed but has not stopped entirely.
Realtors are using technology tools such as Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and DocuSign, to get a deal to closing. Once the Mid-Hudson enters phase two of the reopening, many of the elements of a transaction can be done on a face-to-face basis with mandated safe practices. However, the tech tools now being employed may become common practice to many Realtors.
“The COVID-19 situation has accelerated the use of technologies and practices that the (real estate) industry hadn’t fully embraced,” said Katheryn DeClerck, an associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens/Rand Realty’s Goshen office. “People, who would’ve been out of the housing market in March and April, are going to hit it as soon as they can. They’re already out willing to see properties virtually.” See full Middletown Times-Herald Record story.
Business Council Task Force Issues Strategies, Recommendations to Assist in Westchester’s Economic Recovery from PandemicThe Business Council of Westchester issued an extensive list of strategies and recommendations to assist the state and county in their reemergence from the pandemic. The report offers recommendations from the 46 members of the BCW Westchester Economic Recovery Task Force who represent a wide range of industry sectors in the county including: Arts, Biotech, Energy/Environment; Entertainment, Hospitality, Transportation, Finance, Healthcare, Higher Education, Municipalities, Not-for-Profits, Professional Services, Real Estate Brokerage and Construction, Retail and Small Business.
In the report, among its recommendations concerning the real estate brokerage industry, the task force recommends extending tax credits to developers/owners who make capital expenditures for new construction and to owners/ leaseholders of older properties that install modern HVAC in their buildings with improved air circulation in tenant spaces and other common areas in multi‐tenanted buildings.
The task force also stated that it is “Vital for real estate agents to be allowed to practice in person services with appropriate health and safety protocols and social distancing to minimize contact.”
The full report, which is the first of several to be prepared by the task force, is available online at thebcw.org
NEW YORK STATE NEWS
Western NY Expected to Enter Phase 2 Tomorrow; Capital District on Track for Phase 2 on WednesdayGov. Andrew Cuomo in his daily COVID-19 Update briefing today said that the Western New York region is expected to begin phase two of the reopening process tomorrow.
He added that the Capital District is on track to enter phase two of the reopening on Wednesday. In addition, New York City is eligible to enter phase one of the reopening on Monday, June 8, while the Mid-Hudson is eligible to enter phase two on Tuesday, June 9.
Referencing the protests over the death of George Floyd, the governor expressed concern that the mass gatherings throughout the state may exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and possibly set back the state’s efforts to restart its economy. See story CBSNews.com.
Assembly Speaker Says Not So Fast to Major Budget CutsNew York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) says Assembly members are prepared to return to Albany in the coming weeks to block potential major cuts to education, local governments, and hospitals that might be proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to the lack of assistance from the federal government.
The governor has been warning that without proper funding from the federal government, he may be forced to cut spending in those areas by 20%.
“I think these cuts are unacceptable, and I think you would see the Legislature look to respond,” Heastie said. “None of us can fathom 20% cuts to education. Those are cuts that I don’t think we’ve ever imagined, we’ve ever seen, in recent times. We cannot tolerate those types of cuts,” Click to see Albany Democrat & Chronicle story.
Will Civil Rights Protests Spark a Second Wave of COVID-19?Mass protests over police brutality and the recent death of George Floyd are worrying some public health officials that coronavirus cases could rise due to the mass gatherings.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the protests could become “super-spreader events,” while Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland expressed concern that his state would see a spike in cases in about two weeks. Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms advised people who were out protesting “to go get a COVID test this week.”
“The outdoor air dilutes the virus and reduces the infectious dose that might be out there, and if there are breezes blowing, that further dilutes the virus in the air,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. “There was literally a lot of running around, which means they’re exhaling more profoundly, but also passing each other very quickly.” See full New York Times story.
PREPARING FOR PHASE TWO
The following are links to guidance from New York State for real estate firms reopening in Phase Two. The Mid-Hudson region is still in Phase One of the process that has all but shut down the real estate industry since late March. It could qualify for Phase Two reopening beginning on June 9.
Reopening NY: Real Estate Guidelines for Employers and EmployeesNYS Dept. of Health: Interim Guidance for Real Estate Services during the COVID-19 Public Health EmergencyNYS Business Reopening Safety Plan Template
The following are links to guidance from New York State for building management companies reopening once the Mid-Hudson enters Phase Two:
Commercial Building Management Guidelines for Employers and EmployeesThis Interim Guidance for Commercial Building Management during the COVID-19 Public Health EmergencyNYS Dept. of HealthNY FORWARD Safety Plan Template
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