The Interview: Bess Freedman on how resi firms will look post-Covid

Agents have been testing the limits of virtual deal-making

TRD New York /
May.May 07, 2020 09:45 AM

It’s been six weeks since New York’s residential firms went dark after Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut non-essential workplaces to curb Covid-19 deaths.

In that time, agents have tested the limits of virtual showings and endured a steep drop in deals. Now, major firms are planning the brokerage office of the future — well beyond masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

At Brown Harris Stevens, receptionists will sit behind plexiglass and agents won’t be side-by-side. Instead, work times will be staggered to maintain social distancing. “We’re never going to have a packed office,” Bess Freedman, Brown Harris’ CEO, said in a video conversation with The Real Deal’s E.B. Solomont.

For agents who already took their work on the road, it’s too soon to say how the firm’s need for office space will change, she said. The top priority is agent and client safety, followed by a restarting of an important economic engine.

“People want to get back to work, which I totally understand,” said Freedman, whose firm was one of many that furloughed workers. “There’s an economic issue underlying all this. Sellers need to sell. Buyers want to find properties.”

The ways they sell and buy are destined to change as well. “They may do open houses by appointment,” she said. “Showings are going to be where everyone is social-distancing, everyone is wearing masks and gloves … That is going to have to happen at least through the summer.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

DeSantis says restaurants in Florida can operate at up to 100% capacity

DeSantis says restaurants in Florida can operate at up to 100% capacity
Peter Vauthy and Red South Beach (Getty)

The Weekly Dish: Red South Beach signs $5M lease for new space & more

The Weekly Dish: Red South Beach signs $5M lease for new space & more
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

Miami-Dade police said pre-Covid evictions could resume. Then came mayor’s stop order

Miami-Dade police said pre-Covid evictions could resume. Then came mayor’s stop order
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez (Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

Miami-Dade begins phase 2 reopening: movie theaters, bowling alleys and more

Miami-Dade begins phase 2 reopening: movie theaters, bowling alleys and more
From left: Miguel Solis, Mario Chirino, and Madelayne Garcia

Longtime Berkshire Hathaway team joins Elliman, CBRE taps new South Florida exec & more

Longtime Berkshire Hathaway team joins Elliman, CBRE taps new South Florida exec & more
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

DeSantis moves Miami-Dade, Broward counties into phase two

DeSantis moves Miami-Dade, Broward counties into phase two
Gov. DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Drink up: Bars can reopen Monday in the Florida Keys — but not in rest of South Florida

Drink up: Bars can reopen Monday in the Florida Keys — but not in rest of South Florida
A Toojay's Deli location (Google Maps)

Lender acquires TooJay’s out of bankruptcy

Lender acquires TooJay’s out of bankruptcy
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...