When Beth F. and her family needed to relocate from Rome, Italy to the suburbs north of New York City last year, they turned to HL Global Relocation Services to find their new home. Thanks to modern technologies adopted by both client and agent, the would-be daunting experience of remote real estate transacting was sailed through with ease.
“I used to be a realtor myself, and Houlihan was the partner for the agency I worked at,” Beth explained. “They paired me with Libbe Pavony at the Briarcliff office since that was the area I was interested in.”
“They told me a client was coming in for five days and needed to buy or rent,” added Libbe. “Beth was very tech-savvy and did a lot of research online; she was very familiar with surrounding towns.”
The two began talking via video internet-based phone services Skype and Viber, despite the six-hour time difference. Beth arranged an April trip to Westchester and scheduled school visits with her top contenders: Pleasantville, Briarcliff and Armonk. Libbe subscribed Beth to automatically receive the latest listings and regularly provided links to homes and community insights. With a tight timeline in the hottest time on the market, not a moment could be wasted.
When they finally arrived, several of those original listings already sold. Beth put in several offers, knowing she’d need a home to return to in August by the time she left. The market was hot.
At the midnight hour, while leaving another listing, Libbe spotted an agent she knew literally sticking a sign on the lawn and chased her down.
“I got out of the car and stopped her, knowing we needed to get in to see it. She said it would be on the market in an hour.”
They got in to view the home, and by the end of the day had an accepted offer.
But the work was just beginning. Beth had to return to Rome, and the next time she’d be in town was to move in. As Beth shopped for furniture and needed a visual refresh, Libbe would walk through the home over Facetime. The engineering inspection was done using Facetime. Beth’s husband hadn’t even seen the home, but between Facetime, Viber, Skype and electronically-signed contracts, the couple were fully confident. Even the attorney used Viber to be patched in on a conference call. Everyone in the process who hadn't already adopted their modern methods.
“I’ve been in real estate for 23 years, but the most changes have been over about the past five,” Libbe added. “You need to be hands-on and adapt to technologies. Buyers are demanding the edge, they don’t want their time wasted.”