On March 22, New York State issued an executive order directing businesses classified as nonessential to shut down on-location offices and work remotely if possible. For real estate brokerages, that meant finding a way to continue operations from afar – a challenging concept in an industry that’s so personal.

Meanwhile at NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty, a leading land brokerage based in Syracuse, Allen Olmsted and his team made the transition to working from home a seamless process thanks to the firm’s preexisting business model. By offering clients thorough listing information and user-friendly mapping technology, the brokerage is encouraging buyers and sellers alike to support the local economy by completing land transactions virtually.

“We recognize the significant loss people are going through, from job loss to the stock market. And from our little part of the world, we’re doing what we can to keep the economy moving forward,” says Allen. “Now is a great time to be in New York State’s land marketplace, and our transactions can be fully negotiated without in-person contact.”

How Virtual Land Transactions Work

According to Allen, NYLand.forsale’s listings have seen an uptick in inquiries since early April, partially due to buyers with time on their hands, increasing opportunities for sellers to complete transactions faster. This increased demand is also thanks to the brokerage’s easy virtual setup that allows buyers to tour properties safely.

“Over the past 30 years, our business model has been to know our properties very well,” Allen explains. “Because we have very comprehensive information, quality photos, and advanced mapping, many people over the years – and especially now – can view any of our properties online, as well as conduct their own personal tour.”

From the type of land and acreage to a vivid picture of a property’s stunning views, NYLand.forsale allows clients to view land listings through an interactive smartphone app. With GPS-like technology and detailed information about each property, buyers can explore the property and find out what they need to know to make an informed decision. To accommodate buyers who’d like to view the property in person, Allen is monitoring state social distancing orders to adapt to a new, contact-free process.

“We’ve been doing virtual and self-guided tours for decades, and our clients love how easy it makes the process,” says Allen. “But using this feature doesn’t mean you won’t get our personalized attention. I need to know everything about the seller’s property and buyers’ goals, so there’s always an open line of communication.”

Anticipating a Busy Market

From Allen’s perspective, buyers and sellers who are ready to proceed with their land transactions shouldn’t hesitate due to the social distancing measures associated with COVID-19. The New York land market has persevered through the pandemic, offering fair market prices while maintaining appropriate social distance.

“Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s a trend of buyers from the Tri-State Area looking for more rural land in response to COVID-19, while others are simply looking for a vacation or recreational property,” says Allen. “In the markets in the Southern Tier and a few hours outside of New York City, we do see that potential for a busy spring and summer.”

“If you’re considering selling, now is a very good time to be on the market,” Allen adds. “We’re not guaranteeing it’ll be sold today, but being out there will expose your property to a new wave of buyers who will see it.”

To learn more about buying or selling land in NY, be sure to check out the Ask Allen video blog series, which answers important questions from both buyers and sellers. Submit questions to Allen or ask about his featured properties in New York State by emailing [email protected] or contacting NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty today.