Consumer COVID-19 Harris Poll

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With COVID-19 probably here in some form for the long term, this study shows how vital it is for brokers to go above and beyond with precautions.

The Harris Poll, one of the country’s most respected polling and research organizations, released the findings of a study done in early May. In it the poll found:

  • 80% of Americans are still concerned with the risk of being exposed when leaving home for errands and worry they will accidentally expose others.
  • Nearly 75% of Americans worry about future public activities, such as public transit, socializing or going to bars, restaurants, hairdressers, etc.
  • 66% of parents are concerned their kids will be exposed if sent back to school, causing many districts to cancel in-person classes for the rest of the school year.
  • Taking a flight is also a concern for 66% of Americans.

Given this, real estate professionals and brokerage firms will need to go beyond passive acceptance of government directives as to what needs to be done to show homes.

It appears the Coronavirus is here to stay, much like influenza. Given the high levels of current fear about the virus, it seems apparent that agents and brokerage firms should take a proactive approach to assure buyers and sellers that they’ve done all they can to ensure their safety. This should be a priority.

No agents can promise that each home is 100% safe for sellers and buyers, but they can take every step possible to let both parties know the steps they’re taking to be as safe as possible. It should not be done with an attitude of “this is what they tell us we have to do,” but rather, “our agents and we pledge to take all the steps we can to assure a safe environment.”

Harris Poll No. 2: Are Americans Reconsidering Where They Live?

Study shows that Americans are rethinking high-density city and urban homes and moving to less-crowded places.

According to the results of a separate April 2020 Harris Poll, nearly 39% of urban dwellers said that COVID-19 had prompted them to consider moving to a less crowded place.

  • It seems that 18 to 24-year-olds who were surveyed were more likely than other age groups to say they’re considering a move.
  • Urban dwellers (43%) were more likely than suburban (26%) and rural (21%) residents to report having browsed real estate websites for homes or apartments to rent or buy.


According to Harris and other sources, after a surge of people moving to urban cities—more than 1 million population during the early 2010s—major metro areas have seen growth slow-downs and even losses over the past four years according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution.

Remote work is being normalized and is likely to become a more permanent reality, allowing staff more flexibility to live further away from the company’s headquarters.

One other note was that people tend to stay put during the threat of a recession, so the current downturn could discourage people from picking up and moving.


This article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter. It is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright © 2020. To read the rest of this issue & more, please visit our Real Trends page online.

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