This week I had a chance to interview Steve Jasinski over email to get his take on the local real estate markets and the impacts of COVID-19. The interview below has been lightly edited for clarity.
[Brian]: I’ve been reading that the real estate markets have slowed. I know in the last week there was a reported uptick in mortgage applications which could indicate more interest in homes soon. What are you seeing in the local markets right now?
[Steve] If you would have asked me this in April I would have said ‘hold on to your hats, this is going to be a bumpy ride’ but the amount of showings we have been seeing across Chicagoland has been increasing dramatically. Our Showings through May 10 is getting close to where it was at the same time last year. Sellers still need to sell, and buyers still need to buy.
[Brian] Traditionally, buying a home meant spending time looking at properties and touring homes. Are you and your colleagues seeing any new trends or innovations to address corona virus concerns as you’re marketing or showing homes?
[Steve] Great Question – We’ve always done a ton of video work for our listings but in the last two months we’ve had to increase that avenue and also massively increase our technology aspect for our clients. From virtual showings, to Facebook and Instagram live open houses it’s been a lot of fun. You can’t be camera shy these days. We’ve actually done virtual listing presentations and buyer presentations through facetime, zoom and google hangouts. If a client has a smartphone, we can conduct business. Of course all of the normal safety protocols need to be met these days – masks, gloves, sanitizers and so on.
[Brian] It’s always hard to predict the future. I don’t think any of us really know when things will start to return to normal. What indicators will you be watching in real estate that may signal a turnaround?
[Steve] I’m always watching the number of showings and talking to the lenders I trust to see how they are doing on pre-approvals. We’ve seen a big uptick on both of those so that should mean good things for the real estate market. I’m watching the private listing network for new homes that will be coming on the market shortly. We’ve seen this increase a bit too as some people are waiting on the sidelines before putting their homes on the market.
[Brian] I’d like to switch gears to other local businesses here in La Grange and the surrounding areas. I know you are a huge supporter of local businesses. The local La Grange Area Restaurant Take-out & Delivery Group on Facebook has done a tremendous job of promoting local restaurants to help them stay afloat. Are there any go-to favorites for you and your family?
[Steve] Truly there are too many to go to – But I’ll give you a quick hitlist – I love me the Enzo’s beef roll I jumped on that about 60 days ago and holy cannoli is that good. Ledo’s Pizza (well done, extra sauce) is a must as well as the cracker crust pizza from Lucca’s. The $45 family specials at Posto 31 are killer, Chef Jason is knocking it out of the park. Steak & Vine has a really good chicken family special too, and they deliver. Irish Times has a great taco special. We did 1416 for Beef Wellington & Old Fashioneds, and Prasino for their black bean burger. Truly we’ve been rotating around as much as we can. So many great places that we need to support.
[Brian] I know you’ve got a family at home. In our house screen time seems to rule the day. With the warmer weather we’re now doing a few more things outside in the yard. I’m sure as a parent you’re also balancing work with family time. Has the Jasinski family discovered any new favorite activities to pass the time?
[Steve] Well – the kids have been kicking my tail in Badminton. I…don’t have the reaction time I once did. LOL. We actually play charades and ‘heads up’ a lot. I’ve taught them some ‘old timey’ as they say games like Spades, and rummy.
Steve Jasinski; the head of the Jasinski Home Team is an experienced real estate broker who is committed to the success of each client. He believes in making clients for life and achieves this by focusing on the individual needs of each buyer and seller, serving them with compassion and integrity. By focusing on relationships and not transactions, Steve provides exceptional real estate guidance and advice.