Like sections of the American economy, Zillow Group (Z -4.09%)(ZG -3.73%) is starting to return to some of its operations. The online real estate company announced it is reopening its Zillow Offers service in four U.S. markets -- Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona, plus Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina.
In order to ensure the health of those involved in real estate transactions, the company has also launched its "Move Forward. Stay Safe." initiative. Under this program, Zillow said, it will follow rigorous safety standards during each phase of a home sale. It has brought on former Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin as an advisor to the program.
One safety precaution Zillow is taking is suspending open houses, a common real estate practice (in non-pandemic times) in which a home is open for public view during certain times and days. In lieu of that, interested parties can take a virtual tour, which the company says is available for each of the properties it owns and is offering for sale.
Zillow says the home buying is lively, despite the economic damage caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. "These past two months have confirmed our belief that real estate is resilient. In fact, we've seen that people -- despite these uncertain times -- still want to move," the company wrote in its announcement.
Zillow Offers is a relatively new service where Zillow buys a home directly from a seller wishing to divest it quickly, then sells it on its own. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Offers had enjoyed rapid revenue growth and widened to 24 markets around the U.S.
Zillow's two share classes both rose on Tuesday, in contrast to the declines of the wider equities market and numerous tech stocks. The company's A shares advanced by 2.6%, and the C shares rose nearly 3%.