Brokerage firms are reopening sales galleries after a two-month COVID hiatus, betting that personal interaction with finishes and model units will lead to an uptick in sales.

“The thing a sales gallery offers is that meeting with finishes. You can’t replace what it feels like to touch and interact with your kitchen or bathroom. People would want to see these finishes and models before making a purchase,” said Matthew Barry, managing director at investment firm Optimum Asset Management USA, the developer of Monaco Yacht Club & Residences.

Over the past two weeks, sales centers for 57 Ocean, Aston Martin Residences, Brickell Flatiron, Jade Signature, Missoni Baia, Paramount Miami Worldcenter and the Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles Beach have reopened their doors. Others set to resume this week include Una, Monaco Yacht Club & Residences and Quadro.

Edgardo Defortuna, chief executive officer and president of Fortune International, says home buyers have been waiting to finalize decisions until they can make personal inspections.

Interest has doubled in the eight luxury towers Defortuna represents despite a drop in condo closings and reservations, he said. Closings slowed by 20 to 30% during March and April as compared to previous months, he said, while requests for virtual presentations has doubled.

Potential buyers and inquiries came from Chicago, New Jersey, New York and across Latin America. Defortuna expects potential out-of-state buyers to send relatives or close friends to tour the sales galleries and model units if they face travel limitations.

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