The spring selling season is here; traditionally the busiest time of the year for real estate agents. Unfortunately, this year has an added twist with the outbreak of a new coronavirus strain, Covid-19. As the country grapples with this challenge, the real estate industry is working to create best practices for showings which will protect all parties – buyers, sellers, agents, inspectors, appraisers, and anyone else who will need access to the property.
First and foremost, anyone who is feeling ill, has been in contact with anyone who is ill or is considered high-risk should stay home. As difficult as it may be, agents in a high risk category may also want to consider finding another agent to team up with, who can make the in-person visits to clients and properties. Health and safety must be the first priority. This is a rapidly changing situation – and agents should follow the current guidance of their brokerages, and governmental agencies.
With this in mind, real estate transactions will continue during this challenge and there are some practical and effective steps you can take to ensure your own and your clients’ safety.
- Clean Everything – Keep sanitizing wipes throughout the home to use on doorknobs, countertops, banisters, etc. Offer hand sanitizer to buyers as they walk in the door.
- Wear Gloves– Based on availability, disposable gloves can be purchased in bulk and can help curb the spread of the virus on surfaces.
- Social Distance – The phrase of the day is certainly “social distancing” and with good reason. The call to stay 6’ away from each other includes the need to be mindful as we roam from room-to-room during a showing.
- Drive Separately – Agents and clients should drive to listings in their own cars, to limit close proximity with each other.
Aside from the practical steps above, this is a great time to take advantage of the great technology tools available.
- Online Listings – The first step is to make sure listings include all the available features; virtual tours, video, drone and professional photography can all be used to showcase the home from every angle.
- Virtual/Skype Tours – Rather than meeting buyers in the home, consider a Skype tour first. As an agent, offer to walk through the home with the buyers while on a Skype/FaceTime app.
- Virtual Open Houses – In lieu of the traditional open house, create a virtual open house on social media. Facebook Live is a great way to engage your audience with a live event.
Creativity is more important than ever. Even in this challenging time, real estate transactions need to continue. As agents, it’s important to protect our clients and ourselves while still attending to their real estate needs. Take the practical precautions and then try out a new app or tool. This is a great opportunity to try something new while still providing our clients with great service.