The Covid-19 crisis continues to impact health and the economy throughout our country, but for many real estate agents, business is booming. With favorable interest rates, there are clients looking to get out of the city, others seeking more space or outdoor amenities in case they need to shelter in place again, and those who need to downsize.
But we aren’t out of the woods yet. States are reopening and easing restrictions. But in various locations, infection numbers are rising. We still need to follow state guidance and take precautions to protect agents and clients.
Are your agents feeling safe—and taking the precautions necessary to protect themselves and others? Help them through this challenging time with tips for staying safe and conducting business with the health of everyone in mind.
Covid-19 Safety Tips to Share with Your Agents
Remind agents that they must follow all state guidelines related to showings and any other in- person activities. These may include rules about such things as how many people can be inside a building, restrictions on the size of outdoor gatherings, requirements about masks or distancing, or covid-19 related liability forms, among others.
Note that state guidelines may change frequently. Share your state’s covid update link. Suggest that your agents check it regularly, as well as review any brokerage updates about procedures related to state guidance.
If state guidelines allow, showings agents should take these steps to protect themselves and others:
Do as much online as possible.
- Have clients preview properties online and show they’re preapproved to limit showings to serious buyers. At the same time, make sure the buyers understand that they are responsible for inspections, walk throughs, and the like, before they deem the property acceptable. This acknowledgement can be included in the purchase agreement.
- Use technology as much as possible to conduct other parts of business.
Limit time indoors and distance.
Try to minimize time spent in the building. Conduct conversations and other business outside after seeing the property or answer questions by phone. Consider limiting the number of people (even if state guidelines allow for more) to make distancing easier and reduce contact points. Maintain 6 feet distance inside and out.
Document who was there.
Having names and contact information for everyone reviewing a property helps if anybody reports symptoms or a positive Covid-19 test after you’ve been in close contact. Make sure you have permission to contact each party as well.
Reduce touch points during showings.
Have everyone at the showing wash hands immediately or use hand sanitizer upon entering. Consider gloves and even shoe coverings for everyone. Take any safety steps required by the seller. Even with these steps you should also:
- Skip the handshake. We’re all getting used to this, so clients shouldn’t find it odd.
- Use gloves to open the door for the client.
- Have the owner or tenant open interior doors, cabinets, and closets and turn on the lights before the showing. If the house is vacant, go in and do this ahead of time.
- Ask clients to avoid touching surfaces.
- Do not share pens or other personal items.
- Stay 6 feet apart both inside and outside of a building.
- Provide hand sanitizer again upon leaving and use it yourself.
Clean up after a showing.
Wipe down any surfaces you or a visitor touched, such as door handles. Don’t forget about lock boxes or keys.
Don’t Forget Basic Covid-19 Safety Tips
As states move into different phases of reopening, it’s important to continue to remember the basics even as we loosen up in some areas:
- Stay home if you don’t feel well.
- Avoid conducting business in person, whether coming into the office or meeting with clients on property if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, have a known exposure, or have tested positive.
- Wash hands well and frequently and keep them away from your face.
- Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash hands after contact with high touch surfaces or activities outside of home.
- Wear a mask and properly distance yourself from others.
Covid-19 safety tips help reduce risk, and a lot comes down to preparation. Know exactly what is allowed by the state and what precautions or paperwork is required. Reduce risk by limiting contact. If you are allowed to show, have all the items you need, such as hand sanitizer, masks, gloves or other protective gear, and sanitizing wipes. Consider having a Covid-19 kit of safety items, so you know you always have what you need. You can provide excellent service and have a booming business even during a public health crisis—you just need to do the right things!
What steps have you taken to keep agents safe?