The coronavirus pandemic had an almost immediate impact on the real estate sector.
Everything from brokerage operations, listings, showings, contracts, transactions, need adaptation from consultants to these extraordinary circumstances.
Worldwide, industry associations understand that these unprecedented circumstances are affecting the ability to do business.
The real estate sector is fundamental to the economy and it is necessary for us to do everything in our power to navigate safely in these times of uncertainty. Here are some guidelines based on the current WHO guidelines, to help solve some of the specific problems of the real estate consultant’s work that may arise in the course of the activity:
When an infectious disease, such as the coronavirus, is associated with a specific population or nationality, fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma and potential discrimination. As Consultants we must be attentive and make sure not to discriminate against any specific segment of the population. Although the coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China, it does not provide a basis for treating Chinese people or people of Asian descent differently.
- Should I ask Clients or other people with whom I interact in the real estate business if they have recently traveled or have any signs of respiratory illness?
Yes, we can ask customers or others about their recent travel, especially to areas identified as having an increased risk of coronavirus. However, we should ask all clients the same screening questions based on current and factual information from public health authorities.
- I usually take my clients on visits. Should I continue?
It will be preferable not to do so. However, make sure that any changes to your business practices are applied equally to all clients. You can refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent trips to areas at higher risk for coronavirus, or you can choose to stop driving clients in your car altogether and simply set up a meeting at the property / property. If you want to continue taking clients in your car, it is a good idea to clean and disinfect surfaces such as door handles and seat belt latches frequently and ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
What precautions should Consultants take in offices?
Consultants should use their best judgment when formulating a plan. In addition to carrying out regular environmental cleaning with special attention to frequently touched surfaces, consultants must implement a mandatory “stay at home” policy for any employee who displays any sign of illness. Consultants may consider the possibility of imposing a maximum or mandatory remote work policy for employees or to stay out of the office. In addition, they should take steps to hold virtual meetings whenever possible, and potentially postpone or cancel meetings or face-to-face events to limit close contact between individuals.
Finally, don’t panic and use common sense. The situation is evolving rapidly, so staying informed is about staying safe and avoiding business interruptions.
April 5, 2020