The New Reality: COVID-19 and What It Means for Real Estate Agents

16 March 2020
Remax Professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on professionals across many sectors, including real estate. For agents, interacting with clients and the community has quickly become a challenge. While there are still buyers and sellers in the market, it isn’t business as usual. Now is the time to focus on finding safe ways to represent those who need your services.

If you’re wondering how to conduct real estate business in light of COVID-19, here’s what you should know…

Open houses

Many home sellers expect to hold an open house, no matter the circumstances. While you’re probably used to going above and beyond for your clients, this is one request that you can (and absolutely should) refuse. 

At this time, health authorities at all levels of government are advising against gathering in groups. It’s one of the most important steps Torontonians can take towards preventing the spread of the virus. Since open houses bring many buyers together under one roof, they should definitely be avoided.

Showings

At a time when social distancing is crucial, it’s best to eliminate home showings as much as possible. The good news is, video and virtual tours can provide a safer option. The technologies that make these experiences possible are constantly evolving, making them the next best thing to viewing a home in-person.

Of course, some buyers will never feel comfortable purchasing a property until they’ve been inside. If you feel that performing a showing is necessary, do what you can to reduce the risk. Limit the number of participants, and ask them when they last left the country (less than fourteen days and they should be completely self-isolating). You should also advise attendees to disinfect their hands and avoid touching indoor surfaces.

Adopting virtual solutions 

There’s a lot more to a real estate transaction than a home showing. From meetings between you and your clients to physical document signings, there are many potential points of contact during a home purchase or sale. 

The good news is, much of the process can be carried out at a distance. Conference calls, online communications, and digital-signing apps can all eliminate the need to meet in person—and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Stay in the know

As a real estate agent, you should stay up-to-date on the threat posed by the ongoing pandemic—and what it means for the work that you do. One of the simplest steps you can take is remaining vigilant. That means staying on top of all new information released by the government and RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario). 

In times like these, your responsibilities extend beyond your clients to include the general public. Fortunately, it’s possible to carry out your duties to buyers and sellers without creating scenarios that could put people’s health at risk. The key is adhering to all directions issued by health authorities while adopting a more innovative (and flexible) mindset. By airing on the side of caution, you’ll be doing your part to serve your community.

Interested in joining a supportive team that can provide guidance—in good times and challenging ones? Get in touch to discuss the many advantages of choosing RE/MAX Professionals today.