REALTOR® News: Navigating Phase II Reopening
As the Mid- Hudson Valley has successfully begun the re-opening process by entering Phase I, Phase II could commence as early as June 9th if everything goes to plan. With Phase II potentially happening next week, this is great news for REALTORS®. Since the Real Estate Industry is part of Phase II of the re-opening process, this would allow REALTORS® to begin working in a greater capacity than the last three months. While this is a great development, it is important to maintain a level of safety while beginning to start in-person contact, both in offices and when showing properties. Here’s some additional information on navigating Phase II of the reopening to keep in mind when you get back out in the field.
Maintain distance: Even though REALTORS® and clients are going to be able to once again begin interacting in person, it is important to ensure you still keep a safe distance from each other. The New York State Association and REALTORS® is recommending that all parties still stay at least six feet away from each other, and limit the number of people you are with inside houses and offices. It is also recommended that REALTORS® travel separately than clients, to avoid prolonged time together in a small space. Ensuring that offices have only 50% of maximum capacity, and encouraging clients to not bring non-essential people to a showing (such as children or a friend) will help keep showings and meetings as safe as possible in the early stages of the Phase II reopening.
Ensure you have PPE readily available: It is important that you still take the necessary precautions to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask is mandatory, gloves and booties are recommended. Make sure you have extra masks in case your clients do not have any. It is also important to bring disinfectant wipes or spray so that you can clean any high touch points, such as door knobs, light switches and handrails.
Limit your surface contact: It is easy to want to touch counters, open cabinets and closets, turn on faucets and try out all the lights when viewing a property. In an effort to minimize surface contamination, only touch what is absolutely necessary: doorknobs to open the house and rooms, handrails when going down stairs, and lights if needed if it is hard to see. Make sure you are able to wipe down these touch points, so that when the sellers return to their property, the surfaces are clean and disinfected.
Only be in-person if necessary: The best way to see a property is in person, and many clients prefer this over a virtual tour. While in Phase II you will legally be able to once again show properties in person with safety precautions in place, it is still recommended that if you are able to show properties first via video, that you continue to show virtually when possible. If you have someone who wants to first get a feel of several properties, showing them virtual tours is a great way to look around a property and see if it is of any interest. Clients can then narrow down a smaller list and will help in limiting in-person contact. Once serious about purchasing a property, then recommend an in-person tour.
For more marketing tips, check out our previous article about Making the Market Work: Marketing Tips for REALTORS®. For more detailed information regarding mandatory and recommended policies for REALTORS® navigating Phase II of the re-opening process, read the Interim Guidance for Real Estate Services from the NYS Department of Health.