First and most importantly, Stay home when sick
The CDC recommends that individuals who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [38.0° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
Practice preventative measures
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing by staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Perform Routine Environmental Cleaning
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
Modifications to Business Practices
If you make modifications to business policies/practices remain compliant with Fair Housing Laws by implementing these policies with everyone equally, consistently and in the same manner to. i.e. when requiring use of hand-sanitizer, questioning an individuals’ recent travel history, or expressing concerns of visible symptoms, make sure it is applied to all individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I practice Social distancing and still have new client meetings?
New client meetings should be held with caution. Meeting remotely via phone or video conference is best. If meetings must be done in person, meet in spaces with room for social distancing.
Are there any resources I can share with my clients/property owners?
Yes! The National Association of REALTORS® has compiled a list of resources that provide property owners with assistance during the Coronavirus crisis. This resource can be found at https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus-resources-for-property-owners
What precautions should brokers consider taking in their offices?
Brokers should use their best judgment when formulating a plan. In addition to performing regular environmental cleaning with special attention paid to frequently touched surfaces, brokers should implement a mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agent exhibiting any sign of illness. Brokers may want to consider imposing a mandatory or maximum flexibility remote work policy for employees and instructing agents to stay out of the office.
How can I stay safe while showing properties?
- Consider offering clients the option to conduct a virtual tour of the property instead of an in-person meeting.
- Consider taking separate vehicles to the property
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched areas and surfaces in the property before and after every appointment.
- When possible, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes to all visitors upon arrival.
- Avoid shaking hands during in-person interactions.
How can I stay safe while at closings?
- Discuss using online or electronic closings by using document review, approval, and signing software
- Limit attendees at each closing to only the most essential parties
- Avoid shaking hands during in person interactions
- Keep the meeting area clean by disinfecting all frequently touched areas and surfaces.
I typically drive my clients to showings. May I refuse to drive potential clients to see properties?
Yes. However, be sure that any change to your business practices is applied equally to all clients. You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of Coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. If you do continue to drive clients in your car, it is a good idea to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and to ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
How can I get real estate CE during this time?
The Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® has compiled a list of current online CE offerings.
The list can be found at https://gbrar.com/coronavirus-ce-resource/
We know that you have many more questions. Join the conversation on the GBRAR CID Facebook page with your questions, suggestions, or challenges at www.facebook.com/GBRCID