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March 27, 2020

Precautions for Showings & Open Houses During Covid-19

Social distancing has become vitally important to stopping the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and you’re probably wondering whether you should continue to show properties.

First Things First: 
You should definitely abide by all local resolutions, such as shelter in place orders; and for that matter, as always, if you simply don't feel comfortable or safe, you shouldn't show properties. You should also try and take advantage of all virtual methods of showing houses, such as we mentioned in our recent blog post.

Keep the Lights On:
Leaving the lights on for the entirety of your event or viewing will cut down on surface contact by other buyers and their agents. 

Make the Most of the Self-Marketing Opportunities:
We know you've seen many different suggestions to make your showings virtual, but how to make it work can be overwhelming to figure out. We here at MARIS want you to know that Matrix makes it easy for you to provide these virtual tours in your listings, and we walk you through this step-by-step in our blog post about "Handling Business Disruption Due to Social Distancing". Additionally, virtual tours are a great dual purpose tool for self-marketing! They not only provide you with an opportunity to continue doing business while social distancing, but they give buyers an opportunity to get to know you before ever meeting you. 


All of that said, here are some great additional tips and precautions for showing a property safely during this time from our friends at Bright MLS: 

Consult Your Office Guidelines:
Your brokerage may have guidelines already set out for you. Some brokerages are encouraging the temporary cancelation of all open houses and/or showings. Consult your broker and your colleagues to see what the latest recommendations are for open houses and showings.

Go Virtual:
Today there are many options for showing a property virtually. You can record or show the property in real time using apps like Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Google Duo.

Make Sure Everyone is Healthy:
To combat the spread of this disease, it is in your clients’ best interest to ensure the health and safety of everyone around them. Ask your client whether they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms before agreeing to meet them in person.

Keep Appointments as Short as Possible:
Limit the number of people you bring to a showing appointment to avoid unnecessary exposure to potential germs. Encourage your clients to be conscious of the challenges that come with showing a property at this time, especially when sellers are still living in the home. Try to be conscious of time and understanding if sellers are waiting in the driveway as your buyers are leaving.

Have people wash their hands upon entering the house:
One of the top recommendations for combating the spread of Coronavirus is washing your hands. Ask people to wash their hands as soon as they enter a property. Alternately, keep hand sanitizer with you or inside the property and ask them to use it when they arrive and leave.

Open doors, drawers (and everything else) yourself:
Reduce the amount of exposure your listing’s most germ-prone areas get from outside visitors by limiting the contact people may have with them. Advise clients you will be opening all doors, windows, cabinets, and drawers for them before you enter the house, so they follow your lead once inside. 

Disinfect surfaces after a client leaves:
After a client leaves, wipe down surfaces and the more frequently touched areas such as faucets and doorknobs with a disinfectant cleaner. Learn more from NAR about how to disinfect a home correctly.


MARIS Wants to Help You Stay Informed:
If you haven't had a chance to check out our real time updates in response to Covid-19, you can do so here, where you will be provided with several strategies and resources, both internal and external, to help your business during this time. Continue to check back for regular updates.