Smart Ways Realtors are Managing Transactions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Smart Ways Realtors are Managing Transactions during the COVID-19 Pandemic MMK realty northern virginia real estate

Are you looking for ways Realtors are managing transactions during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Here in Northern Virginia, we (like much of the U.S.) are slowly realizing and beginning to adapt to life during the COVID-19 Pandemic. News headlines are emerging more rapidly than we can handle, information updates are coming in by the minute, and many of us are still searching for toilet paper. For those that caught on early that we are facing a crisis–and even those that are beginning to understand it now–we have all likely begun to realize we are going to be stuck indoors for quite some time. Truth be told, though we are not very far into our local Virginia COVID-19 lock-down, this morning already felt something like we were living in the movie “Groundhog Day” because today felt a lot like yesterday. So, the question is, how are we going to cope and continue forward while still maintaining some semblance our lives? And, as Realtors, how do we manage our transactions under these constraints? Here are some smart ways Realtors are managing transactions during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Stay Positive

It sounds cliché, but let us be real: staying positive is about the only thing we have going for us at the moment and sure it beats the alternative. Of course there is cause for concern and staying informed is of the upmost importance here, but at the end of the day, all we can do is stay positive and look toward brighter days (and warmer weather). How do you stay positive right now? I personally find positivity in humor whether it be reading a funny book, watching a comedy on Netflix with my family, or skimming through the latest memes and gifs for a few laughs. Why, because humor is grounding and reminds us that we are all human. Certainly take COVID-19 seriously, but find a few moments to lighten the mood when you can.

Do Your Part and Stay Apart

Right now our best course of action is to follow the CDC guidelines for managing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC urges individuals to take these measures to protect themselves and others:

  • Practice social distancing by staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
  • 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.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Stay home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptom.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

Additionally, to help prevent the continued spread of coronavirus, on March 15, 2020, the CDC recommended that for the next 8 weeks, all in-person events consisting of 50 or more people, such as conferences and assemblies, be cancelled, postponed or modified virtual event.

Stay Connected (Digitally)

We see the irony here. We just told you to maintain social distance. But, during this time you need to find ways to stay connected too. At a time like this, technology is pretty valuable because it allows all of us to stay connected, despite having to maintain social distance. We can chat online, video chat, peruse social media, text and on and on. Not only is this beneficial in our personal lives, it helps us as agents stay connected with clients in ways we could have never dreamed of before. Out of necessity, it is possible to open and close an entire real estate transaction with virtually no face-to-face interaction. That is incredible and now is the time that we agents need to put all of our digital knowledge, tools, and training into use–and fast.

Screen Fairly

While you are likely doing everything you can to limit social contact while still keeping your transactions on track, you may have to arrange individual tours or meetings when applicable. So, yes, according to NAR, “you may ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of Coronavirus. To avoid potential fair housing issues, be sure to ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities.” The same goes for driving clients around, and frankly, you should not be doing that right now as it is, but if you have to, do it fairly. Your best bet is to simply arrange to meet clients at a property—they will understand! And if you do show a property be sure to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and to ask clients to use hand sanitizer (that you provide). In fact, a cute welcome gift could be hand sanitizer with a bow tied around it. Most clients would likely appreciate and understand the gesture. Finally, it is best not to offer refreshments of any kind until further notice, though bottled water and packaged goods are okay if you feel you need to provide something.

Virtual Tours

The final proponent here is, if you are getting ready to list a new property and the budget allows, make use of Virtual Tours! If you are tech savvy and already have some equipment you may be able to do it yourself. If not, the typical cost of creating a Virtual Tour is about $350. This is likely going to be a difficult adjustment, especially since we rely heavily on face-to-face interactions. However, during this time of uncertainty Virtual Tours can assist in weening prospective buyers from the serious buyers, thereby limiting the amount of social contact necessary for the transaction.

A Final Thought

Consider engaging in some charitable opportunities right now. Supporting small businesses is a great option. These are trying times and you would be well advised to support small businesses if you can. The service industry has been hit particularly hard and many are trying to stay afloat by offering carryout and delivery service. Order some takeout if you can afford it or purchase gift cards for yourself (or your clients–with a note attached) for later use. If you have the resources, consider implementing a donation support program through your brokerage to help small businesses. For more tips on how to support small businesses.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.