Bright MLS, the leading multiple listing service (MLS) in the Mid-Atlantic US released its top safety tips for real estate professionals who are staging events, open houses and conducting in-person interactions on location during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bright MLS published the tips in conjunction with REALTOR® Safety Month, which is observed during the month of September to reinforce and highlight the necessary safety precautions real estate agents should practice when operating in high-risk situations.
“There is no bigger priority for Bright MLS than the personal safety and security of real estate professionals and their clients. COVID-19 has completely changed the homebuying experience and it’s vital that we provide updated safety information to reflect this new normal,” said Brian Donnellan, President and CEO of Bright MLS.
The top COVID-19 safety tips for real estate professionals:
Avoid shaking hands with prospective buyers
Wear a mask when showing homes
Set up a table outside of the home with PPE, including masks, hand sanitizer and a list of safety guidelines
Utilize virtual meetings and phone calls when possible to correspond with your clients to help limit in-person interactions
Avoid sharing a vehicle with your clients when visiting homes
Schedule showings at multiple houses with enough time in between to take the necessary precautions and disinfect door handles, surfaces, etc.
Maintain a log of all visitors that have entered a home for contact tracing purposes.
Request that homeowners leave windows, cabinets, doors, etc. open before they leave their home in order to limit contact when showing a home
Tips for consumers when shopping for homes:
Wear a mask at all times and avoid touching surfaces, doors, cabinets, etc.
Only visit homes with immediate members of your household and, if possible, leave children at home to limit the number of people in a home
Visit one property per outing to avoid multiple exposures
Share if you are experiencing any symptoms of the virus, so necessary precautions can be taken and upcoming visits can be rescheduled
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not the only threat real estate professionals face on the job. There has been a tragic number of attacks on real estate agents, including an agent in Virginiathis past June. Without the proper safety precautions, agents can find themselves particularly vulnerable when showing homes alone or meeting with unfamiliar clients. In addition to the added layer of COVID-19 safety precautions, Bright MLS recommends the following standard safety precautions for real estate professionals to help improve safety on the job:
Be acutely aware of both the physical location and the time of day when working
Always tell someone else when and where you are showing a listing or conducting an open house
Know who you’re working with and be sure to invest the time to get to know your client well – this includes asking them to complete a Prospect Identification Form
Consider using safety technology such as the Homesnap ProSafety Timer, which is available to all Bright MLS subscribers, or other systems to alert someone in case of emergency