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Is Coronavirus Affecting the Local Real Estate Market?

By Tamara Lloyd

I’d love to say Corona Virus has had no effect on the real estate industry – but that would simply not be true. As I write this article (19th March) I am in the process of ensuring all our open homes are as hygienic as possible, our offices have been scrubbed and staff now clean reception, their desks, phones etc at least daily. At Ray White we have become “contact conscience” and our offices have never smelt so clean!

Here are some basic things we are implementing at our open home’s and auctions to ensure that contact is kept at a minimum

  1. Sanitising compulsory for all buyers before they enter open homes – we will be providing this.
  2. Brochures will be emailed or text to clients
  3. Section 32’s will not be available on display – they will be emailed to interested parties.
  4. All doors kept open at open homes so buyers do not need to touch door handles.
  5. Clients that are quarantined, self isolated or for whatever reason cannot attend auctions can bid online as long as they pre register with us and contracts can be emailed and signed via email.

We are also in the process of organising tables for outside all our open homes with sanitizer and our “Contact Conscience” message. We are opting for “Jazz hands” or “Namaste” instead of handshakes. Our team has been instructed to keep their sense of humour, but to ensure they are hygiene focused.

We are finding that open home numbers and auction attendance are solid but we are adapting our processes to ensure we are keeping our clients, staff and the community safe. In our area the average open home attendees have stayed steady over the last month which is really positive. We expect we may get less neighbours having a sticky beak (we love neighbours don’t get me wrong) in the weeks ahead but believe genuine buyers and sellers will still be getting on with it.

One great thing that has come out of all this is the sense of community that seems to be surfacing. Two big things for me – we have around 10 of our local real estate Principals gathering at our office today to discuss how we as leaders in our business can ensure our teams, clients and the community are confident in our industry. We need to show you that we are doing all the right things and that we can basically run “business as usual” with a few little adjustments. Open homes, private inspections, routine inspections and auctions can all still take place – with a few adjustments. Now is a great time to buy as interest rates are SO low! Tenants still need a roof over their heads & landlords need the income – so we are continuing as are the rest of the real estate agents in our area.

Secondly, on a personal note I also had my kind neighbour Gary get me some chicken as he knew I struggled to find some last week – these positive things are what we need to focus on. We need to get on with our lives – but be sensible about how we do it. The economy and small business need you!

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