6 Tips for Real Estate Agents as States Reopen During COVID-19

By Ann Heinz, JD, CDEI
Jul 6, 2020
As states reopen their economies during the COVID-19 epidemic, here are 6 tips for real estate agents

As we all cautiously take steps to reopen our economy, many of us in the real estate industry are left wondering — what will the new normal be? Some states have reopened, others are in the process of reopening, and some have plans to reopen. Whatever conditions are like where you are, it seems like we’re in a transitory period. But even as things seem uncertain, we want you to remain safe, healthy, and successful.

To help your real estate agency navigate the industry as the economy continues to reopen, we’ve put together six tips and pieces of advice for real estate professionals during this period.

#1 Provide Virtual Tours, Showings, and Open Houses

When states shut down, real estate agents around the country adapted by hosting virtual home tours and virtual open houses. Just because your state is reopening doesn’t mean you need to stop providing these! Even before the pandemic, many home buyers wanted digital tours of homes. And as your state reopens, some home buyers will still be hesitant to attend in-person showings.

Thankfully, recording virtual tours and hosting virtual open houses is easier than ever. To record a walk-through of a listed home, most of you will only need your cell phone or tablet, and if you’re able, you can edit your own videos and photos to post alongside your listings and share on your social media accounts.

Today, giving a live virtual tour of a home is as easy as a FaceTime conversation. Using video chat services like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc., you can connect with your prospective buyers in real-time as you show them the home and answer their questions. Remember most people begin their home search on the internet, so any additional information, images, or videos you can provide will only help.

#2 Be Safe and Considerate

If you are returning to hosting in-person showings and/or open houses, it’s important to remember to be aware of the conditions in your area and be considerate to potential buyers. Be sure to also comply with any requirements the seller may have. Discuss with the seller beforehand the precautions that will be taken while you are showing their home and adhere to any of their requests, even if they are more strict than your state or local guidelines.

The National Association of REALTORS® gives the following recommendations for real estate agents conducting in-person showings:

  • Adhere to six-foot social distancing recommendations whenever possible.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Limit the number of people at a showing to as few as necessary.
  • Instruct buyers and others touring the home to avoid touching any surfaces, such as light switches, cabinets, and door handles.
  • Do not share phones, pens, tablets, or other personal property during the showing.

While indoors, every person on the tour should wear a mask, and you may consider supplying masks to potential buyers who may not have brought one. Of course no matter what, be sure to follow all federal, state, and local restrictions in your area as they may change.

#3 Follow the Safety Guidelines From the CDC

The CDC has put together important guidelines on the cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces and businesses as states continue to reopen. If you are showing homes, hosting open houses, or seeing clients in your office or home, it’s important to practice proper hygiene and frequently disinfect surfaces, both for your safety and your potential clients’.

#4 Share Useful Real Estate Content

Your clients are in need of useful and important information, especially if the pandemic is interfering in their efforts to buy a home. Keep your clients, social media followers, and website visitors up-to-date on the current status of the real estate industry and how things are changing in your state. You may also share best practices to stay healthy, including hygiene and social distancing. If you decide to share news articles, be sure to double check the source to be certain you aren’t spreading misinformation.

If you need help with social media marketing and producing website content for your real estate agency, WebCE can help! Our real estate course, The Power of Social Media Marketing, explains the different ways to create and curate online content, why it’s important to establish a business website and real estate blog, and how to optimize your content for search engines. The course also examines how real estate professionals can use specific social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to generate leads and promote their businesses.

#5 Be Prepared for the Next Disaster

When Forbes asked Shirley Blumberg, founding partner at KPMB Architects, what industry leaders had learned from COVID-19, her response was: “Roll with the punches, which will come fast and furious.” We think this is good advice.

Even if your state has reopened, is in the reopening process, or has plans to reopen soon, you need to remain prepared, because if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of disaster preparation. Whether it’s another surge of the virus or another unexpected disaster, real estate agencies should have plans in place to ensure everyone’s safety and, if necessary again, quickly return to working at home.

The National Association of REALTORS® has several resources to help real estate professionals prepare for disasters and watch out for their clients and families.

#6 Take Care of Your Real Estate Continuing Education Now

If you haven’t already, now may be the perfect time to complete your continuing education and ensure your agency’s team has their CE completed as well. WebCE is the leading provider of online continuing education and professional development, and we offer a comprehensive catalog of online courses for real estate professionals.

Our real estate CE catalog offers both core and elective real estate CE classes, with courses focused on current real estate trends including social media, the millennial generation, and alternative housing. With WebCE, you can easily fulfill your real estate continuing education requirements while learning something new and developing your unique specialty.

Real Estate CE Catalog