As community quarantine protocols ease up in different parts of the country, there’s been a gradual return to the normal, even in real estate activities. For one, construction projects, public and private, are now allowed in areas under general community quarantine. Some property development firms have likewise resumed office work with reduced capacity.
In the case of brokers, it’s now time to prepare for the return of one important activity: trippings. It’s the meat of what you do, showing properties in person. Yet at the same time, we all know that after the pandemic, it won’t technically be a “return.” There would be changes in how you do trippings, so it would really be a new normal, one that’s increasingly conscious of the health and safety of clients.
That said, here are some new normal best practices you can adopt when doing trippings:
Keep the Premises Clean
Before your open house, get a cleaning service to deep clean the entire space. There’s a good chance that your property developer-partner is already making plans for this, so coordinate with them closely to follow through. Prioritize regular cleaning throughout the day. Decide how frequently professionals should clean the space and which areas must be prioritized. This would largely depend on the number of visitors you’ll be welcoming.
As you make arrangements for cleaning before and after viewings, it’s also critical to keep the space clean during client visits. Place some automatic alcohol dispensers in key areas of the property and disinfection mats at the entrance.
Get Visitors’ Health Information
This will be useful in contact tracing, if ever that would be necessary in the future. Encourage your clients to fill out a health status form before entering the property. The form should have all the key information, such as name, address, contact number, and date and time of visit.
Check body temperature and have them record it in the form. Include questions about experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to allow contact tracers later on to keep track of who’s experiencing what at a specific period of time. Be explicitly clear in your pre-viewing communications with clients that if they show any symptoms, such as fever or coughs, they wouldn’t be allowed to enter the property. In addition, reassure them that their information will be kept confidential, and will only be turned over to authorities for contact tracing efforts.
Limit Viewings and Visitors
Hold the property viewings by appointment. Moreover, introduce a maximum-of-two rule, wherein visitors can only come to the showing by pairs. Discourage bringing children along or other friends and relatives. This way, you’ll be able to manage the number of people coming to the open house and reduce possible crowding. On the day of the showing, limit the duration of viewing, too. Set a time limit for checking each area of the property.
Since you’ll have restricted physical showing, promote your virtual walkthroughs. In the brochures you’ll be handing out, include the links to websites or listing pages that host your digital viewings. Better yet, use a QR code for easier access.
Make Distancing Easy
Before COVID-19, visitors can freely roam around the property as they please. Now, with the virus easily spread from person to person and staying on surfaces for days, there needs to be some restrictions on movements (yes, even though you’ll be disinfecting areas regularly). With this, guide people’s movements inside the property.
Use floor markings for social distancing. Follow natural paths, so the movement, although restricted, won’t be uncomfortable for guests.
Wear Protective Equipment
It goes without saying that wearing face masks is necessary when interacting with people. Don’t forget to use one yourself, especially when you start talking about the features of the property. If you can add a face shield to your protective gear, do so. Promote the wearing of masks among clients too. In fact, introduce a no-mask, no-entry rule.
Communicate Health and Safety Protocols
Announce on digital platforms what kinds of protocols you’ll be implementing during trippings. Share it with your clients through SMS or chat apps before they go to your open house. The last thing you want in this already-stressful situation is turning down a client who forgot to book an appointment.
Summarize all the things expected from them: scheduling an appointment, wearing face masks, following physical distancing and disinfection protocols inside the property, and answering health information forms.
Are you excited to go back to property viewings? Are you prepared? Promote health and safety in your open houses by adopting these strategies.