As some states are beginning to reopen, we are all left wondering what the new normal will be. Regardless if your state has reopened, is in the process of reopening, or has plans to reopen soon, it’s important to be aware and follow the current guidelines set by the state and cities you’re working in. Above all, sellers and buyers should feel safe and worry-free when at an open house. Here are five helpful tips and strategies to have a successful open house as your state begins to reopen from COVID-19.
Sanitize and Make It Known
If all parties are open to having an in-person meeting or open house, make sure everyone is still practicing proper procedure as provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. During in-person showings, adhere to social distancing recommendations, and maintain a minimum of six feet of space between persons at all times. In lieu of shaking hands with clients and remaining six feet away, try simply just waving hello. It’s important before any showings or open houses to sanitize common touchpoint items such as light switches, doorknobs and furniture handles, stair bannisters, and so on. To further ensure all parties are protected, you might recommend (or provide) gloves and shoe booties to clients before entering the home. Advertising beforehand of such sanitation to buyers will provide them peace of mind when looking to buy their future home.
Virtual Tours and Solutions
Not all clients will be comfortable going back to in-person meetings just yet, and that’s okay. It’s important to make sure virtual tours and online paperwork are still available if you want to accommodate these clients. Remember that even before the pandemic, many home buyers preferred digital tours of homes anyway. So just because your state is reopening does not mean you need to stop providing this service. Virtual tours could be as simple as a Facetime appointment or as advanced as an AI-powered 3-D solution. Since there are more rules in place for in-person meetings, you may find that virtual solutions can be a more quick and efficient option.
Make Minor Interior and Exterior Improvements
There are so many ways to easily spruce up your home with just a little bit of effort. Encourage sellers to take care of problems such as removing carpet stains, fixing torn window screens, cleaning scuff marks off the hardwood floors and walls, and patching holes and cracks in the walls in ceilings. This is a great way to let buyers know the home has been taken care of. Small touchups outside the home can go a long way as well. Adding a flower pot outside, giving a new paint job to the numbers on the house and/or the mailbox, or adding a new doormat are perfect for adding extra appeal as home buyers approach the home. Advise sellers to keep pets off the property and remove any pet waste, litter boxes, or pet toys from around the house.
Share useful real estate content
Real estate professionals in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic had to adapt and learn new virtual ways of doing business. As states begin to reopen, you don’t need to stop using technology and social media as tools to connect with clients and other real estate professionals. Clients are still very much in need of useful real estate information and it’s extremely helpful to provide your clients, social media followers, and website visitors up-to-date information on local news in your state and community. If you are sharing COVID-19 related articles and information, be sure to double check the source for validity to avoid spreading false information.
Whether your buyer or seller is comfortable with in-person meetings or would prefer virtual accommodations, we hope you know there are many creative ways and solutions to help you make the sale. At the end of the day, just remember to stay flexible with your clients and be considerate of everyone’s concerns and safety. If this pandemic taught us anything, it’s to stay flexible and improvise. Even if your state has reopened, is in the process, or has plans to fully reopen soon, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in place if an emergency like this ever happens again in the future.