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4 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Protect Themselves During COVID-19

Apr 13, 2020 by Maurie Backman

Being a real estate agent means interacting with many different people in the course of your job. Under normal circumstances, that's not a bad thing. But when we're deep in the throes of a major outbreak and the first thing public health officials are urging is social distancing, it can be difficult to do your job without putting your health at risk.

Of course, many real estate agents don't have the luxury to just sit back, wait things out, and take a few months off. If you're going to continue working during the COVID-19 crisis, here are a few steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

1. Put physical space between yourself and your clients

Whether you're meeting with clients who are looking to sell a home or buy one, get used to the idea of making eye contact from a distance of six feet or more. It may seem impersonal, but it's for your own good -- and that of your clients.

2. Opt for more virtual tours and fewer physical tours

You can't expect a client of yours to buy a home without ever stepping foot inside it. But one thing you can do is help your clients narrow down their choices to limit the number of homes you need to visit in person. To this end, get on board with the idea of virtual tours -- using pictures and videos to get a sense of what a property looks like. Many real estate listing sites allow for these anyway, and if you're working with sellers, encourage them to provide these to prospective buyers.

3. Invest in protective equipment

At some point in the course of your job, you'll likely have to step foot into a new home or meet new people. You can keep yourself safer by having the right equipment, so load up on face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and don't be shy about using them. Better yet, provide these items for your clients, too, if possible -- both as a gesture of goodwill and for the sake of your own safety.

4. Limit foot traffic during open houses

Though there are different steps you can take to make open houses safer these days, an important one is to limit the number of people who are physically allowed to enter a home at the same time. Plant yourself near the door and only let one or two buyers or families in at once, and consider extending the length of your open houses to allow for more viewings.

Having a job that hinges on face-to-face interaction is a challenge right now. The good news, if you want to think of it that way, is that many sellers may be hesitant to list their homes right now, while buyers may be putting their house hunts on hold. As such, you may find that you're interacting with fewer people in the coming weeks and stepping foot into fewer homes, and while that may temporarily hurt your bottom line, it could ultimately be the thing that protects your physical health.

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