Like you, I have spent the last few days watching the development of the COVID-19 pandemic with feelings of concern and uncertainty.
These are extraordinary times and as a society, we are in unchartered territory. It’s critical that we continue to stay calm and work together to keep our families, clients and communities safe.
I wanted to reach out today to provide guidance to help you in your efforts to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
I know that face-to-face meetings and in-person interactions are common practices for REALTORS®. I also know you’re contemplating and having to make some difficult decisions.
Our recommendation is to ensure you put your health and safety, and that of your families, colleagues and clients above all else by following recommendations put forward by Public Health Agencies, including:
- Avoiding large gatherings
- Increasing personal space in relation to others
- Facilitating employees working from home if necessary
- If you are at risk, practice social distancing
- Always separate yourself from others where you can
For a full list of prevention tips, please visit the Health Canada website.
If you’re not sure how to put these recommendations into practice, I encourage you to have discussions with your brokerage and clients.
Actions you can take to protect your business
- Follow the advice of public health officials and the regular hygiene steps recommended by Health Canada
- Move to online or phone meetings, where possible
- Avoid going into or hosting meetings, tours or open houses if you are feeling sick
- If you are going into homes or meetings avoid handshaking and practice ‘social-distancing’ measures
- Encourage your clients and employees to do the same — to stay home if they are sick, practice good hygiene, and to move to digital/phone meetings where possible.
For suggestions on hosting open houses in today’s environment, have a look at a blog post published in the CREA Café.
HOW CAN OREA HELP YOU?
Infectious diseases know no borders. As the well-worn public health mantra goes, “An outbreak anywhere is a threat everywhere.” Never has this been truer than now. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each one of us. It is important to remember that, as the outbreak continues to change the way we work and live, we must make decisions that are in the best interests of our community.
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to impact real estate markets across Ontario. The effects are being felt already. We know that this is causing concern among homeowners, buyers and our Members. In early April, OREA’s Board of Directors are meeting virtually to discuss opportunities for your Association to provide additional support to our Members. We will be monitoring the market closely, and when we get through this difficult time, OREA will continue to be there to support our Members and the people you work hard for every day, and to help restore a healthy, vibrant real estate market.