BEST PRACTICES CODVID-19 SUGGESTED BY THE TORONTO REGIONAL REAL ESTATE BOARD
Best Practices: COVID-19
UPDATED. NO OPEN HOUSES
These are suggested measures, and you should speak with your Brokerage or Broker of Record for advice and direction.
As a REALTOR® who engages in interactions with clients throughout their day-to-day business, we have gathered information to offer ways you can protect yourself during the COVID-19 outbreak.
How can I protect myself as a REALTOR®?
Before meeting with clients, it is advisable that you ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of COVID-19. Use your best judgment, and you may want to avoid driving clients or interacting in person with clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel outside Canada to areas of increased risk of COVID-19; and note that these areas continue to be updated as the situation on COVID-19 continues to evolve.
If you do continue to interact with these clients, it's a good idea to follow Health Canada guidelines on prevention tips.
In addition, Health Canada suggests you keep a two-metre radius from others when out in public, and to practise "social distancing" and stay in isolation if you're showing any symptoms of being sick.
For more information, read the Coronavirus Guide from the National Association of REALTORS® here.
Interacting with Clients
Contacting your clients by email, phone or using other forms of technology, such as video calls, are best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow you to remain in contact with your clients and avoid the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
If you do have an in-person meeting with your client, ensure you and your clients partake in prevention measures such as thorough handwashing with soap and water or disinfecting with an alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol prior to meeting.
Open Houses -NOT PERMITTED ANY FURTHER
This is a Brokerage decision that you will have to consider, taking into account the health of your clients, your staff and your community. Tuning into the news to remain informed about COVID-19 will allow you to better understand the severity of the risk in your area. Speak openly and honestly with your Seller about the pros and cons of holding an open house and consider alternative marketing opportunities. This will assist in determining the risks of holding an open house with your Seller or Buyer.
If you feel the need to host an open house, CREA recently shared these tips:
Use disinfecting wipes to clean commonly-shared surfaces like door handles; Restrict open house attendance to one group at a time; Ask visitors to limit physically touching items in the home; Refrain from greeting others with handshakes or hugs; Encourage clients to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house after open houses or viewings; Request clients or attendees to notify you if they become ill within two weeks of an open house or showing. If an attendee does become sick or is diagnosed with COVID-19, communicate this with the homeowner and other attendees if possible; and
- Avoid sharing items such as phones, tablets or laptops.
You can also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your Seller's consideration, such as video tours and other methods to virtually tour a property as a means of respecting current government health advisories in effect.
Visit CREA's blog on what REALTORS® should know about COVID-19 here.
How about MLS® Rules and related matters?
TRREB's MLS® Rules are in place to ensure compliance and the orderly conduct of the MLS® System; however, we recognize that we are in unprecedented times, and the situation is changing rapidly with each passing day. During these extraordinary circumstances, any complaints received by TRREB regarding compliance with the MLS® Rules will be assessed in light of directives provided by government and public health authorities.
TRREB encourages all Members to follow the advice of public health authorities and exercise reasonable precautions as needed to ensure the safety of all Members and their clients. CREA and NAR have published resources that TRREB Members can also refer to in determining appropriate measures for their respective operations. Those resources can be found here (CREA) and here (NAR).
Looking for more information surrounding COVID-19?
For a full list of prevention tips, please visit the Health Canada website.
You should also be mindful of the following advisory on Enhanced Public Health Measures for COVID-19 from the Office of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding travel, large events and other related matters.
As a reminder, TRREB has posted related COVID-19 headlines on Stratus regarding other TRREB activities that you should be mindful of:
- TRREB Action Affecting Members Re: COVID-19
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) & REALTOR® QUEST Update
- Latest Updates - Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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