The pandemic has changed the face of every industry, including real estate. Open houses have taken a backseat to virtual house tours on social media, and consultations are transpiring more often on Zoom than in coffee shops. That said, in-person viewings are still integral in closing a sale. It’s rare that serious buyers will proceed with the transaction without first inspecting the property they’re buying, no matter how impressive the virtual tours you make are. This is why it’s important that you know how to make in-person showings safer and more reliable because anything less can result in you missing a much-needed profit.
If you’re not sure how to achieve this, here are four tips that you can start with. It’s not as complicated as you might expect, but it does require plenty of foresight and coordination in order to be successful.
Always Comply to Local & National Regulations
It’s been more than a year since the outbreak began, but new variants are still showing up, and the infection rates are still fluctuating. There’s no telling what’s in store for your part of the country, which is why you must stay on top of the news. Listen to local shows and news channels that predict what the COVID-19 situation in your region will look like in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Follow local and national government social media accounts to stay updated on the rules and regulations in effect. In case there’s a specific organization overseeing real estate activities in your area, check out what new protocols can affect your in-person showing plans. Being vigilant is the best way to come up with strategies that will improve your prospects.
Invest in Safety
You can invest in the most worthwhile safety measures and equipment based on the local and national regulations in place. It’s also crucial to consider the activities in your neighborhood or office building, as you might need to practice more caution if it’s in a high-traffic vicinity.
An investment you won’t regret is employing the services of professional cleaners. Companies like ClearClean Building Maintenance can sufficiently clean and sanitize your property before and after each viewing. You’ll also want to install sanitizers, foot bath mats, and similar equipment that can reduce the chances of contagion during the viewing.
Let your buyers know that you have these services and measures in place for their safety. It’ll build your credibility and likability, as well as encourage your buyers to schedule a visit.
Screen Your Buyers
Screening your buyers will save you time, money, and effort in each in-person viewing. This effectively eliminates window-shoppers and any other buyers who aren’t serious yet about making a purchase. You may have entertained them in the past in hopes of turning them into qualified leads, but it simply isn’t ideal or beneficial during a pandemic.
In screening your buyers, you’ll want to make it clear that in-person viewings are strictly by appointment. They have to provide any health documentation as per the owner’s request and a pre-qualification letter to prove that they can make the purchase. You can trim the numbers further by making virtual tours mandatory. In case they don’t like the layout or any home or office feature, at least you’ll find out early, and you’ll be spared from a wasteful visit.
Whenever appointments push through, you need to have procedures in place for you, your client, and your potential buyer. One good example is requesting everyone to stay in their cars until you arrive. This limits interaction and therefore improves safety. It’s helpful to remind them that they can’t use the bathrooms, so that they can find another venue to do their business before the viewing begins.
Before entering, you can reiterate guidelines that will prevent contamination and infection, such as avoiding touching things unnecessarily. In case your client won’t be there, prepare the property beforehand for contactless viewing. This means keeping all the doors, windows, wardrobes, and lights open. Make sure that you use gloves and that you sanitize properly, as there’s no such thing as too cautious during a pandemic.
Always be mindful of your proximity. Avoid cramped pathways, and remind everyone to maintain social distancing throughout the viewing.
Stick to Your Plan
Create a feasible strategy and stick to it. Never compromise, especially if it is your health or that of your client’s on the line. If you feel that a prospective buyer will be difficult in this respect, move along. The pandemic may have created challenges for the real estate industry, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of buyers out there.