Let’s face it. No matter the circumstances, there are always people who NEED to move. Just this week alone we’ve met nine new clients who need to move due to job relocations, illnesses in their family, new additions to the family and divorce. Life goes on during these tough times and so must we. Since we need to adjust to the new normal of social distancing while still helping clients, our team came together and created a list of ways we can SAFELY help our clients during this time.
- FULL TIME, REMOTE TEAM: Our team is currently working FULL TIME remotely for our clients. By utilizing Compass tools and our own internal communication systems like Slack and Trello, we are well positioned for remote work individually, as a team, with our clients and with title companies, lenders and other agents in our industry. If we do need to go to the office, we can do so safely as our Lee Street location in Old Town is being cleaned daily by hospital standards, and there is rarely anyone in the office.
- INTEGRATED, COLLABORATIVE BROKERAGE: We are lucky during this time to work for a brokerage that not only has tools that allow us to work remotely, but has the leadership and collaborative spirit to keep us moving forward and informed. We are having frequent virtual meetings with our Compass colleagues regionally as well as nationally updating us as to the state of the real estate market around the country, as well as virtual meetings with Wall Street leaders on the status of the financial markets. Our CEO Robert Reffkin also has been sending us a daily video message to keep us positive, motivated and to help us move forward to help our clients.
- HOW WE ARE HANDLING NEW CLIENT CONSULTS: We are still taking new client appointments with prospective buyers and sellers. We are taking the majority of these appointments virtually, utilizing FaceTime and Google Hangouts, as well as the good old fashioned telephone! Of course, we can meet in person as well but for everyone’s safety are limiting these in-person appointments.
- HOW WE ARE HANDLING BUYER SHOWINGS FOR OUR CLIENTS: First, we are always happy to preview a property for you and take a video of the home, or FaceTime you from the property. If you would like to visit a property in person, we ask that our buyers do not touch anything in the home, both for their safety and the safety of the homeowner. Our agents will be walking through the home opening any doors with disinfecting wipes or disposable gloves that will be thrown out immediately upon use. We do not advise our clients to visit open houses during this time.
- HOW WE ARE HANDLING SHOWINGS ON OUR LISTINGS: We will be taking walkthrough videos of all of our listings to have available for any listings going on the market in case buyers would prefer to tour the home virtually first. We will also set showing preferences to NOT allow overlapping showings, meaning that on any in person showings, only one group will go through the house at a time. Additionally, we will keep all doors to closets, etc OPEN and will ask agents and prospective buyers not to close them, so no one needs to touch anything in the home. We encourage all agents to adapt our practice of using gloves or disinfecting wipes when opening the front door to the home.
- HOW WE ARE HANDLING LISTINGS OFF MARKET: Many of our clients would prefer to wait to go on the active market, but are okay showing the home privately. For these sellers, we are utilizing Compass Coming Soon, an internal database for Compass agents nationwide where we list our off market, private exclusive and coming soon listings. In tandem, we reach out to agents on a one on one basis that we think might have a buyer for the property. This allows us to market the home efficiently while minimizing the number of people through the door.
- HOW WE ARE HANDLING OUR CLIENTS WHO ARE UNDER CONTRACT: We have a dedicated contracts manager who is reaching out to everyone’s lenders and title companies constantly to make sure all is on track and that they are practicing social distancing to close safely. We have also talked to moving companies who are doing virtual estimates for moves. Their movers are all using proper protective gear and have not left the country or had known contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. All of the title companies with whom we work closely are using new pens for each closing and limiting the number of people in the office. Many sellers are also being encouraged to sign virtually with a remote notary. We are happy to provide more information on this option should you be interested in signing remotely. Unfortunately, most lenders are not yet allowing remote closings for buyers at this point, however, with a cash transaction it is possible.
- OUR AGREEMENT WITH OUR CLIENTS: We will continue to practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet of distance between each other. If you feel ill, or have been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19, please let us know immediately so we can reschedule.
Of course, we will continue to monitor and update our policies as the situation continues to evolve. As always, we’re here to help with our clients best interests at heart, in whatever way we can through this difficult time, whether it be help buying or selling, where to order delivery, or just someone to listen. We are here for you.