Being a small business owner in the state of our current economy poses unique and scary risks. The Oxford defines Entrepreneur as A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. This embodies each of you- the risk-takers, the bold and the relentless.
It would be irresponsible for us to not ask each of you to take precautions and follow the recommendations from the CDC and World Health Organization. It would also be foolish of us not insisting you stay focused during a time when everyone else is unfocused. We urge you to continue working your business while adding extra precautions to keep yourself and your customers safe. If your business is slow, use this time to build or clean-up your database or get in a few extra hours of prospecting.
Much of the literature states the outcomes of this virus will most likely have very similar results to every other viral illness we routinely run into. The biggest fear our country faces, which is driving the demand for reduction of mass gatherings and outings, is having the medical infrastructure to handle those needing extra medical attention. Our medical system in the United States operates at a very high capacity on an average day which is evidenced in wait times throughout clinics, hospitals and urgent cares. Add this pandemic to the mixes, and we now have no means of control and no medical infrastructure to support those in need.
Given the information above, and the massive impact our industry has on our economy, below will outline our immediate intentions as a company as move into the coming weeks.
- We are REQUIRING anyone (staff or agent) feeling any symptoms to stay home and not interact with customers, office staff or co-workers. We all have a responsibility in preventing the spread of this viral pandemic and this is the first step.
- Anyone testing positive for Coronavirus should:
- Immediately notify their Market President
- Remain in isolation and away from customers, offices and staff for a minimum of 14 days
- Anyone testing positive for Coronavirus should:
- Sales meetings for the month of March will be determined by each Market President. Some may be virtually attended as others may be cancelled all together. Please watch for communication from your Market President or Admin as to these changes.
- At this time, unless requested by the seller, we are continuing Open Houses and showings. Please speak with EACH client directly and follow-up with written communications as to their wishes. Below are some recommendations that can be adopted to assist with prevention and spread:
- Require the coop agent and Buyers to use precaution when showing by doing what the CDC and World Health Organization recommends: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html
- If working with a Buyer:
- Please bring disinfectant and use prior to and immediately after the showing to assist with prevention.
- Reduce or eliminate showings to those who are not in the immediate market to purchase and are simply “looking”
- If working with a Seller: Please ask the seller how they wish to proceed with showings. Remind them that this is their decision and you will respect their wishes.
- Ask them to disinfect their homes after showings to help prevent any possible spread of the virus.
- As an alternative, you can suggest “virtual showings” by allowing agents to Facetime a buyer or simply video the home for showing purposes
- As a reminder, how we interact with people is still governed by Fair Housing. The NAR has published A Guide for Realtors to help you navigate the current state of our market.
- At this time, we are not shutting down our offices nor asking our staff to telecommute. We do have these options available if the need arises. On of our biggest focus is making sure YOU are supported while you still try to run your small business amongst the chaos and uncertainty our nation faces.
- Tomorrow (March 16th) our Getting Connected class will be cancelled. We urge any registered agents to attend April’s session instead.
- BHU/Foundations Course (Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s) will continue with revisions. We will revise the delivery to be virtual instead of classroom based through the end of March. Erik, our Director of Career Development, will be sending login instructions and materials for this class to all attendees. If you are an attendee, please make sure you have a charged computer and reliable internet.
Finally, if you are feeling a little anxious, please seek a professional if you feel you need someone to speak with. Baycare has agreed, for a short time, to assist our agents in determining if you have an insurance provided EAP that can help! Here is there online resource link: https://baycare.personaladvantage.com/gateway.jsp?SingleSignIn:refid=11157170
Now is the time for us to really become the calming force our customers need. They look to us as a barometer and we need to reassure them that even when we cannot control the circumstance around us, we can control our behavior.
If there is any deviation from the above or new information released to help us make more informed decisions, you will be the first to know. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like further clarification.