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Bright MLS, a multiple listing service (MLS) in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., recently released its top safety tips for real estate professionals who are staging events, open houses and conducting in-person interactions on location during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bright MLS published the tips in conjunction with REALTOR® Safety Month, which is observed during the month of September to reinforce and highlight the necessary safety precautions real estate agents should practice when operating in high-risk situations. In 2020, REALTOR® Safety Month has taken on new meaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with agents regularly finding themselves in higher risk situations than they ever imagined.

“There is no bigger priority for Bright MLS than the personal safety and security of real estate professionals and their clients. COVID-19 has completely changed the home-buying experience and it’s vital that we provide updated safety information to reflect this new normal,” said Brian Donnellan, president and CEO of Bright MLS. “Given that real estate professionals operate within an industry that is largely based on in-person interactions, it is more important than ever for real estate professionals to remain vigilant and take all of the necessary precautions to keep themselves, their clients and their communities safe. With this in mind, Bright MLS is supporting the necessary safety precautions for agents to operate in this current marketplace.”

The top COVID-19 safety tips for real estate professionals:

– Avoid shaking hands with prospective buyers

– Wear a mask when showing homes

– Set up a table outside of the home with PPE, including masks, hand sanitizer and a list of safety guidelines

– Utilize virtual meetings and phone calls when possible to correspond with your clients to help limit in-person interactions

– Avoid sharing a vehicle with your clients when visiting homes

– Schedule showings at multiple houses with enough time in between to take the necessary precautions and disinfect door handles, surfaces, etc.

– Maintain a log of all visitors that have entered a home for contact tracing purposes

– Request that homeowners leave windows, cabinets, doors, etc. open before they leave their home in order to limit contact when showing a home

Tips for consumers when shopping for homes:

– Wear a mask at all times and avoid touching surfaces, doors, cabinets, etc.

– Only visit homes with immediate members of your household and, if possible, leave children at home to limit the number of people in a home

– Visit one property per outing to avoid multiple exposures

– Share if you are experiencing any symptoms of the virus, so necessary precautions can be taken and upcoming visits can be rescheduled

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not the only threat real estate professionals face on the job. There has been a tragic number of attacks on real estate agents, including an agent in Virginia this past June. Without the proper safety precautions, agents can find themselves particularly vulnerable when showing homes alone or meeting with unfamiliar clients. In addition to the added layer of COVID-19 safety precautions, Bright MLS recommends the following standard safety precautions for real estate professionals to help improve safety on the job:

– Be acutely aware of both the physical location and the time of day when working

– Always tell someone else when and where you are showing a listing or conducting an open house

– Know who you’re working with and be sure to invest the time to get to know your client well—this includes asking them to complete a Prospect Identification Form

– Consider using safety technology—such as the Homesnap Pro Safety Timer, which is available to all Bright MLS subscribers—or other systems to alert someone in case of emergency

Source: Bright MLS