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Property managers prepare to work in isolation

By Lyall Russell
17 March 2020 | 1 minute read
work from home reb

Harcourts has prepared its team of property managers so they can continue to work if the government mandates an isolation period.

This week, Harcourts’ property managers in Victoria received an email detailing the company’s action plan if the state government were to take extreme measures for people to self-isolate or work from home due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Our business is geared for our teams to work from home, [and] we have invested in technology that will enable us to still take calls from our clients during business hours and access all the data and information,” Harcourts property manager CEO Sadhana Smiles said in a letter to employees.

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To ensure business can continue the best it can, the brand has updated its inspection app to provide clients with advice on what to do both before and after an inspection. Things such as do not shake hands; if you are sick do not attend the inspection; and wash your hands in warm, soapy water afterwards. All actions encouraged by the health department.

“Our intention is to keep our business running, rent collected and our owners paid. Should anything change that will impact our clients, we will notify you immediately,” Ms Smiles said.

If the government limits the amount of public contact, only emergency repairs will be done, the rest will wait until the end of an isolation period.

The franchise will continue to advertise vacant rentals on REA, but if inspections cannot take place, it will provide virtual tours of the property to all prospective tenants.

“If they wish to apply, we will process the application to approval stage so that when they are able to view the property post any isolation period, we will be able to expedite their application, draw up leases and have them move into the property,” she said.

In the current situation, some tenants have asked to have property inspections pushed back, which is why Harcourts has taken the step to push back inspections until all parties are comfortable.

“Our priority is to ensure that our people remain well and healthy, our clients are serviced to the best of our ability under extreme circumstances. I am confident that the investments we have made in our various systems will allow us to do so,” Ms Smiles said.

“Again, these measures will only come into place should the health authorities or the state government mandate isolation periods regardless of whether you have the virus or not. 

For the time being, it is business as normal. I just wanted to assure our clients that should things change, we have a plan in place.”

Property managers prepare to work in isolation
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