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Agencies must develop coronavirus response plans, says REINZ

By Lyall Russell
17 March 2020 | 1 minute read
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The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has encouraged agencies to develop their own response plans to the coronavirus (COVID-19) that takes into account the unique nature of their business.

Following the New Zealand government’s actions to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the REINZ developed a list of suggestions to help real estate professions through this time.

Although the government has restricted gatherings of more than 500 people, auctions, open homes and rental viewings can continue, but the REINZ is recommending to its members to speak to their clients to make sure they are happy for public appointments to go ahead.

The institute recommends all open homes, auctions and rental viewings should have the following:

  • Have hand sanitiser available for use by anyone viewing the property/attending an auction
  • Display COVID-19 information and hygiene notices at the property/auction, including a statement at the entrance saying that:
    • Those who are feeling unwell may not enter the open home/auction
    • Anyone who has returned from abroad or has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days should be self-isolating and may not enter the property
    • If an attendee feels unwell within 14 days of attending an open home/auction, they should contact the agent
  • For private viewings of open homes, the above information should be emailed to attendees in advance
  • Auction attendees should fill out an attendee register (regardless of whether they intend to bid or not) so that they can be contacted at a later date if needed. The same is true of open-home attendees
  • If a person who attended an open home/rental viewing/auction tests positive for COVID-19, other people who attended the open home/rental viewing/auction may need to be contacted
  • Agents should consider requiring pre-registration of auction attendees. This way, attendees can be emailed relevant COVID-19 information before attending the auction
  • Consider opening internal and external doors before the open home/rental viewing commences to minimise the transfer of any bugs

If the situation gets worse, the institute recommends that agencies consider different sales techniques, such as using virtual reality tours.

“We have also advised members to keep a regular review of the Ministry of Health, MFAT and World Health Organisation website to keep abreast of any changes over the coming weeks/months,” a statement from the REINZ said.

The institute has also taken a step to postpone all REINZ events, face-to-face verifiable training, property management workshops, and health and wellbeing workshops until the end of April.

“This is about protecting the health of our members, our trainers, REINZ staff and the wider public with respect to COVID-19,” the statement said.

“We will be reviewing this position in the coming days/weeks and, of course, keep our members updated accordingly.”

Agencies must develop coronavirus response plans, says REINZ
frustrated real estate agent reb
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