Considerations for real estate professionals, clients and service providers.
How to safely conduct photography and marketing services for real estate during the COVID-19 pandemic and how home owners can assist with reducing risk of transmission.
Successfully marketing a property involves many individuals
Many small businesses and contract workers play a large role in the real estate industry and will be left to develop their own safety protocols. With an emphasis on safety first, we look to implement steps to mitigate risks and quickly return to helping clients with their needs.
What we are up against
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 is a new (novel) coronavirus that has not been previously identified. COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Therefore, extra precautions are needed.
How it spreads
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
- We will not attend a work site if we are feeling unwell or exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- We will wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer at the beginning of a job, at the conclusion of a job and after touching our face.
- We will keep all personal equipment as clean as possible and only bring the necessary items into the property. We will utilize a disinfectant to regularly clean equipment after leaving each property to reduce the risk of transmission.
- We will wear a cloth face mask to reduce the risk of inadvertently spreading the virus when on-site.
- We will always observe the minimum 6ft required for social distancing when others are present.
- As much as reasonably possible, we will refrain from touching surfaces within property.
- If anyone that resides or has visited the property is showing symptoms of illness, work should be postponed until enough time has passed for the property to be properly disinfected.
- Advise anyone that is in a high risk category to exit the property prior to photographer arriving on-site. If this is not possible or home-owner is not comfortable with leaving the premise, they can still reduce risk by staying outside or in their vehicles for the duration of the photo shoot.
- Communicate any specific instructions prior to scheduled work. Walking a property and/or conducting listing agreement meetings cannot coincide with scheduled photo appointments.
- It is all parties responsibility to proactively and truthfully communicate any known occurrences of exposure to COVID-19 immediately to all parties.
Considerations to help prepare your home for photography
Turn on all lights in the property
Open all blinds
Remove all clutter from countertops and bathrooms
Turn off all ceiling fans
Hide garbage bins
General Property Preparations
- Remove unnecessary clutter and personal belongings
- Declutter shelves, countertops, tables and anything that could be distracting to potential buyers
- Consider packing away large family photographs and hide all pet toys
- Store toys and other unnecessary items in closets
- Clear countertops and sinks from anything unnecessary.
- Place trash containers in concealed location
- Consider removing rugs, floor mats and hand towels
- Clear refrigerators of magnets and other personal items
- Make beds and remove any clutter from floors
- Nightstands should be clean, neat and organized
- Children’s rooms should be organized and decluttered as best as possible
- If storing items under beds, please make sure nothing is visible from the door entrance
- Remove all basic items from counters and place out of sight
- Consider removing bath rugs and ensure all towels are clean and folded neatly
- Toilet seats should be down and trash bins and brushes should be stored out of sight
- Remove any personal care products from showers or tubs if they are to be photographed
- Exterior living spaces should be presented in a similar manner as the interior spaces
- Park all vehicles inside garage and ensure all trash containers are stored out of sight
- Shrubs, hedges and general yard maintenance should be up to date to present a good first impression
- Hide all yard tools, including: garden hoses, lawnmowers and miscellaneous items
- Remove children’s toys, bikes and pet toys
For additional resources around preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the most up to date information please visit these websites.