REINSW is monitoring the evolving situation in relation to the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), previously known as Novel Coronavirus. Cases are currently increasing in Australia, although resulting deaths are thankfully extremely low. It is possible that the disease will continue to be spread through community transmission.
Real estate is a people business where agents deal closely with a wide range of people in many environments – workplaces, homes, shopping centres and so on. In doing so there are a few sensible precautions to take to aid the protection of yourself and others.
The situation is continually evolving, and individuals as well as those responsible for others need to stay informed and make decisions based on information from reliable sources, such as the Department of Health (Commonwealth) and NSW Ministry of Health. Please refer to these websites frequently for news on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as they are updated regularly.
We are putting precautions in place here at REINSW so that the normal course of business may continue as usual. We are implementing sensible systems in case we need to work remotely and we are working to make sure we have increased hygiene procedures at all of our events and training courses for the foreseeable future.
It is important to make sure your business runs as smoothly as possible in these uncertain times.
If you’re wondering what you can do to prepare your business and staff, perhaps you might consider the following:
- Follow up to date health and hygiene guidelines
- Make sure hand sanitiser and tissues are available to all staff, clients and visitors
- Properly wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Click here for tips on the 20 second-hand wash.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Isolate any staff members who show signs of possible symptoms and advise them to contact their doctor
- Refrain from shaking hands or greeting others with a kiss
- Prepare contingency plans in response to the virus
- Review and adapt your agency practices and procedures as required
- Have plans in place for staff to work remotely if needed
- Make sure laptops are available to staff with access to office servers and drives
- Make sure office phones can be diverted to staff mobile phones or to an answering service
NSW Health has provided this fact sheet: Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19.
We cannot give specific advice to individual businesses but, as your peak industry body, we encourage you to consider:
- Reviewing internal policies and procedures and adapting them if necessary
- Cancelling unnecessary staff travel plans
- Deferring open, periodic or other inspections if there is any concern
- Not attending auctions or entering a property if you’re aware there is someone in there or has been in there self-isolating because of the virus (for instance, a tenant or vendor)
- Encouraging auctions to take place in the agents’ office as opposed to on-site
It is business as usual here at REINSW. However, should REINSW events or training courses need to be cancelled, we will notify you at our earliest opportunity with information on cancellations and postponements.
We are carefully watching news alerts on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and should government advice change we will notify you with updates.
In the meantime, here are some useful links providing information on the disease and how you can protect yourselves:
Rest assured that we are here to support you with the smooth running of your agency and we will alert you to any updates on the virus as and when required.