COVID-19 Adjusting to our new reality in Real Estate

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Silver linings in a time of change

The coronavirus has turned our world upside down.  Tenants and landlords are concerned and confused, and buyers and sellers don’t know what the future holds.  For everyone, “inside is the new outside”, and even for kids not going to school isn’t as much fun as they thought.

At Ray White Rockhampton, we’re hearing a lot of different emotions from our clients.  Frustration, worry, and even anger sometimes, and we understand.

With the virus knocking many people for a six, it’s a good time for us to go over what Ray White Rockhampton is doing to support our clients.  And to look forward to the future when things start settling down.

Reality check for real estate

In my last blog, I was feeling pretty optimistic about the state of the Rockhampton property market. And I still am – we are pretty tough up here!

I think we do need a “reality check” and it’s not all doom and gloom, as the government has been quick to support as many Australians as it can.

Times have been tough though, and we’ve seen a lot of pressure on businesses, people and of course the amazing frontline services who are putting their heart and soul into keeping our community safe.

Help that’s on hand

At Ray White Rockhampton, our motto is “Always here to help”, and we are certainly doing our best.

We’ve put in place measures to keep our clients safe and protected.  Coronavirus might have swept in out of the blue, but we’re used to coping with change, so we have geared up quickly.

From the outset we’ve followed all the guidelines on frequent handwashing and extra hygiene, like disinfecting surfaces and using hand sanitisers.  And we’ve checked with home owners and occupants about whether they are sick before we’ve had inspections.

Now as the government has stepped up its social distancing efforts to slow the spread of the virus, we’re stepping up too.

“The new normal”

Like all real estate agencies across Australia, Ray White Rocky is embracing the “new normal”.  We have stopped all open homes and auctions, and instead are:

  • Arranging private inspections where possible within the rules around physical contact
  • Encouraging people to view homes “virtually”, through platforms like FaceTime, Zoom and Skype
  • Making sure we keep following strict physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Private inspections can go ahead, but we are very mindful and respectful of the rules.  There is no way we will endanger anyone’s safety. 

Private inspections have to be mutually agreed by both parties and here are some of the precautions we are putting in place (you can see more on the Ray White website).

  • Arrange with the owner to prepare the property for contactless inspections.  Have key drawers, pantries and wardrobes open and ready to view. Open as many doors and windows as possible to minimise the need for attendees to do the same.  Attendees are to be encouraged not to touch.
  • Single appointments of one attendee (in addition to one agent) who must provide their details at the time of making the appointment.
  • Arrange to have all surfaces of the home, including benchtops and door handles, wiped down with cleaning products. 
  • Have hand sanitiser and disposable gloves available at the entry of the property.  

Staying positive

They’re saying the lockdown may be in place for at least 90 days, so that at least gives us a timeframe for planning ahead.

Personally, I’m staying up to date with news and am posting my usual Facebook and Instagram feeds.  But I’m starting to “pull the plug” on too much social media. 

Is a daily update on the tragic number of deaths worldwide good for everyone’s mental health?

Do I need to follow all the speculating on whether restrictions stay in place till they find a vaccine.  Or am I just going to get on with making the best of the situation? 

Where to from here?

There’s no denying social isolation and social distancing have a huge impact.  But here in regional Queensland we often feel the effects of being physically distant from services.

So maybe that helps us see the end in sight as we take stock of what the COVID-19 situation means for real estate, and move into the future. 

Our thoughts are with those feeling the strain, and there is a wealth of information on the Rockhampton Regional Council website for local businesses and families and on the Queensland Government COVID-19 website.

At Ray White, we are keeping in touch with our buyers and sellers to stay on the front foot as we think about life on the other side of the virus.

Just before the restrictions hit, the Rocky market was bouncing back with many agents selling most of their listings.  And our mining and beef industry hasn’t been affected by the virus, if anything it’s staying strong.  So we’ll just be keeping calm and keeping an eye out for trends. 

Staying in touch

I’m committed to keeping you up to date with my monthly blogs and of course all the ways I regularly stay in contact, like phone and email.  But please, reach out with any thoughts or questions about your personal situation in these challenging circumstances.

And in the meantime, let’s all stay safe and stay positive!

Want to find out more about the current market?

If you’d like to discuss the current market in the Rockhampton, Gracemere or Capricorn Coast region, get in touch with Melinda today for a no-obligation chat!

Melinda Kirby Profile photo on the Rockhampton CBD Riverbank

Article by Melinda Kirby

Melinda Kirby is a confident and motivated Sales Consultant at Ray White Rockhampton who understands the importance of strong relationships in achieving exceptional results.

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