Category Property news
As a family-orientated business, Greeff Christie's International Real Estate has reacted swiftly to put measures in place to protect potential home buyers and sellers, and their own agents, from the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus).
"I have been monitoring the international situation very closely," said Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie's International Real Estate "and it was not difficult to anticipate that South Africa would not escape the chilling effect of the virus on the property market.
As a result, Greeff has been ahead of the curve, insofar as putting measures in place for buyers, sellers and their own agents.
"Apart from the obvious measures such as providing Greeff staff and clients with access to hand sanitation, stressing the need to keep their hands washed, and avoid close contact with people, we are also suggesting that sales staff operate from home," said Mike Greeff.
"This is not difficult as most of our agents are on the road in the normal course of events and not sitting in offices." he added.
According to Mike Greeff, as the industry grapples with questions over the impact of the virus, the part of the buying process most immediately at risk, is viewings, but Greeff has now arranged a plan to make it safer for all involved.
Agents said sellers were already becoming concerned about those coming to view their homes while buyers were worried about visiting homes where residents may be infected or at risk.
"Government health authorities have recommended that the public adopt social distancing measures to reduce the chances of infection so in the wake of this virus, we will no longer transport potential buyers to our sales properties but arrange appointments to meet them there.
Of course, traditional open houses are no longer possible, so instead, we are requesting that potential buyers make an appointment to view properties - and Greeff agents will meet them there after qualifying them beforehand using the below metrics:
- Have you and your family travelled at all in the past two weeks?
- Are you or your family experiencing any signs of flu-like symptoms?
- Have you or your family been exposed to anyone who you suspect has been infected with COVID-19?
Mike Greeff says sellers want to be reassured about the health of potential buyers arriving for a viewing as do buyers about homes they were planning to visit. and, "we will ensure that this happens."
"The effects of the health emergency on property sales are likely to be significant but will pass." says Mike Greeff and in the meantime, we will do all we can to look after buyers, sellers and our agents while this crisis exists.
Greeff offers the following tips, culled from local and international experts - to reduce the impact on the virus on the industry.
Advise your clients not to bring their young children or ageing parents along on home viewings.
Those over 70 are most susceptible, so minimise their exposure the virus.
Carry a hand sanitiser and sterile wipes wherever you go
Wipe everything in sight; in your car, the steering wheel , the gear stick. the handbrake, door handles to remove any trace of the virus. The same applies to the homes you are showing to your clients.
Keep your personal space
This is no time to be in such close quarters with people you may not know very well.
Get into the habit of protecting yourself, your loved ones and your clients from the virus by paying attention to the advice from the experts. Let this new way of behaving become a habit.
Finally, says Mike Greeff, ''don't despair, we will get through it, and when we do, we should hit the ground running with the pent-up demand from both buyers and sellers in the property market''.