These changing times have had an immeasurable impact on all Canadian industries, and real estate is no exception. The need for physical distancing and stay-at-home protocols make conducting business as usual difficult.
Shutting down the Ottawa real estate industry entirely would have huge consequences on the economy and the public. Luckily, on April 2nd, the Provincial Government deemed real estate an “essential service”.
I am still continuing to provide exemplary real estate services, but only after having taken the necessary precautions. I have adjusted operations to adhere not only to government restrictions, but also the important guidelines set out by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), to help safeguard the public health in the face of this ongoing situation.
Connecting with clients and colleagues is an essential part of my business. While the OREA has indicated that all in-person business interactions must be reduced, I can still meet with you “face to face” — in a sense — with the help of video conferencing. Of course, my usual methods of contact (phone, email) are still available as well.
As for the execution of documents, the advent of secure digital / e-signature technology enables me to collect any signatures I require throughout the process, without the need for in-person contact.
Virtual Open Houses
The Ontario Government directly prohibited hosting or providing open houses. Fortunately, video streaming technology allows for the hosting of “virtual open houses”. This permits me to schedule virtual tours and showings to prospective buyers, without the risks.
Viewing Potential Homes
The OREA has strongly advised against conducting any face-to-face business, including in-person showings. But in-person showings have not been expressly forbidden. Aside from virtual open houses, I can help provide a number of safe and convenient alternatives to visiting a property in person. Listings using 3D photography, 3D home layouts, video and drone tours provide intimately detailed access to properties, without requiring the viewer to leave their home.
Rest Assured, You Have Options
The president of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, Michael Collins, said it best in a press release on March 24th:
“Realtors have a responsibility to protect their own safety, as well as the safety of their colleagues, clients, and the general public.”
I take this responsibility very seriously as I continue to provide essential real estate services during the pandemic. The COVID-19 situation is constantly shifting, so please contact me if you have any questions.
If you need to find a home during this difficult time, rest assured that there are options open to you, and that I will be there to help you navigate them.
For those that need to buy or sell, I'm here to help.