Since the pandemic began, getting sick has become less predictable for all of us. Is it a cold, or is it Covid? As new variants infect millions of people around the globe, Realtors® have had to get creative in buying and selling real estate safely to meet client needs as the housing market soars.
As an agent, one of your responsibilities is to monitor and safeguard your health. For Covid-19, that means tracking your symptoms and seeing a doctor if they don’t go away on their own. Remember, your provider can run tests to give you a full diagnosis so that you can take appropriate action. It also means being transparent with your clients. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences of cold, flu, and Covid-19, and help you leverage technology to close deals while staying healthy.
Determining if You Have Cold or Flu
While the cold and flu are both highly contagious respiratory illnesses that spread from close contact with others, you’ll generally feel worse with flu. If you have a common cold, you might have a cough, chills, congestion, sore throat, or headache. Flu symptoms may mimic cold symptoms, but it’s also common to have fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.
But What if It’s Covid-19?
As a brief refresher, people contract Covid-19 from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like cold and flu, it spreads from close contact with others. Anyone can become infected, including those who are fully vaccinated and wear masks in public, though certain populations are at greater risk of severe illness such as adults ages 65 and older.
For most people, Covid-19 symptoms are mild and go away on their own. Symptoms have been known to change and will often appear cold- or flu-like, such as cough and congestion. Getting tested is the only way to know if you’re infected because the symptoms are so similar to cold and flu.
Keeping the Germs at Bay
Sharing is caring, unless you’re sick.
When you don’t feel well, respect yourself, clients, and other professionals you work with regularly. Give your brokerage and urgent clients a heads up. Go ahead and ask to reschedule that house showing or training. While you may feel like you can power through a cough, your clients may have underlying health conditions that make seemingly small illnesses a big deal.
Pro-tip: Arrange before you get sick to have another agent cover for you, and promise to do the same for them. There is always more work to do, and the majority of it can wait.
Make sure to rest by getting extra sleep, halting strenuous exercise, and nourishing your body. It’s OK to slow down!
Work from home if you’re feeling up to it. As a real estate agent, you can take online courses, record client notes in a database, write thank-you notes to clients, and much more. Just try not to run at full speed until you’ve recovered.
Leveraging Technology to Assist Buyers and Sellers
Take the time now to learn the ins and outs of virtual open houses and virtual tours if you haven’t already. A virtual open house over Facebook Live or Instagram Live can put sellers at ease knowing that they might attract qualified buyers over merely curious ones. And virtual tours give buyers a clear view of a property without leaving the couch. All you need is a smartphone or your computer to get started.
Buyers are much more comfortable buying homes virtually now. As a buyer’s agent, try video chatting with your clients. Offer live tours if your clients are out of state or they’re uncomfortable stepping into a stranger’s home. Take time to answer their questions, open drawers, and show them the best features. Share tips for buying a home sight unseen with confidence.
While the winter months may slow down real estate business until spring, getting sick could occur in any season. Practice good hygiene and social distancing where possible. If you do get sick, protect your coworkers and clients. Have a healthcare professional diagnose your illness, follow the latest Covid guidelines if applicable, and pause in-person interactions until you’re feeling better. Your clients will understand and appreciate your concern for their health.
This post was not written or reviewed by a licensed physician, and the information should not solely be used to make medical decisions. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or your broker for the most up-to-date health guidance.