COVID 19 is a worldwide pandemic that is greatly affecting not only our local community but also the whole world. It is a time of uncertainty and fear. Our government has called us to have social distancing. However, I would say that for many, it has been a time of reflection and more unity than before. Neighbors who rarely even talked to or saw each other are now making it intentional to help each other whether it is sharing a scarce product or going shopping for the elderly or disabled. Nonetheless, there are those who are being affected financially, emotionally, and physically who need help.
This is the time to make a difference. For instance, you can join a community social media group where you can keep informed and help each other. My family and I joined a Nextdoor “Help a Neighbor In Need” group where neighbors can post their needs and we can help each other. We are also part of our community’s various social media groups where we can offer help to each other and keep informed. Our local hospitals and donation centers are in much need as they prepare for the expected surge. You can volunteer your time, donate supplies or support monetarily. Here is a site of food banks and non- profit organizations: https://californiavolunteers.ca.gov/get-involved/covid-19/. You can support as you are able to, anything will help. Our family supported monetarily and also donated supplies such as masks to our local hospital and water, canned foods, Kleenex and paper towels to our local donation center. You can also visit https://purposechurch.com/covid19/and click on “Help our Community” for a list of supplies needed.
As a business, this is an opportunity to implement new protocols for emergency situations (these are subject to change based on the recommended CDC and local authority guidelines). For instance, we implemented new protocols to protect our agents, clients, and others. Not only is our office practicing social distancing by communicating via teleconference or Zoom meetings, but we are also doing the following:
- For listings, we are providing hand sanitizer/wipes, shoe covers, and buyers touring properties are being asked to provide their pre-approval letter prior to viewing the home. Additionally, showing agents are instructed to not show the property if they or their clients have traveled outside the U.S. in the past 14 days or have had cold/flu symptoms; and not touch any furniture unless necessary. As appropriate, we may also schedule time blocks for buyers to view the property with no more than 5 people at a time. We are also offering our sellers a virtual 3D tour so buyers can have the option to tour the property from their home and submit an offer subject to interior inspection.
- Similar protocols are being implemented with our buyers. If a virtual 3D tour is not available, we are offering a video chat tour on their preferred app: Messenger, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp. Our agents are being advised to use proper safety measures by carrying hand sanitizer/disinfecting wipes, and wearing a face mask, gloves, and shoe covers.
- We are also starting a Lunch and Learn virtual series with community experts in different topics such as estate planning, seniors long-term care and VA planning, successor trustees and probate personal representatives accounting tips, and seniors aging in place or downsizing.
- Furthermore, we initiated a series of social media posts providing stay-at-home, financial, and mental health/self-care tips that will run for at least two weeks or more.
Physical distancing does not mean distancing yourself from others socially. On the contrary, now more than ever, we need to be there for each other and create innovative ways to help each other in all aspects of life while staying safe.
Lupe Ruiz, MBA, CPRES, SRES, HSE | DRE#01513573
(909) 346-3610 | www.homeshieldrealestate.com | www.luperuizrealtor.com