INDUSTRY PROVIDED RESOURCES
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance from the CCIM Institute
CCIM Institute is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, as well as prepare for contingencies to prioritize the health and safety of our members, course participants, instructors, and staff.
CCIM Institute prepared the following resource page for commercial real estate professionals to provide additional professional guidance around this issue. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
Government Resources and Legislative Updates
CDC and WHO Resources
CCIM Institute encourages you to monitor the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for the ongoing safety of you and your family.
Guidance for Owners, Operators, and Property Managers
Fellow National Association of REALTORS® affiliate IREM and the National Apartment Association recently hosted the webinar above to prepare property managers for COVID-19. Access additional IREM resources.
Guidance for Commercial Real Estate Brokers and Advisers
The following content was adapted for commercial practitioners from the National Association of REALTORS® “Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®."
What unique issues does coronavirus present to the commercial real estate industry?
When an infectious disease, such as coronavirus, is associated with a specific population or nationality, fear and anxiety may lead to social stigma and potential discrimination. Be mindful of potential discrimination when working with clients and colleagues. Plus, practitioners visit a variety of settings throughout the day, often including face-to-face interactions. Adopt a consistent and methodical approach to limiting risks associated with the virus, regardless of the situation or setting.
Should I be wary of travel?
Travel is often a significant part of the commercial real estate business, so it's important to balance good business sense with necessary precautions. While frequent hand-washing should be a priority, don't forget to extend this to items such as steering wheels, door handles, seat belt latches, and dashboards when traveling by car and tray tables, seat belt latches, and arm rests if traveling by air.
I typically drive my clients for market and/or property tours. May I refuse to drive potential clients?
Yes. However, be sure that any change to your business practices is applied equally to all clients. You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. If you continue to drive clients in your car, frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
Should I still conduct showings on my listed properties?
Speak openly and honestly with your clients about the pros and cons of showings in the short term. Assess the risk based on your specific location, and direct your clients to local and state health authorities for specific information about the severity of the risk in your area. You could also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your client's consideration, such as video tours and other methods to virtually tour a property. If you host showings, consider requiring all visitors to disinfect their hands upon entering the property, and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the entryway, as well as soap and disposable towels in bathrooms. After showings, recommend that your client clean the premises, especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.
What precautions should practitioners consider taking in their offices?
Real estate professionals should use their best judgment when formulating a plan. Office managers should implement a mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agent exhibiting any sign of illness. Depending on where the office is geographically located, a manager also may want to consider imposing a mandatory remote work policy for employees and instructing professionals to stay out of the office. In addition, taking measures such as holding virtual meetings or potentially postponing or cancelling in-person meetings or events may limit close contact between individuals. Having alternative mediums, such as Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, and other virtual hosting software, as well as cloud-based file sharing systems to facilitate this process is important. Be sure to monitor updates from the CDC and WHO, as well as your state and local health authorities, for additional information and guidance on holding meetings or events. For additional coronavirus resources from NAR, including travel considerations, please visit “Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTOR® Associations.”