14 June 2020
JOHANNESBURG – Estate agents are encouraged to conduct virtual property tours and record offers to purchase electronically as part of the real estate industry returned to work under alert level 3 of COVID-19 regulations.
Physical viewings of no more than two people should only be done when a buyer or tenant has expressed definitive interest in a particular property and it should be kept brief and in line with COVID-19 health regulations.
These and other guidelines are contained in a document designed by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) which aims to assist employers, employees and the public on how to conduct business safely during the pandemic and help prevent and curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
EAAB CEO Ms Mamodupi Mohlala said the guidelines are important tools to ensure that industry and the public know how to say alert, contain the virus and save lives while observing the requirements to carry out their duties.
The guidelines are designed in line with various legislative instruments including the Disaster Management Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, COVID-19 regulations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
It details risk management and risk mitigations processes, prevention and control protocols, setting up a COVID-19 response team, protocols on identification of infected individuals and confidentiality requirements. It further gives guidance on how to conduct meetings, fulfil contractual obligations and how to deal with issues of compliance.
Central to the guidelines is ensuring the health and safety of all along the value chain, including observing social distancing and good hygiene, wearing personal protective gear at all times, regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and offices. It also details the protocols to follow when dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, the reporting lines and how to assist staff when they test positive and preserve confidential health issues of individuals.
Another key guideline for estate agencies is the appointment of a designated COVID-19 compliance officer to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, education and training of employees and to facilitate the implementation and management of processes put in place the spread of infections.
Regarding interactions with clients, the guidelines include the following:
- All potential clients must have received all the safety protocol information prior to a viewing and must agree to adhere to these protocols at all times.
- Estate Agents may not travel with clients in the same vehicle to view the property;
- Clients, who refuse to sanitise their hands prior to entering a property for viewing, should not be granted access to the property;
- Estate Agents and potential clients are to ensure that where possible there is no touching of any surface or object in the property and
- Estate Agents must confirm that they have observed their clients and are satisfied that they are not displaying any symptoms associated with COVID-19 including coughing, a sore throat, red eyes, shortness of breath and weakness;
The guidelines will be updated regularly in line with any legislative changes.
The complete document is available on the EAAB’s website (www.eaab.org.za) and will be emailed to all stakeholders on the regulator’s database.
For further Covid-19 related enquires contact: Covid-19 Compliance Officer Oscar Mangole at email@example.com.
For media enquiries contact: Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist Chandré Prince at firstname.lastname@example.org