The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we socialise, conduct business and entertain ourselves. It’s stopped us seeing loved ones and visiting cafes, restaurants and pubs we love. Consumer and business sentiment is at all time lows as a result. Thankfully, it seems we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
How Each State and Territory are Easing Restrictions
While social distancing and good hygiene remains essential, restrictions are being relaxed. State and territory governments are taking different approaches in when and how they are easing restrictions. This depends on local cases, population density and other factors that affect the risk of outbreaks.
States with a greater number of cases and a higher population like NSW and Victoria are understandably more cautious in easing restrictions. For example, you can have up to 5 visitors in your household in Vic and NSW as of mid-May, while you can have 10 in WA with no limits at all in the NT.
It’s unlikely things will return to normal in the near future. Outbreaks are likely to occur, making measures such as contact tracing and locking down businesses with outbreaks to minimise the spread essential. We’ve already seen a couple of recent incidents in Victoria with the Cedar Meats cluster and the closure of 12 McDonalds stores after a delivery driver tested positive.
The federal government’s COVIDSafe app is another measure designed to help officials track and tackle the spread of COVID-19. Businesses, including real estate agencies, have an obligation to help prevent and control outbreaks by having appropriate measures in place.
Easing Restrictions for Business
Cafe and restaurants, previously restricted to takeaway only services, can reopen for table service from the start of June. In Victoria, these businesses may have 1 person per 4m² with a maximum of 20 patrons per enclosed space. However, they must retain the contact details of customers to allow tracing if there is an outbreak.
Real estate agencies can resume face-to-face auctions and open for inspections for the first time since late March, with attendance limits of 10 people. Agents are expected to enforce social distancing and good hygiene practices. Like hospitality venues, agents must retain contact details of attendees to assist in contact tracing if required.
Positive Outlook for the Real Estate Industry
Auction volumes had fallen significantly from around 1000 per week to about 100 to 150 per week according to the REIV. Vendors turned off by COVID-19 restrictions may now reconsider selling, especially in the lead up to the spring selling season.
“Book Private Inspection”?
The Plezzel private inspection bookings feature has been in use for key clients in the industry. This feature was made available so thousands of Real Estate agents can comply with Social distancing rules. With the easing of restrictions agents have expressed a desire to maintain this feature to qualify buyers, manage numbers at the open home and manage vendor updated with automated reporting provided by Plezzel.
Generating Leads in the New COVID World
To secure leads now, agencies must take into account that people’s behaviour has changed dramatically. The biggest change is a rapid uptake in digital technologies as we socially distance. For example, browsing on Facebook increased by 16 per cent, while digital content consumption like online news has increased by 36 per cent.
Traditional marketing such as print was already in decline and this pandemic has further made it irrelevant due to potential risks it causes. People no longer want to touch print advertising in the letterbox as the virus can exist on surfaces for days at a time.
Invest in your brand and stay relevant as consumers change their behaviour. Target your prospects where they are most active – online. Find the right people at the right time using the latest digital tools, which enable you to automate and scale your processes so you capture every enquiry.
Download our E-Book on what you need to know to become a Digital real estate agent in 2020.
If you want advice and support about how to survive during COVID-19, get in touch with the Plezzel team.