back Posted on 27 May 2020
John Minnis Estate Agents Back to Work (COVID 19) Policy
As a consequence of the emerging risks associated with the spread of the Coronavirus / COVID 19 Virus we would like to reassure you of our procedures to mitigate any potential disruption or risk for you or members of our staff. As a health precaution, we would request that prior to any viewing / appointment you confirm whether anyone at the property has returned from any country within the last 14 days which has been highlighted by the Public Health Agency as being at risk of infection. If any members of your family / household are currently showing symptoms or undergoing self-isolation, please make us aware of this.


OFFICE SAFETY
  • We will accommodate the two-metre social distancing rule inside the office. Including marks on the floor to allow any customers or visitors to keep to the two-metre rule; with a restricted number of customers in the office at one time depending on which office is in question.
  • Installation of screens to allow for customer interaction while maintaining protection for all parties.
  • Each office will undergo a deep clean before opening its doors to staff and customers.
  • An ample supply of hand-gel; antibacterial wipes and sprays; soap; tissues have been purchased and will be readily available for staff, visitors, and customers to use.
  • The offices will have a strict cleaning routine throughout the day  – to include: desks, chair arms, keyboards, mice, screens, staplers, pens, photocopier controls, drawer handles, phones, mobile phones, key cabinets, filing cabinets, door handles and card machines if you take card payments.
  • The office door will be locked to control the number of visitors and customers may have to wait until it is safe to enter.

VALUATIONS
  • Where possible ask customers to use our virtual valuation tool on our website which enables the valuation to be completed in accordance with the seller’s instructions, either virtually or face to face.
  • Where a face to face meeting is required we will assess any risk associated with the visit and bring all PPE needed.
  • Where we do conduct a valuation, we will avoid any handshaking or physical contact, keep to the two-metre distance, wear protective gloves, and consider the use of face masks. 
  • Show all marketing via digital resources rather than leaving any ‘paper’ documents and follow up with an email, unless a brochure is requested.
  • We will keep face to face contact to a minimum, decline any coffees/refreshments etc. 
  • We will explain to the customer the actions we are taking to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus.
  • When we return to the car; dispose of your gloves; use hand-gel to give your hands a good wash and wipe any equipment you have used during the visit. 
  • When we return to the office, we will wash our hands with soap and water before we do anything else.
  • We will never attend a valuation appointment if feeling unwell.

VIEWINGS

  • Customers should be encouraged to make full use of virtual viewing tools when available and only arrange a full viewing where the buyer is interested in the property. 
  • We will carry out the health-check on all viewers as previously stated. 
  • We will ask who will be attending the viewing and limit the number of people to no more than two at any one time. 
  • If the property is occupied, we will check on the health of the seller before arranging the appointment. 
  • Where a physical viewing does takes place, we will avoid any handshaking or physical contact and remember to keep your two-metre distance, wear protective gloves, use face masks and avoid any ‘paper’ documents (unless requested). 
  • We will have a supply of hand-gel in our car and ‘wipes’ – when returning to the car, wash our hands, wipe any equipment we have used on the visit and avoid touching our face during any appointment. 
  • If the property is vacant and we are using a key we will wipe the key when it is taken from the key cabinet, wipe it after the viewing and again before it is placed back in the key cabinet.  
  • We will never travel in the same car as anyone else and will always meet viewers at the property.

CHECK OUTS
  • We will not meet tenants at properties to complete check outs so that effective social distancing can be maintained.
  • Tenants are to return keys to their local office on the day the tenancy ends, these keys should be cleaned with antiseptic wipes and tagged. 
  • A member of staff will attend the property and complete the check-out inspection on their own – staff should wear gloves and face masks to the appointment. 
  • We will have a supply of hand-gel in our car and ‘wipes’ – when returning to the car, wash our hands, wipe any equipment we have used on the visit and avoid touching our face during any appointment.  
  • If the property is vacant and we are using a key we will wipe the key when it is taken from the key cabinet, wipe it after the viewing and again before it is placed back in the key cabinet.  
  • Once the check out has been completed we will call the tenant to advise what was found at the inspection, this is to be followed up by an email and photos. 

INSPECTIONS
  • Physical inspections will not be possible for the time being, as such we will request an inspection with tenants through Zoom or request tenants to send photos of each room of the property so we may report back to the landlord.

Should the government increase control and that impacts on our ability to perform for a period, our staff will be able to work from home with access to our complete and secure cloud-based systems and digital phone systems.  This will enable continuation of contact and the ability to progress and negotiate sales to the best of our ability.  All viewing requests that wish to arrange a physical visit will be facilitated in agreement with the vendors.
We thank-you for your co-operation in this matter and can assure you that all steps are currently being implemented by our organisation to protect your safety and also that of our staff members.

If anyone has any specific concerns or queries, please feel free to contact the office 028 9042 8888.
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