First, the good news. At the current time of writing this (February 18, 2021), in British Columbia, and especially in our Interior Health Authority region, we are seeing dropping infection rates with day-to-day life and activities returning to a semblance of normal! This has been achieved with decisive action to slow the spread by the time proven measures of wearing masks in public spaces, social/physical distancing, isolation of those in contact with known infection sources, contact tracing, reducing occupancy numbers for public spaces and other measures.
For the latest results for the BC COVID-19 Dashboard, go here.
Mountain Town Properties looks to extend this good news by implementing safety protocols into our business procedures to protect you, our client and our associates. Now is NOT the time to lower our protective measures. To review what steps we have taken as a business, select either one of our business operations listed below for details of our COVID procedures for that activity.
• Applies to all personnel – listing and selling agents, sellers, tenants, buyers, vacation guests, maintenance workers, servicemen, cleaners, etc.
• Required – that all persons declare themselves COVID-19 free for all interactions involving personal contact between non-related persons or groups – prior to entry into MTP office, subject properties or meetings in public spaces.
• Do not allow any interactions if ANY persons involved have COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.
• Obtain contact information for those interacting, where they have provided informed consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their information for the purpose of contact tracing.
• All persons shall adhere to current Provincial Health Officer guidelines regarding the wearing of masks, 2-meter social distancing and hand sanitation before entry and after exit from all public or private spaces and all other interactions.
• It is recommended that, where possible, that persons sanitize their hands prior to mask wearing and removal, prior to entering/exiting public or private spaces.
• All areas – a minimum distance of 2 meters shall be maintained at all times, if this is not possible, masks shall be worn by all persons present.
• All areas – when clients enter the office, all persons present shall wear masks and maintain social distancing for the duration of the client’s presence.
• Clients should be restricted from touching surfaces and chairs that clients use shall be sanitized prior the usage by new clients.
• All persons shall use hand sanitizer upon entry into and exit out of the office.
• While masks may not be worn by staff while at their desks, masks shall be worn while moving about the office.
• Where a desk changes hands to another staff member, that workspace shall be sanitized prior to usage by new staff member.
• Downstairs office – maximum number of persons limited to 4 persons.
• Upstairs offices – maximum number of persons limited to 2 persons.
REAL ESTATE SHOWINGS
• Where possible, Agents should use what virtual and remote communication tools available to interact with Clients – Zoom, FaceTime, Email, phone, text, etc.
• Limit showings to serious Buyers only and ensure prospective Buyers are pre-qualified, and in a position to purchase, before requesting a showing.
• Ask that prospective Buyers familiarize themselves with the information available on the property, including photos, videos, and 3D floorplans, and have driven past the property before requesting a showing.
• Provide and discuss with Buyers and Renters the document below “Information on In-Person Showings”
• Provide and discuss with Sellers and Tenants the document below “Information on In-Person Showings”
• Request, with advance notice, that Sellers or Tenants not be present during showings. If Sellers or Tenants are present, they should wear masks and distance themselves from the viewing party.
• Ensure viewings are scheduled at appropriate intervals to allow the Seller sufficient time to arrange for cleaning, sanitizing, and the ventilation of the property between viewings.
• All persons from separate associations or “bubbles” shall use separate vehicles to drive to showing locations.
• Allow no more than six people to attend a viewing, including other real estate professionals and occupants, and only if the required physical distancing can be maintained. This limit applies to inside and outside the home, meaning consumers cannot wait on the property if another showing is already underway.
• Advise those attending a viewing to avoid touching surfaces in the home unless absolutely necessary, and to avoid using the bathrooms in the home.
• Disinfect keys and lock boxes on exiting the home.
MANDATED RESOURCES FOR READING AND/OR DISTRIBUTION
BCREA – Safe Practices During BC’s Second Wave: A Checklist for Managing Brokers
BCREA – Safer Showings During BC’s Second Wave
BCREA – Updated Guidance for Real Estate Practice during COVID-19
BCREA – Selling Tenant-Occupied Properties During the COVID-19 Pandemic
RECBC – COVID-19 and Real Estate Services
RECBC – Information on In-Person Showings for Buyers and Renters
https://www.recbc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-11/in person showing checklist buyers renters.pdf
RECBC – Information on In-Person Showings for Sellers and Landlords
https://www.recbc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-11/In person showing checklist sellers.pdf
WorkSafe BC – COVID-19 and returning to safe operation
WorkSafe BC – COVID-19 Health and Safety – Cleaning and Disinfecting
Cleanliness in the time of COVID-19
Now more than ever, Mountain Town Properties takes cleaning seriously. It’s always been important to us, but now it is critical, as we all aim to reduce the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, it’s possible for someone to contract COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface – like a doorknob or light switch — and the virus may live on some surfaces for several hours or even days. That’s why it’s essential to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often, especially between reservations. We have asked our cleaning contractor to implement stringent cleaning protocols to meet or exceed CDC, AirBnB, HomeAway/VRBO recommendations, as well as our Federal/Provincial Public Health guidelines.
Beyond Clean to Disinfection
We not only clean, but disinfect all surfaces with either diluted household bleach or at least 70% alcohol, both of which are believed to be effective against the Coronavirus. We pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces or “hot” spots, like light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, and faucet handles. By cleaning first, then disinfecting, the risk of infection sources are lowered substantially.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Our staff has been provided with PPE, including facial coverings and gloves and they practice extensive hand-washing procedures before and during every cleaning session.
We take special care with sofas, rugs, drapes, and other soft, porous surfaces, to carefully remove any visible dirt or grime, then clean with the appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. If possible, machine-wash items according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
We wash all linens at the highest heat setting recommended by the manufacturer. That includes bed sheets, mattress covers, hand and bath towels, kitchen towels, and blankets. We wear gloves when handling dirty laundry, and take care to avoid shaking laundry, which could increase the spread of germs. We clean and disinfect laundry baskets and hampers. If possible, consider using a liner that is either disposable or that you can throw into the washing machine.
We empty the vacuum cleaner after every cleaning. You should wipe down the vacuum cleaner with disinfectant, along with appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine.