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Pivoting to sell successfully in a pandemic

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Pivoting to sell successfully in a pandemic

As COVID cases on the Coast skyrocket, real estate agents have had to be flexible, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still selling. WORDS: Tracey Johnstone.

Arranging property inspections during the Covid-19 Omicron wave is presenting challenges for Coast real estate agents, forcing them to pivot in ways they could never have foreseen a few years ago.

Digital connections, video inspections and electronic settlements have come to the fore. But on the ground, careful inspection planning has also come into play.

“For our inspections everyone is spaced out, QR-coded and hand sanitised, along with Glen 20 spray and Pine O Clean wipes – you name it, the lot,” Home Sunshine Coast principal Kate Jewry says.

It has been problematic, says Ms Jewry, when a vendor or a property tenant reports Covid symptoms or a positive test result.

“We have had offers made subject to a satisfactory inspection when we can get people through,” Ms Jewry says.

Define Property principal Ross Cattle acknowledges his team have had to rethink the inspection process.

“We have had some buyers wanting to look through and then tenants have been waiting for a [test] result, so we have had to postpone the viewing,” he says.

“We have always had videos of the properties but people, particularly locals, like to touch and feel and look around.

“As we respect this is a serious matter, we have postponed inspections and just waited.

“There has been a couple of houses where the residents have Covid, so we have had to wait seven or eight days for negative test results to come through and then done the inspections after that.”

Mr Cattle says this cautious approach hasn’t jeopardised any of his sales. His experience is that buyers, owners and tenants have all been understanding.

It appears the Coast has become conditioned to the changed selling environment.

“I don’t think people are using it as an excuse to stop inspections or anything like that,” he adds. “It’s been quite respectful from everybody.”

“It’s just like when we pivoted back in 2019 when Covid first hit and things had to change,” Ms Jewry says. “We have kind of pivoted back now that the Coast is experiencing its real wave.”

The results of the proactive approach by the Coast agents to dealing with an extraordinary environment along with a continuing vibrant property market has kept the Christmas and school holiday selling period alive and kicking.

“There hasn’t been a lull,” Ms Jewry says. “It hasn’t slowed us down at all; it just has changed the way we do things.”

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Tracey Johnstone has worked as a Journalist for over 15 years. She started as a sailing writer and working on international events both in Australia and overseas. For several years Tracey was a feature writer for a national Seniors newspaper before bringing her experience in buying, selling building and renovating Coast property to MWP in 2019.

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