Real estate agents say the spread of COVID is having an impact on their business. Fewer customers are heading in to look at properties. Real estate showrooms and marketing suites are the last place where people want to hang out right now. We spoke to two companies who have adopted stringent hygiene protocols in an effort to woo customers into a building.

The days of rocking up without a booking are over – for now.

At this showroom, you need to take your temperature and spray on disinfectant alcohol before coming in. Salespeople are all trained up in hygiene protocols now COVID is spreading. In-person viewings are down 30%-40% and improved hygiene is a bid to retain as many visitors as possible.

Member of public

I do pay attention if they spray disinfectant or put up a divider screen. I think the booking system is quite good, it means there’s less crowding, there won’t be a big crowd all coming at once.

In the past, at least 20 groups would visit a week. Now there’s just half that footfall. Only one group is allowed inside at once and they view the room 1-on-1. Staff maintain social distancing as they introduce the rooms, and a divider sits between them for a seated consultation.

If you ask for a quote, the staff will write you a note and slide it under the bottom of the divider, like a teller behind a bank glass. In the past you’d be offered coffee and snacks in the foyer, but no longer. These new procedures are all aimed at preventing the spread of COVID.

Chiu Pei-chi

Salesperson

Because we also have to prevent the spread of COVID, we don’t provide refreshments onsite at the moment. We also ask customers to disinfect their hands before entering. And we have adopted a pre-booking system.

At another showroom, they’ve gone as far as installing an automatic temperature detector and disinfection gate. Generally only airports have them. It disinfects visitors with ultraviolet light. All staff onsite are required to have a triple COVID vaccine and take rapid tests regularly. And when one group of customers leaves, the area is immediately disinfected before the next group arrives. The worsening pandemic could have an impact on lots of industries, and real estate agents are keen to minimize the blow in any way they can.