C.A.R. Urges Brokers to Use Extreme Caution When Reopening Offices

 

On May 7, the State of California released new Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions, which requires that every real estate office complete certain steps prior to reopening. These guidelines, which were designed first and foremost to protect public health, are stringent and will take considerable time for you to complete. We urge you to exercise your best judgement and use extreme caution as you move toward reopening your offices.

The following steps must be followed before an office can reopen. Note that this guidance may be superseded by stricter local guidelines that place more restrictions on real estate or office activity.

 

  • Establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every facility, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas, and designate a person at each facility to implement the plan. 

    To assist you with developing your own worksite-specific written plan, we have created a Sample COVID-19 Prevention Plan, which you can modify for your office. Keep in mind that having a written prevention plan is just one of many benchmarks you will need to meet before being able to reopen your office.

     

  • Identify contact information for the local health department where the facility is located for communicating information about COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.
     

  • Train and communicate with employees and employee representatives on the plan.
     

  • Regularly evaluate the workplace for compliance with the plan and document and correct deficiencies identified.
     

  • Investigate any COVID-19 illness and determine if any work-related factors could have contributed to risk of infection. Update the plan as needed to prevent further cases.
     

  • Identify close contacts (within six feet for 10 minutes or more) of an infected employee and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive employee(s) and close contacts. 
     

  • Adhere to additional guidelines listed in the document regarding employee training, individual employee control and screening measures, cleaning and disinfecting protocols and physical distancing. 
     

The state’s guidance also requires that offices comply with new cleaning, disinfecting and physical distance rules for shown properties. C.A.R. is working with the California Department of Real Estate to amend these rules; we will send more information later this week.

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