For Association Executives: How to Talk About COVID-19 with Your Membership

 
 
 

Updated on March 18, 2020

Key Talking Points

 

Expanded Talking Points

Continuing to work on their behalf: virtually

  • Essential business activities and policy decisions are moving forward!

    • For example, after careful consideration, the upcoming Board of Directors meetings and Legislative Day scheduled for April 28 – May 1 in Sacramento will be transitioning to a virtual meeting, using online video conferencing. Select committees and the Board of Directors will meet online.

    • As far as upcoming classes and events are concerned, the Association is canceling all in-person events. On March 15, 2020, the CDC recommended that events consisting of 50 or more persons be canceled, postponed or be made virtual, which was followed by President Trump’s announcement on March 16, 2020, recommending that individuals avoid groups of more than 10 people for the next 15 days. Plus, residents in six Bay Area counties have been ordered to “shelter in place” and only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. This is likely to become standard operating procedure in other parts of California and the nation. 

    • So, we are taking these precautions proactively, in order to ensure business continuity. Therefore, as of [date] and until further notification, the Association will only hold meetings and or events virtually. 

 

Understanding and adapting to government orders 

  • Our members’ health and safety, and the well-being of their businesses and our staff, are top priorities! 

    • Like C.A.R., we are suspending all non-essential business travel for volunteers and employees until further notice. NAR and many other real estate corporations have also suspended all non-essential travel — international and domestic.

    • Additionally, all of our staff positioned to do so are being encouraged to work from home until at least March 31, and perhaps longer. Please remember that we are in the business of providing you with exceptional customer service, support and care and that will continue as we all work around this ‘new norm.’

    • Remember, the CDC urges individuals to practice social distancing by avoiding close contact, so that’s why we are announcing alternative work and holding virtual meetings. 

    • We’re also doing our best, and recommend you do the same, to follow CDC guidelinesto protect yourself and others by:

      • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

      • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 

      • Practicing social distancing by staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. 

      • Avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick. 

      • Staying home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptom. 

      • Cleaning and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

 

Office best practices 

  • Your Association staff is prepared and ready to keep the business of maintaining a marketplace for you to be real estate entrepreneurs moving forward!

    • The Association took numerous steps to prepare staff, including sharing our business continuity plan to staff to keep them aware of, and familiar with, the Association's policies and practices as they conduct business remotely. 

    • Again, we have implemented (or will be) a mandatory "work-from-home" policy for employees. This allows for business continuity and for our staff to care for sick family members and children (and to not infect others who they come in contact with).

These measures by no means equate to your Association leadership showing signs of panic or overreaction. Conversely, they are sound business practices that are in your best business interests, avoid business disruption and recognize that this situation is rapidly changing and evolving.
 

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