When you’re out and about showing homes, meeting clients, and networking with colleagues, you may be exposed to harmful germs that could possibly lead to illness. As a busy real estate professional, unplanned time away from work can cause disruptions for you, your clients, and your transactions. While you can’t avoid every single germ, it’s important to take prudent steps to protect yourself and to give yourself the best shot at remaining healthy and productive. Here are some practical tips to that can help keep certain types of germs at bay:
1. Wash Your Hands
Wash hands often and well with soap and warm or cold running water, then rinse and dry them. When you don’t have access to running water and soap, substitute with hand sanitizer. Remember to clean under your fingernails and around rings and jewelry, which can harbor germs.
2. Social Distancing
Avoid standing or sitting too close to people, leaving at least six feet of space on either side of you. Remember to do this even when standing in lines or sitting in waiting rooms.
3. Wipe Down Surfaces
Frequently wipe down surfaces such as your phone, keyboards, door knobs, desk and counter surfaces, and car door and faucet handles.
4. Avoid Touching Public Items When Possible
When in public spaces, such as restrooms or elevators, avoid directly touching things like door knobs, handles, hand rails, and buttons. Instead, use a disposable wipe, paper towel, or operate the items with your clothed elbow if you can.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your face as much as possible. When you must, wash your hands first.
6. Don't Share Personal Items
Don’t share food, beverages, straws, cosmetics, dishes, or towels with others.
7. Stay Up to Date on Vaccinations
Make sure to get an annual flu shot, and check with your medical provider to see if you’re up to date on other important vaccinations.
8. Use Technology for Interactions
Meet clients at showings instead of driving them in the same vehicle to avoid close contact. When possible, use FaceTime or Zoom to connect and communicate.
9. Take Common Sense Measures
To avoid food poisoning when you’re eating at restaurants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests taking common sense measures like checking health inspection scores and food safety training certificates, watching for safe food handling practices, ordering properly cooked food, and avoiding food that’s served lukewarm.
10. Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself. Give your immune system every advantage by eating a balanced diet, getting adequate rest, exercising, staying hydrated, and avoiding stress. Talk to your doctor to see if you should be on a vitamin regimen.
If you feel like you’re getting sick, stay home and isolate yourself from others as much as you can. While you might not be able to protect yourself at this point, you can protect others and help prevent the spread of some illnesses. Even if it’s a false alarm, it’s best to err on the side of caution. With online access and remote office capabilities, you may even be able to stay in contact with your clients and get some work done when you’re feeling better.