It’s business as usual as Greater Sydney is ordered to stay at home

JUNE 28, 2021

The residents of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, have been ordered to stay at home by the NSW Government to check the latest COVID-19 outbreak and protect the people of NSW.

Andrew Brien, CEO of Raine & Horne, said the experiences of 2020 mean the real estate industry is well-positioned to pivot in line with the prevailing restrictions.

“We agree with the decisions taken by the NSW government to limit the spread of COVID-19 across Regional New South Wales.”

To comply with NSW Public Health Orders, real estate agents in the Raine & Horne network have a Covid-19 safety plan for auctions to protect the health of their employees and buyers[i]

Until the restrictions are eased on 9 July, the following guidelines apply:

  • Home inspections for buyers and renters are permitted across regional NSW but are subject to a density of a maximum of one person per 4sqm.
  • Attendees are required to keep 1.5m away from other buyers and renters.
  • Masks will be mandatory at all inspections.
  • Real estate agents will implement hand sanitisers and record-keeping at open homes.
  • Covid safety signage will be used at Open Homes.

Meanwhile, all auctions are no longer allowed to be conducted in person and must occur online until the restrictions end. 

Stuart Bourne, Managing Director of Raine & Horne Lane Cove, said last year’s experiences mean that real estate agents are well-equipped to pivot back to online services. “It’s pretty much business as usual. We simply need to be more mindful of others and comply with the guidelines.

“Over the weekend, activity was still strong, and we are looking forward to our first virtual auctions this weekend. We have 7-8 auctions that have moved online, and we believe buyers might even see it as a good opportunity.

“As a business owner, I’m pleased that the government has made this move. Let’s hit this thing out of the park and get back to normal.”

Ric Serrao, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Double Bay/Bondi Beach says agents are well-placed to manage the stay-at-home orders. “Last year, it felt like the end of the world was upon us. This time, it’s a case of OK we’ve been through this. These are the conditions, and this is what we can do and cannot do. Let’s just monitor it.

“We have probably improved this time around with more masks and more sanitization daily. As far as listing and showing properties we have reverted back to using Zoom.”

Mr Serrao continues,” Last year our biggest challenge was showing properties that are currently tenanted. Tenants’ reticence to give us access is understandable, and this remains our biggest challenge to work through.

“That said at this time, it’s a much calmer and measured response than last year when we were first confronted with stay-at-home orders.”