HEIBERG ESTATES NEWSLETTER: MARCH 2020

Responsible Business as usual – Heiberg Estates taking the responsible steps!

corona

Dear Property Partners

Inevitably this month’s rather earlier than usual newsletter needs to be dedicated to the worldwide onslaught of the Corona Virus, also on our country and its people now, and looking what we as individuals as well as businesses, can do and contribute to limit the spreading of it, as far as possible.

We are all directly affected by the recent declared National Disaster, a mere two weeks after the first corona virus infection was confirmed in South Africa. In spite of the acute awareness and steps taken all across the board to try to stop the spread of the virus, people still need homes to buy or to rent and we at Heiberg Estates are here to continue serving you to the best of our abilities.

Of course it is of paramount importance that we under all circumstances endeavour to safeguard the health and safety of all our employees, our agents, and you – our valued clients. We have taken extensive precautions in continuing to provide a real estate service to all our clients and we want all our valued clients to know that you will continue to receive our unyielding support and professional 24/7 service, whilst all of us being acutely aware of what to do to limit the risk of infection. We are well positioned to make use of digital and online communication tools to conduct as much as possible meetings, virtual tours, national website advertisements, the national printed media which we shall continue to use on a weekly basis, as well as the signing of legal documents.

In responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we at Heiberg Estates have put the necessary resources and policy in place for the continued day-to-day real estate activities and responsibilities and we remain to be fully operational in delivering the best possible and professional services with the same commitment you have experienced in the past. Our offices will remain open, and although we all at Heiberg Estates adapt with renewed focus on what to do to limit the spread of the virus, it is with a sense of calm and dedicated responsibility towards each other, our clients and their families and our fellow colleagues and other businesses as well.

Heiberg Estates implemented the following steps for its staff, agents and you, our much valued clients:

Pre-screening / general health alertness:

  • Every single person, staff as well as clients entering the Heiberg Estates Offices, are requested on entering to immediately sanitize their hands.
  • Every person visiting a property with a Heiberg Estates Agent or representative, are requested to sanitize their hands before entering a client’s property – sanitizing materials provided by Heiberg Estates on every visit.
  • Enquire whether clients, especially the diplomats of the 120+ Embassies which Heiberg Estates work with on an ongoing basis, have been overseas recently and find out about possible exposure to the virus whatever the case might have been;
  • Avoid all personal contact, no-touch-policy: direct physical contact is prohibited (handshakes, hugs, skin-contact);
  • Any person who comes into contact with another person with respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing, fever) is to report the fact to their superior and pro-actively discuss the need for self-isolation should they regard it as necessary;
  • Handwashing: where contact with other persons or commonly touched surfaces is unavoidable, handwashing is mandatory (warm soap and water for 20 seconds);
  • All our Agents and staff members are pre-briefed to identify visible symptoms that might point to the virus infection.

Meetings, client qualifications, show houses, viewings – set Heiberg Estates guidelines and regulations:

  • Our Agents travelling to local as well as internationally destinations to e.g. attend training sessions, conferences and meetings, have been limited to travel for only absolutely necessary work related requirements;
  • Unnecessary face-to-face meetings are to be avoided, and electronic communication, conference calling and other communication channels used wherever practically feasible;
  • We shall increase our virtual “walk-through” tours of our listed Residential, Commercial and To Let properties as first front of presentation to potential Buyers to for the time being, limit entry to properties but which will then follow once there is a definite interest expressed by the Buyer to buy/let the property.
  • Social distance requirement: where possible keep 1.5 meters (two arm-lengths) in meetings, during viewings and discussions;
  • Avoid close personal contact as far as possible and don’t do handshakes or hugs;
  • Agents to conduct any viewings with initial just one person to a property and limit group viewings when indeed necessary to a maximum of 2-4 people at a time, whilst enforcing the prevention methods of social distancing, hand sanitizers and touching, in order to limit the risks to both the Buyers as well as the Sellers;
  • All Heiberg Estates Agents and staff members are equipped with sanitizers and our Buyers will be requested to sterilise their hands before entering a property for viewing. No touching of any items in or around the property will be permitted and closely monitored.
  • Unfortunately for the safety of both our Buyers as well as Sellers, nobody will be allowed access to any properties should there be any Coronavirus related symptoms.

We are all aware that even more difficult times is lying ahead for our country and our Rainbow Nation, and that the number of infected Coronavirus people, will continue to rise for some weeks to come. President Ramaphosa quite correctly summed this ultimate challenge to our nation up as follows: “Never before in the history of our democratic nation, have we been confronted by such a severe situation”. And we are all aware we are all in the same boat as the world is collectively at war against this unseen, but devastating enemy that affects all societies across the world.

We can but hope that as a nation we shall stand together like never before in order to limit the spread of the virus in our beloved South Africa. As individuals we face enormous responsibilities to keep ourselves, our loved ones, our staff and our clients as safe as possible amidst the challenges we are facing, with more expected challenges to come.

Should the spread of the virus escalate and our country come to a lockdown scenario like in many European countries that has followed suit to the Italian lockdown, many of our people will be prohibited to go to work and might end up in positions where they can’t service their housing bonds, whilst many are likely to lose their jobs. Already there are requests going up that the banks will allow people a grace period to pay back their monthly bond amounts and get all back on track, once the crisis is more or less under control and things are settling down again.

We can just hope and pray that common sense and a collective responsibility towards each other – needed like never before – will prevail. Not only to face this virus head on, but furthermore for those employers able to do so –  to also look after the people that they employ. These people and their extended families whom heavily depend on their jobs and their monthly wages. People that have been loyal and dedicated workers in our respective businesses, should not be abandoned to fend for themselves, but be supported throughout this new ordeal in all ways possible. After all – it is not their fault. And be assured, invest in your people, and you invest in your business!

May this crisis indeed lead to a more united South African Nation in the realisation that this is an opportunity to reach out to each other, forget our differences in this challenging battle we are facing together, also in the  acknowledgement that together we can shift mountains and conquer this unseen enemy. As a united nation, we shall fight this danger until it is no more. We have been through so many challenges and difficult times in the past, and we have conquered them – and can and WILL do it again. Without God it is a hopeless end, but with God – there is endless hope. Always.

Please be safe, stay healthy, look after yourselves and stay connected with us. Heiberg Estates Team remains to be on 24/7 responsible standby for you all!

Blessings and good health to you all.

Sincerely

Bambie & Heiberg Estates Team

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