After further consideration of the March 26 decision to “turn off” the ability to schedule Open Houses through April 16, the Executive Committee has agreed to “turn on” temporarily the ability to schedule a Virtual Open House in Flexmls. Initially, this new feature was not enabled due to syndication concerns that the Virtual Open House links would appear on gcar.net, third party portals, and competing broker’s websites via IDX & VOW.
While the Executive Committee acknowledges the syndication concerns, they have determined that not enabling the Virtual Open House tool would be withholding a useful tool for serving your seller and buyer clients during COVID-19. For any managing broker or agent, who does not desire their IDX/VOW feed to include the Virtual Open Houses, please submit that request in writing to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always REALTORS® should be mindful of the Code of Ethics and “not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients.” As with in-person interactions and other communications, Virtual Open Houses are not an opportunity to solicit another REALTORS®’s client.
Real estate IS happening, yet in alternative ways. Discuss with your clients other methods and technologies to market properties and precautions to help keep our local market, as well as you and your clients, healthy. The Executive Committee continues to strongly discourage in-person open houses during COVID-19 and refer our members to NAR’s Open House Guidance During COVID-19.
As stated by NAR, “Consider how you may continue providing first-class services to clients, while also exemplifying REALTORS® as community leaders by demonstrating care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19.”
Additional COVID-19 Updates & Resources are available at gcar.net/COVID-19.