Do You Have a Disaster Plan? Here’s Why You Should

August 4, 2020

This year is serving as a reminder of how important it is to have a disaster plan in place for your brokerage to protect your business against uncertain times. After all, the nation is facing a pandemic, recession, and, on the East Coast, tropical storm Isaias. Isaias reached North Carolina late Monday night with heavy rain and strong winds.

“Disasters can strike at a moment’s notice,” Katie Garrity, associate counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®, says in a new “Window to the Law” video at “Whether it’s a national disaster or disease outbreak, the impact to your business can be, well, disastrous. You can mitigate the damage by preparing for it. Implement a disaster preparedness plan that will enable you to act quickly and effectively during times of great stress and panic for you and your clients.”

Disasters can affect your business, property, and transactions. To be prepared, real estate professionals can implement a safety plan, such as instituting check-ins with co-workers. A plan should also outline specific remote work policy procedures. Another critical component is addressing the security of your hardware and electronics. For example, Garrity shares the “3-2-1 backup plan”—having three copies of your data, two stored locally and one stored offsite.

Also, disaster plans should account for financial obligations. and workarounds should be in place, for example, for distributing commission checks or paying bills during an emergency. Garrity says it’s a good idea to have an emergency reserve fund in case the main bank is affected.

Further, pending transactions can be jeopardized during disasters, whether it’s due to a weather incident or health crisis. Communicate with clients during and after disasters about their safety and review contracts carefully to identify provisions that could be impacted.

Watch the following video from NAR’s legal team to help create or update a disaster plan that includes everything from addressing team safety and data security to financial obligations and client communications.

Window to the Law: Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan from NAR on Vimeo.

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