2018 is facing the worst flu season in over a decade, and land agents have a high risk of getting sick. You might not be in an urban area surrounded by sick people all the time, but land agents are always meeting new people and touching doorknobs or handrails that dozens of others have also touched. If you aren’t careful, you or one of your clients could catch the flu. Here are some tips to protect yourself and your clients this flu season.
1: Keep Tissues on Hand At All Times.
When your clients are traveling long distances to visit properties, they often leave things at home or in their car. Tissues are one of the most common things to leave behind when visiting a property, so you should come prepared. Using tissues helps prevent the spread of germs from you to your client or vice versa. You can also use them to open doors if you notice your client coughing or sneezing a lot. Plus, it never hurts to show you are considerate and prepared.
2: Sanitize Things People Frequently Touch.
This can be difficult when you are visiting several different multi-thousand-acre properties. However, if you take a few minutes to wipe down the areas that most people touch (such as doorknobs, tables, shared farm equipment, and pens), you can significantly reduce the risk of spreading the flu. A quick swipe with a disinfecting wipe can be one of your best defenses against the flu.
3: Increase Humidity in Indoor Spaces.
You might associate warm temperatures with the flu, but the infection actually thrives in cold temperatures. Cold, dry air often leads to coughing, one of the most common ways of spreading the flu. There’s not much you can do about the humidity outside, but usually you can control indoor spaces. If there are indoor spaces on your properties, add some humidifiers to keep you and your client’s lungs clear.
4: Wash Off The Germs Before And After Meeting Clients
Meeting clients on a property that many others have been to is a battlefield of flu germs. Keep yourself healthy by washing your hands thoroughly before and after meeting with a client or visiting a property. This not only ensures your safety, but also protects your clients and properties from any germs you might be carrying. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is also a great way to ward off germs. For an extra level of protection, you can also pop a Vitamin C capsule before going into virus-happy areas.
5: Take care of yourself
This one might seem obvious, but many land agents are too busy to get the good night’s sleep and fresh fruits and veggies that can protect you from germs. In stressful times, it’s natural to reach for potato chips instead of apple slices, but you could be putting yourself at greater risk of getting sick if you do. If you are working around the clock, you can still squeeze in some time to make sure your body is strong enough to fight off the flu. Here are some foods and beverages that can keep your body strong enough to ward off germs:
-Beef. Beef is an excellent source of zinc, a mineral that helps build up white blood cells. While beef isn’t the easiest food on this list to travel with (if only twelve-ounce steaks fit in our glove compartments), you can bring along some beef jerky or make roast beef sandwiches or beef chili to keep your protein levels up.
-Blueberries. If you live on or near a property that grows blueberries, you are in luck. Blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants of any fruit you’ll find in the supermarket. They are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and other antioxidants. Blueberries are also easy to carry around and travel well.
-Garlic. Garlic might not be the best smelling food on this list, but it does have a lot of surprising benefits. This spice contains allicin, a powerful antioxidant-packed compound. If you don’t want to go meet clients with garlic breath, there are also odorless garlic tablets that give you all the benefits without the stink.
-Lemon or honey tea. If you are feeling under the weather, drinking water is one of the best ways to help you feel better. Tea is great for easing early symptoms of the flu. The steam and heat of the tea help open up the throat and can also stimulate the cilia (the hair follicles inside your nose). Lemon tea contains flu-fighting vitamin C, and also thins mucus. Honey tea soothes raw throats and is antibacterial.
Tea is especially great for land agents because you can take it with you anywhere and it is the cheapest option on our list.
This might be the worst flu season in a long time, but these tips can help you dodge the flu and stay focused on what you do best: succeeding in the land real estate industry.
About the author: Laura Barker is Marketing Assistant for the REALTORS® Land Institute. She graduated from Clark University in May 2017 and had been with RLI since October 2017.