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How To Help After A Natural Disaster
In the aftermath of a disaster, there are several steps agents can take to preserve their business:
— Help your clients with their damaged homes: Don’t wait for an invitation. After a natural disaster strikes people are in dire need of assistance. Help families clean out their homes, inventory their belongings, and document the damage. You can also perform more basic services like delivering food and running errands.
— Help clients determine if their property is worth repairing: When determining the cost/benefit of a rebuild, it is important to keep in mind several factors: How likely is it that the property will be damaged again? Does the property qualify for renovation? Can the neighborhood support the value of a rebuild? Talk to your clients about these issues before they make a decision.
— Help clients apply for disaster relief: Educate yourself on relief services available to clients in the wake of a disaster. Help them file a claim with their insurer and register with FEMA for access to a variety of relief programs. In addition, certain corporations and charities may offer donations. Get a handle on all the different programs available to clients and then broadcast them on your social media networks.
— Help clients find new housing: Many clients will need immediate housing. Compile a list of for sale and rental properties in your area that remain in relatively good condition and present your clients with the options.
— Perform broker’s price opinion evaluations (BPOs): The government and banks need accurate pre- and post-disaster home valuations to determine how much assistance to provide homeowners.
— Be wary of predatory investors and scammers: Clients may receive offers from investors on their damaged properties. Inform clients to be wary of these types of offers, as investors often lowball property owners in order to take advantage of a bad situation. Similarly, scammers may try to take advantage of distressed property owners by offering deals on repairs and then taking off with the money.