Property is one of two most covid resilient industries

Reflections on 2020: A year of challenges and changes

Latest government data reveals that along with education, estate agents have helped make property the safest place to work during covid pandemic.

This is good to hear. In 2020, we all learnt how to spell ‘unprecedented’, the word ‘isolation’ always in the headlines and some of us discovered how to wear a mask without steaming up our glasses or smudging our lipstick!

We saw sadness all around us and we all feel for those who have lost family members and those who have not been able to meet up with cherished friends and family.

Working as an Estate Agent throughout the pandemic has been challenging and we thank all our vendors, landlords and tenants for their understanding and patience throughout 2020. Ensuring the health and safety of our staff and clients was and remains our absolute priority as we continue to market properties for sale and properties to let during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our teams…Whilst we were closed, obviously our teams were furloughed for a while, but we were lucky and one of the first to return to business. An amazing aspect of our ever-evolving remote workplace culture is our team’s strengthened connectedness. I’ve never been more impressed with a group of team members in the face of adversity. Their tenacity, positivity, and ability to band together is something for the history books. We were able to peep into the lives of our colleagues as ‘fur babies’ and children inevitably crept into the backdrop of Zoom no matter how much planning for productive meeting. And those backgrounds… perhaps I’ll leave that for another blog!

Viewings were, and still are, strictly scheduled and controlled; we will not carry out any ‘open house’ or ‘block’ viewings. In general, we only offer ‘physical’ viewings to buyers ready to go, those interested in a viewing a property not in a good buying position at the time are offered a video ‘walk through’ tour. We asked sellers, family & residents to vacate the premises for viewings and to pop out when we prepared the property for sale. Obviously, we followed all the Government guidelines, and we were quite strict in our enforcement, both in the office and out in the field.

Life is changing in 2021 and we are entering a less restricted time. For now, we will continue safely until we are confident this dangerous virus is under control.

The good news for 2021…Thanks in part to the stamp-duty holiday and other Covid-19 related concessions, we are in the midst of a mini property market boom at the moment and many people are considering marketing their property sooner rather than later to make the most of it. Now is a great time to sell and realise a potentially healthy price for your property – especially as April has been voted as the best month to list property in the UK.

I am happy to say that I have felt ‘safe’ whilst carrying out viewings, and have felt that we have been well supported by the company with advice and the correct PPE.  Also now carrying out regular Covid home flow tests is reassuring. On the whole most applicants are respectful of the government guidelines, they stick to them and are not offended if I have had to politely remind them of them.

 It is has been an interesting and different time for sure, however, as a company we have, in my opinion been very careful.   From separating into two teams in the office, firstly to keep a “healthy” team at all times to ensuring that there were only a few members of staff in at any one time, to having ample hand sanitiser, masks and gloves available for viewings, valuations and appointments.  With the added addition of taking a lateral flow test every Monday I feel we have been as safe as we possibly could be whilst continuing to sell houses.

 On the whole I have felt very safe since being back in the office and while carrying out appointments out of the office. This largely down the PPE we have been well provided with and the very clear instructions passed down to each member of staff, from the basics of working in the office while social distancing and what we should and shouldn’t do on viewings and how best to explain it to the applicant.