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    COVID-19

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Recent updates

The latest news and guidance from Prospect


25th September 2020

The country has once again been warned to stay home and help stop the spread of Covid-19. With a 10pm curfew in for pubs and restaurants and the country being urged to work from home if they can, we find ourselves on the edge of uncertainty.

We take our staff and clients safety extremely important and have been following strict new safety policies since we could open our doors again a few months ago.

With the R rate still increasing and following the new guidelines announced this week, we have today implemented even more new safety measures within our business. These include:

  • All staff now working in Safety Bubbles and will have no other physical contact with anyone outside their bubble
  • Bubbles working on a bi-weekly rote within offices
  • Face masks will always be worn by staff in our offices
  • Our offices are now open to visitors strictly by appointment only
  • All visitors to our offices must check in using our dedicated QR code for Track and Trace
  • Bi-weekly fogging, weekly deep cleans and daily sanitising of all surfaces in our offices
  • Video tours and live virtual viewings available for all properties
  • Virtual valuations and minimal contact valuations available for sellers and landlords
  • Individual safety packs including clear face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves for all necessary face to face appointments
  • New facemasks with perplex supplied to all staff
  • Mandatory for all staff to wear PPE on any necessary viewing or valuation appointments
  • Pre and post viewing property sanitising of all surfaces / handles
  • Strict ‘no touching’ rule for clients on all viewings
  • Sanitiser stations at all office entrances
  • Perspex safety screens providing safe workstations for our staff
  • Where possible, our staff working from home
  • All office and home workers equipped with new video conference software, enabling clients to ‘see’ us whenever they need
  • All company meetings are now conducted virtually
  • All valuation staff provided with iPhone 11s to enhance video tour quality
Covid-19 Prospect Estate Agents

As always, your feedback means a lot to us. If you have any suggestions on what else we can do to help protect everyone, please get in touch. Send your suggestions to marketing@prospect.co.uk

“Celebrating 30yrs with the biggest global challenge ever seen in our lifetime”


18th September 2020

August has been a record-breaking month for the UK property market. In their August House Price Index Rightmove reported that last month was the busiest month of any month on record for the past 10 years. As August is traditionally one of the quietest months in the property market, this is quite an astonishing fact.

People are rushing to move and take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and whilst this is creating an extremely healthy market, we are still living in the midst of a pandemic. Safety must continue to be of the upmost importance.

During lockdown we spent a lot of time preparing our offices, staff and clients for when we opened again. Sanitiser stations at every entrance, Perspex safety screens distancing our staff, regular ‘fogging’ deep cleans of our offices and virtual appointments all almost feel normal now.

With the R rate on the rise again and there being no signs of the market slowing down, we wanted to show you everything we’re doing to keep you and our staff safe.

In the past 6 months, we’ve been busy investing in software and PPE as well as implementing lots of new procedures across our business. This includes;

  • Video tours and live virtual viewings available for all properties
  • Virtual valuations and minimal contact valuations available for sellers and landlords
  • Individual safety packs including clear face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves for all necessary face to face appointments
  • New facemasks with perplex
  • Mandatory for all staff to wear PPE on any necessary viewing or valuation appointments
  • Pre and post viewing property sanitising of all surfaces / handles
  • Strict ‘no touching’ rule for clients on all viewings
  • Sanitiser stations at all office entrances
  • Perspex safety screens providing safe workstations for our staff
  • Where possible, our staff working from home
  • All office and home workers equipped with new video conference software, enabling clients to ‘see’ us whenever they need
  • All company meetings are now conducted virtually
  • All valuation staff provided with iPhone 11s to enhance video tour quality
  • Bi-weekly fogging, weekly deep cleaners and daily sanitising of all surfaces in our offices

Soon, we will also be introducing a new online booking system. Enabling you to book an exact time with us for a virtual, or face to face, viewing or valuation. All in just a few clicks and without having to leave the house!

If you are not ready to book a viewing or valuation and just want a chat, then that’s no problem either. You will also be able to arrange a video chat with us too.

Of course, if you have had your fill of video calls you can always just give us a call. You can find our numbers here.

As always, your feedback means a lot to us. If you have any suggestions on what else we can do to help protect everyone, please get in touch. Send your suggestions to marketing@prospect.co.uk

“Celebrating 30yrs with the biggest global challenge ever seen in our lifetime”

Darren Winter, our Farnborough Sales Manager wearing PPE

21st August 2020

In March this year, the government introduced emergency legislation suspending all evictions for a period of 3 months. This was later extended in June by a further 2 months to the 23rd August meaning that no eviction hearings would be heard in court until this date. Following pressure on the government by the housing minister to extend the Eviction Ban it is no surprise that today this was further extended by a further 4 weeks to the 20th September. We are keeping a close ear to the ground to ensure we are ready to support you as best as possible.

Whilst it is not possible to bring an eviction case to be heard in court right now, should there be the provision within a tenancy agreement to serve a Section 21 notice either towards the end of a fixed term tenancy or if there is break clause this is still possible, however the notice period here has been extended from 2 to 3 months, this is the case until 30 September 2020.


24th July 2020

In line with government guidance, anyone who now enters one of our offices will now be required to wear a face covering. We thank you for your co-operation with this.

While it is not compulsory, our staff will wear relevant PPE, including face coverings and shields when necessary.

We will also be continuing to strictly follow the 1-metre social distancing guidelines at all times and our staff regularly wash their hands and sanitise surfaces and door handles.

Face coverings at Prospect Estate Agency

14th July 2020

Over recent weeks, we have received a large number of questions surrounding Electrical Installation Condition Reports. We have created this video guide to help you understand more.

We have covered a wide range of questions, some of which are listed below:

  • What is a EICR?
  • Why do I need one?
  • When does the legislation come into force?
  • What do I need to do to be ready for this change?
  • How long does an EICR take?
  • Can anyone complete an EICR?
If you have any further questions, please contact our Property Management team on 0118 955 9747 if you are in Berkshire or 01252 267 070 if you are based in Surrey or Hampshire.

9th July 2020

Mark Towell, Managing Director, catches up with Jo Kay our Head of Property Management to discuss what's been happening behind the scenes with all things Property Management during and now after lockdown.

We chat about how our clients have been effected during lockdown and what impact it has really had on the business. Jo also answers your most common questions on Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) and looks ahead to Q3 and what we expect to happen in the Lettings market.

A relaxed, informative chat to keep you up to date with what's happen with Property Management. If you have any questions you'd like answered, drop us a call on 0118 955 9747


8th July 2020

Today the government has announced a stamp duty holiday for all property sales under £500,000 in England and Wales. Here is one of our Directors, Shaun Stevens commenting on the announcement by the Chancellor.

Should you have any questions or should you want to speak to one of our team, please find your local office here.


23rd June 2020

Residential Sales Update

What a difference a video tour makes…

With stats showing us, since 18th May 2020, that our current viewing to offer ratio has dropped from 1 in 10 (this is deemed as good), is now at 1 in 5.6. These are numbers you would typically see in the lettings sector. We are now 3 weeks into June and the enquiry graph tells its own story. With 9 days of enquiries left, we will surpass that of May and be back inline with February and March 2020 thus giving us a faster than expected bounce back.

The number of clients having valuations has increased but you will note the numbers are less than 20% of the norm, but week on week we are seeing this increase across our offices.

The mortgage markets are providing conflicting stances with regards to loan to value being offered but rest assured what we are seeing is: Money is very cheap to borrow giving buyers the confidence to buy and borrow.

June Sales update

Residential Lettings Update

We are now 3 weeks into June and the enquiry graph tells its own story. With 6 days of enquiries left, we will surpass that of May and be back inline with February and March 2020 thus giving us a faster than expected bounce back.

Whilst we have received more tenant enquiries than expected, we are really happy to see that the use of Video Tours is really demonstrating a quality over quantity approach to letting houses. Since the 18th of May, we have seen our viewing to offer ratio drop from 1-5 down to 1-3 and this weekend, we recorded the highest number of offers since March from tenants looking at properties, while adhering to safe social distancing.

We are also really happy to see there are plenty of new instructions coming to the market for let in June. We are seeing the same with tenancies that have had previous tenants in them, showing a really positive bench mark for the sector that people are looking to move again.

This month sees changes to legislation starting as of the 1st of July with the introduction of EICR reports for any newly signed tenancy. We are also very confident that going into Quarter 3 of 2020, this will see a very busy three months ahead and that we will equal the numbers of last year. If you have any questions or are interested in discussing your property with me please feel free to contact me at any point.

June Lettings update

10th June 2020

Attention Landlords! We have recorded an interview between Jo Kay, our Head of Property Management and our Solicitor David Goddard from Kidd Rapinet. We are very lucky to be able tap into such resources like David and industry bodies such as ARLA for the best possible advice.

Should you have any questions or should you want to speak to David whether you are a tenant or a landlord contact Joanna Kay on jkay@prospect.co.uk.


3rd June 2020

Over the last several weeks, we have received a lot of questions from buyers, sellers and Investors about what is happening with the mortgage market. Please listen and watch our video from Head of Sales Roberto Contreras and Simon Fenner from Smart Financial answering a lot of the questions that will be relevant to you.


28th May 2020

We have created this video to assist you with how our virtual viewings are taking place.

We want you to feel safe when you are dealing with us.

If you have any further questions, contact us here.


27th May 2020

Our preference is for you to contact us via Video or Phone but if necessary we are ready and safe.

We have created this video to highlight the safety precautions we are taking in all of our offices.


26th May 2020

Following the first full week of estate agency branches opening across the country, we wanted to share some statistics to give you an insight into how we will be closely monitoring the market, enabling us to give the best possible advice to our Landlords and Vendors.

The question is … Has the first week all been a bit B&Q?

What we mean by this, as the image provided shows especially for Residential sales, has there been a lot of pent up demand, like the queues at B&Q a few weeks where people who were happy to stand in line for hours in order to get some compost? The honest answer is, we don’t know and can only share with you what has been a very unexpected level of enquiries coming in and giving a very much needed boost in confidence that business is there to be done, albeit of course, safely and adapting to a ‘New Normal’ way of working.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, in both Sales and Lettings we will be watching the levels of enquiries coming into our branches and how conducting videos tours on properties first can assist in providing better quality viewings. We are already seeing very early signs that there really could be a forever role in this, as long as they be produced and supplied correctly, changing how we deal with enquiries forever.

As challenging as last week was, we are surprisingly excited by the week ahead (not just because it’s another four day week) and look forward to seeing the trend to continue rising to match that of the first quarter of 2020.

Later this week and next, we aim to provide you with market updates and a top tips for Sellers and Landlords on how to work with estate agents safely and create contactless and time effective appointments, whether that be valuations on your own home or creating a viewing that will always be like a second viewing.

Enjoy the superb weather ahead this week and be safe.

Sales leads via portals
Lettings leads via portals

22nd May 2020

I’m sure there is not an Estate Agent in the country that has been able to prepare for what has been a very un-expected 10 days, following the announcement that Estate Agencies across the country could reopen their businesses. It has been truly outstanding, that an Industry which at one point was known as the 3rd most disliked sector in the country, (fingers crossed that is no longer the case) has now really pulled together and acted safely and responsibly in putting the safety of their staff and clients first. We opened our doors on Monday on reduced hours and a skeleton staff in the front office, in order to comply with all social distancing measures and of course staggering the number of people arriving in the office at any one time. The offices are all supplied with safety equipment to allow us to go about our day and has meant we are ready for business… at least we thought that was the case!

But, nothing could prepare us for that awkward moment when a client first walks into your office, or you meet them on an appointment at a property and a ‘mini western standoff’ scenario is created. Seeming like, for the estate agent they have something wrong with them, or for the client that we have just declared the worse news ever and we are ‘frozen to the spot’!! Now, once the initial couple of days have been and gone, it is now all starting to feel a lot more normal, or at least it is more accepted as the ‘new normal’ anyway.

We, once again cannot thank our staff and clients enough for adapting to such measures, promoting ‘Contact us via video and phone first’ on all areas of the business and coming into the office only when necessary.

Whilst we expect footfall in our branches to increase once the town centre retails shops start to reopen for business, we are now able to adapt and create what is the best of both worlds for our clients. Within our sector, there is a common age battle of online versus offline and this has always provided a huge talking point. With high street banks still able to provide a service, the credibility of a high street Estate Agent will remain there for convenience and ease of access to conduct day to day business and creates a place of work where team members are able to carry out business tasks in the best possible way and safely. The most important aspect of all is that we can go about our business in a face to face manner allowing clients to be able to sit with a human being and actually feel the warmth and energy of the person that is to market their property, after all, we are a business that is built upon trust and knowledge. Whilst we would not have recommended this at present, many wise people have said: “ you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake”.

We are working very hard behind the scenes to adapt to new expectations and ways of working. We are also listening to our staff and clients about what Estate Agency could actually look like in the future. Perfection today for any business is just not possible but be assured that an Estate Agent that excels in these current conditions is one that is happy to listen, to take criticism and feedback and work with the clients to make it right. We are dedicated to learning from the world today and working towards creating what our clients will want in the future, this includes all the benefits of an online agent but with the added reassurance of a high street agent which has the staff, resources and knowledge of its local market place to provide the customer service required and achieve the desired result and always remembering we are dealing with your most valued asset.

20 years ago we saw digital photography replace old style photography, 5 years on from today could see an even bigger change within our industry that outweighs this... so, here’s to embracing the future!

Enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend and we very much looking forward to speaking with you in the future.


20th May 2020

This is an example of one of our property videos. This is just one of our new solutions to operate safely throughtout Covid-19, giving a potential buyer the chance to view a property without leaving the comfort of their own house.

These videos tours can be created by yourselves or our team, they are then sent to our marketing team to create proffesional videos which help to sell your property.

If you wish to download our e-guide to filming your own property please click here


19th May 2020

We have released our guide to virtual viewings today.

This guide highlights how viewings are taking place, alongside the procedures for face to face viewings as well.

We would love your feedback on our process

If you wish to speak to one of our team to book a viewing or feedback about our viewing process, you can find your local office here.

You can also download your e-guide to virtual viewings here.


18th May 2020

We’ve been approached by a number of people asking how we are operating during Covid-19. For this reason we have created a number of videos and e-guides to help you with how we are currently working.

Today’s guide is focusing on how we are conducting valuations.

We are working with government guidelines in mind. Making sure we operate safely and in the interests of both our clients and our staff.

Throughout the course of the week we will be releasing more guides, so make sure to check back for regular updates and information.


15th May 2020

We hope everyone is well and safe, our preparations are coming along well and yesterday all of our PPE equipment was delivered to our offices. We are also delighted to confirm that all of our offices will be anti-viral cleaned on Saturday in preparation for Monday, along with new signage on our doors outlining our commitment to safety. We have staggered the number of staff coming into our offices to enable us to work safely and in line with social distancing measures and should clients need to enter our offices, space awareness stickers will be put down on our floors early part of next week.

We are so proud of all of our staff who have supported us throughout this, whether they have been on furlough or have continued to work from home providing services to our clients. This has been truly overwhelming. We have had positive engagement from everyone, whether that has been taking part in our weekly inter-department quizzes or on our focus groups to prepare for a ‘new normal’ way of working, all coming up with some outstanding ideas to keep themselves and their family’s safe and ensuring clients feel the same.

As we enter this period we are confident that our staff are equipped with all the safety equipment, technology, knowledge and outstanding customer service skills to ensure we are dealing with any enquiry in the correct way….Team Prospect 2020 we cannot thank you enough for then, now and in the future.

Please look out for our guides being issued today and over the course of the weekend showing how we will conduct Valuations and Viewings Safely along with Video guides. Next week we will be demonstrating our safe working environment and practicing ‘the new normal’.

Have a superb weekend and very much look forward to keeping you updated over the coming days.


14th May 2020

Following Tuesday night’s announcement from the Government regarding Estate Agents re-opening their offices and further guidelines issued yesterday, we have implemented the following action plan ensuring the total safety of our staff and clients:-

  • Ensure our offices are regularly anti-viral deep cleaned and followed up with weekly ‘fogging’.
  • Limit the members of our team in an office at any one time to reduce the number of people coming into contact with each other.
  • Ensure full PPE equipment is available, such as fixed hand sanitisers in all offices for staff and clients when entering and exiting our offices.
  • Promote and adhere to a new way of working by conducting business where possible without having to come into contact with clients.
  • Ensure our policies for Market Appraisals and Viewings limit the number of people who come into contact with each other.
  • Demonstrate to our clients that they will feel safe when doing business with Prospect
  • Reduced and staggered opening hours allowing for a mixture of working from home and office – Where staff can continue to work from home they will.
  • Prepared to be fully flexible in the event that the industry needs to quickly adapt to any changes.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients is paramount, with this in mind we are fully preparing to open our offices to the public from Monday 18th our opening hours will be Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm and Saturday 10am until 2pm, As always we are completely available for Video and Telephone calls until such time that we allow restricted access to our offices.

We welcome your feedback on our approach. By taking such steps we will instill confidence into our clients by taking a comprehensive approach on preparation for conducting our services in the most safe working environment possible for our staff and the public.


13th May 2020

Safety is our paramount priority for our staff and our clients. It is incredibly important to us.

You have total reassurance and maximum confidence in our rigorous safety policies and procedures for your dealings with Prospect, whether in our offices or at any property.

With this in mind we will be staggering our processes and best policies in order to open our offices safely.

We will keep you posted over the coming days to comply with government guidelines.

As before we are available via video and telephone for any enquires.

We are now maximising our use of video technology to reduce contact between our clients and our staff.


LEARN MORE

Our guides

Helping you get the most out of property throughout Covid-19









Our guide to virtual valuations

Our guide to virtual valuations


Download your guide below.





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Our guide to virtual viewings

Our guide to virtual viewings


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Our guide to filming your property

Our guide to filming your property


Download your guide below.





DOWNLOAD NOW

We have published our risk assessment to keep
you aware of the precautions we are taking


VIEW OUR RISK ASSESSMENT

Our Covid-19 practises

What are we doing to help?


The wellbeing of our clients, staff and their families - together with continuity of service to our clients - is of paramount importance. Outlined below are our 19 ‘New Normals’ outlining the precautionary measures Prospect have taken to minimise the risk to our clients, staff and others.

These new practices are in place as a necessity to ensure the smooth operational running of the business throughout the evolving advice that the government issues on a daily basis.

We are following all government advice to ensure we implement the latest travel, isolation and hygiene practices within our business.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARDS SELLING YOUR PROPERTY AND SELECT AN OPTION BELOW


GUIDE TO BUYING GUIDE TO RENTING LANDLORDS GUIDE GUIDE TO SELLING

Prospect’s 19 ‘New Norms’ for safe estate agency

Keeping you, our clients and all our employees safe


In Branches

1- Where possible home working measures are in place for the vulnerable and those employees that are able to do so.

2- Those working in branch are separated and positioned at least 2 metres apart.

3- Kitchen areas are closed and refreshments are not offered to clients at present.

4- Doors are locked and clients are discouraged from entering offices unless it is to collect keys or they are unable to make a call.

5- Clients that are in the office will be kept to a minimum and a queuing system will be implemented where required.

6- Wall mounted hand sanitizers are installed by our entrances. These areas are regularly wiped.

7- All key handovers are contactless.

8- Employees are encouraged to wash their hands regularly especially when re-entering the office and when leaving.

9- All offices are regularly ‘fogged’ when closed.

10- All offices have a supply of gloves, masks, wipes, hand soap, antiviral sprays and hand sanitiser.

On Viewings & Valuations

11- When booking in viewings and valuations, clients are asked a series of questions to enable us to understand the following:

  • Are you or anyone in your family considered vulnerable?
  • Have you or anyone in your family shown symptoms of the virus or are in isolation?
  • How would you most feel comfortable with the valuation or viewings taking place?

12- All employees are supplied with appropriate PPE for conducting viewings and valuations safely, these include face shields and mouth masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, sprays and wipes.

13- All applicants will be required to carry out a virtual viewing before physically being able to enter a property to view it.

14- Any meetings or discussions regarding valuing or giving advice can be done via Zoom or over the telephone.

15- When accompanying viewings our employees will adhere to the social distancing guidelines and remain 2 metres apart at all times.

16- We insist that all applicants wishing to view a property also wear appropriate PPE and shoes are left outside.

17- We ask that vendors open any cupboards or doors and turns lights on prior to a viewing taking place so that no surfaces can then be touched by the agent or applicant.

18- When entering and exiting a property hands will be washed and/or sanitised.

19- No-one is put in danger of spreading or contracting the virus.

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