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.
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:-
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.
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.
To view the latest government advice, please visit:
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.
11- When booking in viewings and valuations, clients are asked a series of questions to enable us to understand the following:
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.