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.
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