The property market in England is once open again for business after a seven-week lockdown. Buyers and tenants can move home, surveyors can undertake valuations, estate agents can re-open and removals firms can get back to work – as long as social distancing guidelines are observed.
This is great news for PLG’s clients who are primed and more than ready to move. Because our clients are needs-based buyers and tenants, the need to move has become increasingly important during the lockdown. In addition to this, we have been instructed on several new clients who are no less keen to secure a new home.
While the team has adapted well and changed the way we work, reacting positively to the difficult situations that have been thrown at us during lockdown, we expect the next few weeks to be exceptionally busy as we get back on the road and catch up with those viewings that were put on hold. Lockdown came on the back of a run of the busiest two months the business has seen; our consultants had been working flat out and were on track for 2020 to be one of the best years for our business, if not the best.
Thankfully, PLG is very good at adapting. Some of the practices other businesses adopted during lockdown with virtual viewings and the like are processes we have had in place for five years or so on our client sites. Setting up a client log-in which all stakeholders have access to; adding images of potential properties; a map of the location; Rightmove link; following up with conference calls to chat through the properties we have seen before the second viewings are arranged – this is all part and parcel of the service we have prided ourselves on providing for years.
It is reassuring that a lot of what we do was relevant before the pandemic broke out but even more relevant now. We have been positive, had remote meetings where possible and explained to clients what we have been doing for them behind the scenes. We are probably one of the few businesses that is expanding, with a new architect coming on board in two weeks’ time to boost our architectural projects team, and interviews ongoing for other positions we are keen to fill.
While we have been able to carry on with ‘business as usual’ as far as possible during lockdown, thankfully all our offices will reopen from 18 May and the business will once again be fully operational. We are able to do this while taking all possible steps to ensure the health and safety of our staff, which is our priority. We have a fair amount of space so reorganising desks or workstations to comply with social distancing guidelines does not present a problem.
Adapting quickly to the post-lockdown property market is something we are well prepared for. Agents like dealing with us because we make life easier for them and are able to help them out. We make it clear that we won’t undertake viewings unless we can do so unaccompanied; as long as an agent opens the house for us, they can sit in their car while we conduct the viewing on behalf of the client and lock up once we are finished. We wear gloves, a mask, make sure we don’t touch anything, have hand sanitiser and follow a strict list of ‘dos and don’ts’.
Our priority in all this is doing the best job we can for our buyers and tenants, who are highly desirable to vendors, landlords and estate agents for several reasons:
- They don’t need mortgages – they have available funds.
- They don’t need to move jobs, adding a further complication to proceedings.
- They won’t be put on furlough or suffer loss of income even during these uncertain times.
We are open for business and have clients primed ready to move once we find them the right property. Please get in touch if you have a property for sale or to rent which might suit one of our clients. Or if you have a client who has been involved in a litigation-based disability case, please ask us about the service we can offer them.