I really wanted to wait a little while before commenting on the state of the housing market. The health of our families, staff and customers is the top priority and the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) World Pandemic has consumed our everyday lives, which has put a halt on almost everything we take for granted. However, it doesn’t mean to say that we at RPS have dropped the gauntlet. We’re very much still working through this and the team have been fully set up from home with their laptops and telephones as soon as the shutdown was announced. If I’m honest, it’s not been easy – adjusting to working from home and coordinating the everyday tasks wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, was it!?
Every day, enquiries on our fully managed portfolio of lettings properties and the current properties we have for sale are still being serviced; maintenance issues are still being completed (with our experienced and careful maintenance team of contractors) and enquiries are still being taken and held from potential buyers and tenants until the lockdown is lifted.
Well, not much! I know that sounds like I don’t know what I’m talking about, but we are in the middle of a pandemic and this isn’t a simple house price crash or a ‘blip’ in the market, does anyone know what they are doing, for certain… really?
The economy has slowed dramatically and the majority of people across the World are concentrating on a few things; health, family, friends and then eventually getting back to normal. House prices haven’t moved at all because there are still people enquiring about homes that are on the market. House prices haven’t fallen because it’s not a fully functional marketplace, so the data can’t give accurate price increases or decreases, this is not ‘the norm’.
There are a very small amount of solicitors who are working from home, but remember a large majority have been furloughed. Agreed sales with chains of properties are still in tact at the moment as there’s still the need and want to move, but the process to enable that just isn’t there or has been slowed drastically. Add in to the mix that under the government guidance only essential moves are now allowed, this is for sales and lettings.
The government issued guidance that clearly states NO VIEWINGS are to take place either by the agent or privately in your home and only essential and key worker moves are allowed, this makes perfect sense. We are all well aware by now that the virus can take a few different forms and can be underlying without any symptoms, imagine passing it on to someone just for the sake of accepting a viewing, it’s not right is it? As you can imagine, we are still receiving calls from people who seem to think that it’s perfectly normal to wonder into someone else’s house at the moment and take a good look around. Trust me, this is something I feel very passionate about – of course, we want to sell and let properties, of course we would LOVE to show you the house! However, I’m not endangering our clients and staff health for the sake of money… although we’re hearing of a few agents who think otherwise… sad times!
The positive side is that we are still able to speak and and collect enquires from buyers, tenants, landlords and sellers. We can still give the very best, professional advice regarding your home, we are storing details until the lockdown is lifted or we are instructed that it is okay to conduct viewings again. So, you’re either reading this article because you’ve seen the social media posts with the video of our good friend and Ricky Gervais (David Brent) impersonator bellow, or you’ve come across it through Google. Either way, it’s worth a watch and hopefully it’ll put a smile on your face during these challenging times!
From myself (Mark Rowe) and all of the team here at RPS, we wish you good health! Please continue to help and support our NHS by staying safe and keeping to the guidelines.. or we might have to get David Brent to record another video! 😉