POST-LOCKDOWN PROPERTY INDUSTRY: HOW DO WE UNLOCK THE NEW NORMAL?
With the latest government guidance signalling that the property industry can start transitioning into the next phase of operating during Covid-19, residential property expert Centrick has started to build what the ‘new normal’ looks like. Putting the focus on the safety of its customers and its employees, Centrick is instigating a way of working that it hopes will keep the market moving.
Ensuring that the members of its team that can work remotely remain at home, this latest move will see the likes of site inspection staff and estate agents transition back to work. Phasing this in by allowing by-appointment-only viewings, as far as possible these will be carried out in buildings that are currently unoccupied and have enough space to operate under social distancing rules. Centrick has set very tight guidelines for staff and customers to follow taking in to account all the Government guidelines as well as setting online health and safety disclaimers which must be completed by staff and customers before an appointment can be made.
Having mobilised its team to roll-out a brand-new ‘virtual viewings’ just ahead of the UK heading into lockdown, Centrick was able to cover over 140 properties in its portfolio – including those to rent and to buy. This pivot saw huge success for the team: the video tours hit over 5500 views and secured 66 new lets, 76 tenancy renewals, and 57 move-ins, including those needing to upsize to care for vulnerable family members, through to front-line key workers moving out to protect those at risk in their households.
While Centrick will now be able to deliver physical viewings of its properties once again, in the interest of protecting the safety of its team and its customers, it will continue to favour virtual viewings as the first stage where possible. Priding itself on its technology-driven solutions and innovations, Centrick hopes that it can continue to pioneer virtual viewing capabilities for the sector, and help put in place best practice for others to follow.
Andy Butts, Sales and Lettings Director at Centrick, commented on the latest developments, saying:
“The safety of our staff and clients is paramount and we are ensuring that the phasing in of changes puts an emphasis on this. Here at Centrick, we welcome this new age of working for the property industry, which we hope will help to regain some normality and help get the sector back on track. By taking every precaution, complying with all government regulations, and ensuring our virtual viewing capabilities remain the best in the business, we hope that we can continue to help those who need to move during this time do so safely and securely.”
Having experienced its last major growth during the recession of 2008, Centrick isn’t a company who shies away from challenge. Centrick has been following the government guidelines strictly from the beginning putting its energy in to communication both externally and internally to look after all stakeholders. What’s more, it continued to provide the best customer service it can whilst keeping the wheels of industry turning across the group which includes sales, lettings, property and leasehold management.
This new dawn has also encouraged Centrick to think ahead to what the future of the property landscape looks like. Pre-empting future changes in the way it works, Centrick has begun conversations with local businesses Hollywood Monster and Arte Creative, both long term suppliers and friends of the company, adapting its headquarters to comply with social distancing and heightened health and safety measures. From large format hand sanitising stations and sneeze guards for the reception desks; through to floor signage to assist with social distancing and company-issued face-masks and disposable gloves, the company is keen to stay ahead of the curve.
“We know that our former way of working is not looking likely in the immediate future, so we’re keen to look practically at what we can do to ensure that when the time is right, our employees and customers feel safe and protected. We also wanted to support local businesses like Hollywood Monster, and ensure that in getting Centrick back on track, we were helping other local businesses too.” James Ackrill, Centrick Chair concluded.
For more information about Centrick, visit centrick.co.uk.
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