During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reviewing guidance from the UK Government and devolved administrations to create overlaying best practices and support our members in working safely and developing their own procedures.
This document provided members with a summary of announced government schemes brought in to support businesses during the pandemic. It covers all the schemes from across the UK, who is eligible for them and how to apply.
Searching for property during coronavirus
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The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 24 March 2022 and means a legally binding arbitration process will be available in England and Wales for eligible commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement to resolve outstanding commercial rent debts related to the pandemic.
The Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill 2022 is currently making its way through Holyrood, which is one of the promised changes by the Scottish Government to the private rented sector (PRS).
Since the coronavirus pandemic erupted, we have been working with government departments and politicians to ensure that our members get the support they need, and the property sector can operate safely.
Post Pandemic Plan
With businesses in England looking to reopen, and those in other parts of the UK still under lockdown, agency managers may struggle to balance the annual leave needs of staff with keeping the business running both now and when offices are reopened.
Given the uncertain times ahead, agents should consider revitalising their agency and continue adapting to reap the benefits if a second stay at home measure may be on the cards.
As the Secretary of State announced the lifting of restrictions on the property industry last week, agencies have been considering options around returning their staff.
With the property market now open for business in England, agents may find themselves dealing with not only buyers eager to get out there and find a property but vendors who are wary of inviting people into their home.
Social media has always been a vital component for an agency, but given the current times we are faced with, agents should be using these tools to their advantage and looking at their channels as an opportunity to online network.
The timescales are uncertain but, at some point soon, offices and businesses will be allowed to reopen, and people will go back to work. Getting your office prepared is something you can work towards now, whilst still in lockdown.
During the pandemic, agency’s brands should continue to advertise, but the way in which they communicate must be addressed given the significant change in life as we know it. Use this time to analyse your agency and potential customers by utilising data that is already at your fingertips.
During the lockdown period, many agents with furloughed staff have experienced the roles and responsibilities carried out by staff right across the company. This has provided an opportunity to reassess the business and appraise a wide number of processes.
In light of the pandemic, speaking with your clients, marketing your business in the correct light and having the right approach when having conversations has never been so important. Keep your business at the forefront of the ongoing change with some expert advice.
Even when the lockdown is lifted, it is unlikely that life will immediately return to the way it was previously. Agents will be wondering what they can do to provide viewings to service vendors and kick start their business.