Some weeks ago during the government coronavirus update, Professor Chris Witty announced that we are starting to see the green shoots of recovery and that if we all stick to the plan we will overcome this terrible virus. There is certainly a big pat on the back due for everyone who is staying at home, saving the NHS and saving lives.

One thing all of us at Bridges and Orchard agree with is that time is going extremely quickly, in fact days fly by and then so do weeks and before you know it a month is gone. In April we predicted that we would see some form of activity in the housing market, but in all honesty expected it to be strangely subdued. Well, I can safely tell you now that we were wrong. In April we MOVED 154 people in and out of properties who were allowed under government guidance, including NHS staff and key workers. We agreed deals for another 146 clients to move into their new homes in the coming months and we have held hundreds of virtual meetings to bring property to the market when the lockdown relaxed. All in all we were pleased with our decision to have a good number of our staff working remotely when at one point we felt like the odd ones out when every other agent seemed to be working on just a skeleton staff.

As we move into May, I think the whole country is hoping for some form of relaxation to the lockdown and the word out there is that it will be staggered. If forecasters are right, we could be one of the very first industries to return to our offices and resume some form of normality. Of course, we have had a team busy planning our return to the offices whilst adhering to social distancing and we have also put in place guidance in the company of how we are going to conduct physical valuations and viewing appointments when we return. The expectation is that it will be with gloves, masks, sanitisers and a policy to limit visits by carrying out as much work on one appointment as possible.

Things we have learnt during lockdown and we will be continuing:

  1. You can view a home by video, we have been really pleased with the feedback on our mobile walkthroughs and FaceTime viewings.
  2. We can give market appraisals by video. Lucky for us we have one of the most experienced agents in each of the towns we operate in so we know the road, we know the properties and we know the demand. All we need to do is meet you and your home!
  3. Meetings can be done by video! Who had heard of Zoom before lockdown, not me and now it’s the most used app on my phone!
  4. Communities really do pull together. We have been overwhelmed with how everyone has formed as one big community to battle this war.
  5. To reward our fantastic staff. We have also been believers that those who work for us love what they do, this has been evident in spades during this period and I would like the opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their hard work.