A message from Managing Director of Operations, Aldo Sotgiu

A message from Managing Director of Operations, Aldo Sotgiu

19 May 2020

Firstly, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.

At last, there has been some positive news.

After many weeks of national lockdown, on Wednesday 13th May estate agents were given the go-ahead to open their offices. This was welcome news that reinforced the importance of kick-starting the housing market. We understand we have a duty to work responsibly in these very testing times - the safety of our customers and staff is paramount. We are doing this at a time when the risks are very real, and all of our lives have been affected in some way by COVID-19.

We had to move quickly as we had little notice for re-opening our offices, echoing our entry into lockdown. We took a deep breath and mobilised our resources very quickly. Within 48 hours, we managed to safely open all 104 residential branches along with all other departments to help and support our customers.

Our message leading up to our return to our branches was very much “We are open for business”, and we developed a number of virtual means of doing this while working from home. This included Virtual Valuations which proved to be extremely popular with sellers keen to get the ball rolling. As a result of this, we were able to launch a significant number of properties onto the market despite the lockdown restrictions.  In short, we were able to help many buyers and sellers despite the apparent limitations. We also now have over 50% of our properties available to view remotely; it’s becoming the new norm.

What a relief we are now able to visit sellers in their homes.  We quickly updated our guidelines to do this safely. We were ahead of the curve having made preparations to provide personal protective equipment for staff some weeks ago. Interestingly the Government guidelines suggest personal protective equipment is not needed when visiting customers’ homes as long as social distancing is observed. We wanted to be prepared when the time came and here we are, ready to go.

Ahead of any physical valuations and viewings, customers are notified of the guidelines so everyone can feel confident in the knowledge that we’re not taking any chances. We want to help, and we want you to feel as reassured as possible. You can visit our offices, but we would ask you to be patient, and for your safety, we are restricting the numbers of customers entering our branches. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

Now, more than ever, it is so important to get help and advice from an established estate agent, one whose experience will enable them to deal effectively and efficiently and help you find the best way through this challenging market. The good news is that we have a wealth and depth of experience across the company, which puts us in an excellent position to provide the right guidance and advice. There is no substitute for experience in these testing times.

So, we’re back at work adapting to a new normal. We’ve learned a lot during the lockdown, and many of our customers have been generous enough to let us know what they think on Google and Trustpilot, which we find hugely encouraging.

We will continue to improve our service and be there for you and as things are changing all the time, please take a look at our updated FAQs, or even better give your local office a call.

Either way, we are ready to help.

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