Post-pandemic plan: Agents must be clear communicators to confront virus fears
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.
What can agents do to help allay vendors’ fears about letting people into their homes?
Understand their viewpoint
After two months of lockdown, and with no vaccine yet forthcoming, it’s not unreasonable for a vendor to feel nervous about letting strangers into their home. Agents can play a crucial community role here, in understanding and mitigating worries.
Communicate clearly and proactively
Be proactive and transparent in your communications with clients. Agents returning to work will have adapted their business practices to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission. It may be that fully communicating the steps that your business has taken is enough to allay any fears.
Agents that have followed the ‘Propertymark operating checklist‘ will be able to prove to vendors that they have:
- Put distancing measures into their offices
- Trained their team in how to handle social distancing, new business practices, and new safety measures
- Made sure their staff are safe and well
- Conducted customer due diligence checks in advance
- Used virtual viewings to narrow any in-person viewings to serious buyers only
- Communicated clearly with potential buyers on social distancing during viewings
Where you do ultimately need to tell a potential buyer that a vendor will not accept a viewing at the current time, explain:
‘The vendor has asked that all viewings are held in abeyance until [the relevant date]. We are continuing to update them about your interest and we will ensure that you have access under our new safety procedures at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we have virtual viewing for the inside and the exterior rear of the property. If you have any particular questions or requests for footage please let us know. I look forward to keeping you updated.’
Take any necessary action
Remember, no viewing should take place if an agent, vendor, or potential buyer is isolating or displaying COVID-19 symptoms, however mild and the Government guidance around viewings must be adhered to in all circumstances.
If a vendor has specific concerns that are easily addressed within the scope of your new socially distanced business practices, be sure to do this promptly. Property agents are already experts in taking care of their customers’ needs – handling these concerns is just a further step into the ‘new normal’.
Propertymark created the checklist in line with the Government’s current property industry guidance (as of 13 May) to support agents through the COVID-19 pandemic while adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The checklist is designed to help pose relevant questions and support compliance while observing the requirements necessary to carry out duties.
Kindly shared by NAEA Propertymark