On Wednesday the 13th of May 2020, the Government changed the rules and gave estate agents permission to open, however this decision in the marketing world has mixed views on how it’s to go about this. Some estate agencies feel it is too soon to be going back to work, others have followed the new rules. Robert Jenrick (the housing secretary) has said that these changes must follow social distancing and safety guidelines. While business for estate agents has moved to ZOOM video calls, social media and online, the property market has still reacted well to the change. Yet, because they estimated that 450,000 buyers and renters had their plans on hold, it meant that the forecast for the property market was about to start falling, so this change of rules came just in time.
While this can be seen as a good thing, estate agents and clients must remember that it is down to how they can be safe for themselves, their employees and their clientele as they still want to continue making a positive impact on the rate of infection. Some have decided currently to keep offices shut at the moment and carry on working online for the time being. Some agency office spaces are more easily adaptable than others to accommodate these changes with social distancing and feel confident of opening, hence the difference of opinions.
It must be noted that this only applies to England, and not the rest of the United Kingdom. Scotland, Ireland and Wales are still abiding previous rules. Therefore, in those areas home viewings are not allowed and offices are shut.
Lockdown has changed priorities of what buyers want from a home and people’s needs have changed. As they are now more than ever spending a significant amount of time in their home, it has made some question about location, outdoor and indoor space and size of a property. Therefore, this provides significant hope for the property market, whether that be online or in office.