In an exclusive for BriefYourMarket.com, Jayde Pope of Jacobs Steel Estate Agents shared with us the remarkable levels of market interest that they’re currently seeing in the midst of lockdown.
Based on the south coast with six branches covering sales, lettings, new homes and commercial properties, Jacobs Steel are a prime example of how agents are adapting their services to field sales and lettings enquiries, and remotely support their clients during the pandemic.
Having adopted video viewings and virtual valuations early, these increased enquiry levels from Jacobs Steel can certainly be attributed to their quick response to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown.
At this time, we’re working with a number of industry partners and suppliers to help estate agencies prepare for the future. More information on the help available can be found here.
“Naturally, at the beginning of lockdown, estate agents and the general public alike kind of went: ‘oh, that’s it then.’
But that simply wasn’t the case.
Yes, weeks one and two were very difficult; it took time for everybody to adapt, not just estate agents but the public as well. You know, people that still wanted to move home but didn’t know how and didn’t know if they could still see properties, didn’t know if they could go on the market.
Tenants, who had intended to move didn’t know whether they could.
And all of that uncertainty and all of that nervousness definitely had an impact on enquiry levels for estate agents.
Some data – personal to Jacobs Steel that I’ve been looking at over the last few weeks – very much corresponds with data that industry professionals are discussing at the moment and putting out there into the media. And that is that, actually, over the last few weeks what we’ve seen is a gradual increase in enquiry levels.
So, we’ve recently published an article all about the rental market and about how actually it’s bouncing back before lockdown is even over.”
Increase in tenant enquiries since lockdown week one
Increase in valuation enquiries
Increase in buyer enquiries
“Compared with week one, our tenant enquiry levels are up by 366% – which is massive, such a positive step for the rental market.
Whilst being slightly more complex, there are still positive happenings from the sales side of our business.
Buyer enquiries are up on week one by 36%, which is great.
People are still making that decision; that they want to look for homes, that they want to move house.
Valuation enquiries are up by 60% – so that’s even better; for the industry as a whole, for the economy, people still want to sell.”
“So, granted, after this whole situation is over and the lockdown restrictions are lifted, we believe that those who are still able to move will.
Throughout this process and lockdown and the battle against COVID-19, estate agents have had to adapt; and we did.
You know, week one, we launched virtual video viewings and video calls with vendors and buyers – who then show us around the property – and virtual valuations. And little things that our business has had to change in order to adapt to this new way of working.
But what is really interesting is that it’s not just us that have had to adapt, it’s the public as well. And I think that now they’ve adapted and now that they’re used to this virtual way of viewing property, the question in the air is: is this going to be the new norm for estate agents? Is this how it’s going to continue?
Perhaps before someone views a property in-person, will they view it virtually? We don’t know, but it will be interesting to see, for sure.
Obviously, it would be really good to go back to our offices and see our teams again and meet our clients face-to-face, because – at the end of the day – nothing beats face-to-face contact with somebody.
But our main priority is keeping our staff and our clients safe, so until the government advises that it is safe to do so, we will continue working virtually; we’ll still be here for our clients, to provide insight into the property market on the south coast.
For now – from everyone at Jacobs Steel – stay safe, stay well and we’ll see you soon.”
Protection & Planning series for agents
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