What has COVID-19 ever done for us?
It arrived from left field and has had a devastating effect on many aspects of our lives. But let’s face it; the impact of virus hasn’t been universally negative.
The human race has thrived and survived by being adaptable over the couple of millennia we’ve been around – at least in a civilised form. The response to the coronavirus has been no exception.
Of course, uncomfortable change and significant incovenience have been part of life for over a year now. However, not all of it has been to the detriment of our society or the planet we live on.
For a start, there’s anecdotal evidence of Mother Nature using the hiatus in human activity to repair some of the damage we’ve done. Meanwhile, we’ve had to adapt to doing things differently ourselves. That may have included educating our children, going to work or just keeping in touch with friends and family.
Our isolation is unlikely to be something universally adopted as part of the “new normal”. But the spurt in both the development and reliance on communications technology is likely to have a profound effect on how we all behave in future.
For example, more and more businesses are accepting it’s not actually vital all their staff are in the office every day. More of us are likely to be able to work from home more often. This, in turn, may lessen the strain on our roads and public transport networks and perhaps reduce our carbon footprint as a result.
The agents’ perspective
But what’s all this got to do with estate agency?
Well, we’re no different. COVID-19 has accelerated a process which had already begun – although, to be fair, not all were comfortable with it.
Traditional high street agents in particular resented both the power of the portals like Rightmove and Zoopla and the new kids on the block doing everything online. It’s a stereotype admittedly but, not long ago, you would have found plenty of Ruperts and Tarquins in their Mini Coopers lamenting the rise of PurpleBricks and Emoov over their hands-free mobile phones.
However, now, they’re equally likely to be rapidly adapting to the online business model themselves. Indeed, they may even be having to run just to keep up with their erstwhile rivals.
Will change be permanent?
Buying or selling a property is still likely to be the biggest financial transaction of anyone’s life. Many will therefore still feel the need for real human interaction as a security blanket.
However, the coronavirus has taught us deals really can be completed from a distance – sometimes even without a first-hand viewing. And that is significant change.
But some things remain as important today as they ever were. A good knowledge of the market, clear, host advice and a network of associates standing by to provide supplementary services will still stand any estate agent in good stead. However, we’re pretty confident that much of the change we’ve witnessed – albeit rapid – is likely to prove permanent.
Of course, if you want us to be there at a viewing, we’ll attend. If you’re not comfortable haggling over the asking price in person, we’ll act on your behalf.
On the other hand, if you want to guide your own virtual 360-degree or video walk-through and do your own negotiation via Zoom, that’s fine too.
Like so many other things these days, when it comes to buying or selling property, the customer can take much more control. And the rapid rise in a client-centred service is largely a result of COVID-19.
How can we help?
Nevertheless, if you’d still like a little help to get you started, a heads-up on how to plan or even just a no-obligation chat about the pros and cons of investing in property or moving to Portugal or Turkey, why not give as a call or drop us a line?
We’re not just about the buying and selling of homes; we’re happy to help with the logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help if we can.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful or, if you’d like to check out our portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.