BUSINESS AS USUAL?
31 March 2020
The world seems to have become a very different place in the last three weeks and I cannot think of any aspect of our lives that is carrying on its ‘business as usual’!
Last week we closed our offices, in line with the government’s
advice. As I locked the door in Burnham Market for the last time till
we-know-not-when, my heart was heavy; I have been unlocking that particular
office door for the best part of twenty years, albeit I can absolutely see the
need to protect both the wider community, which has a higher than average
elderly demographic, as well as our staff, of course. I am sure each of
my fellow partners felt the same combination of regret and civic responsibility
as they too locked their offices.
However, we are all set up to work from home. Technology
is a great help to this end; all of our infrastructure is in the cloud, we have
laptops accessing our software and the landlines divert to mobiles; unless you
were to look through the office windows, you would never know it was not
‘business as usual’. The only thing missing is the camaraderie we share
in the office!
Needless to say though, the day-to-day mechanics of our business
have been badly disrupted; understandably in these dark times, thoughts of
buying or selling have been put on hold. In any case, estate agency has
been termed a non-essential business, meaning sales should not exchange and
complete unless the property is unoccupied and unfurnished and moreover
in-person viewings of houses must not take place. Perhaps once the
situation eases, technological solutions such as virtual walk-through tours
might become more common? We will be ready.
For now, the property market is on hold. However, anyone
who wishes to make plans for life-after-lockdown or who wants to discuss the
market is more than welcome to call us; ring our offices and thanks to
technological wizardry your call will be answered by one of the partners
working from home.
In these difficult times, our primary concern is the health and well-being of our clients, our staff and our communities and may I take this opportunity to wish you all well until such time as we are allowed to unlock the doors of our offices once again.
BEN MARCHBANK | Partner