The pandemic has inevitably prompted sweeping changes in the way we all live and work, with very few of us remaining unaffected. As a busy estate agency, we decided to consider how our service might need to change so that we could more effectively respond to our customers’ new lifestyles.
The overwhelming observation was that as the line between people’s home and work have substantially blurred, so our business should respond accordingly. For example, whereas homebuyers might have previously viewed or searched online for property from their workplace during a lunch hour (or may we even suggest sneakily during other times as well), many working from home will now have to spend that time perhaps attending to children or dog-walking instead.
Also, in the past, buyers would have been out and about looking for properties in the evening and at weekends. But “working from home” requires such flexibility that some people find themselves no longer leaving the office at 5:30pm but working later into the evening, especially if they start work mid-morning due to childcare commitments.
We also found that many people, unwilling to venture out physically, are becoming frustrated with businesses whose own reduced staffing levels have left their call-handling service well below par.
In response to these findings, the solution was clear: we had to substantially extend our opening hours and call-handling capabilities! The timing was perfect, as it coincided with a massive upturn in activity, prompted by the easing of lockdown and, especially, the SDLT holiday until March 2021.
So we decided to take people off furlough and staff up, in order to offer our services until 10:00pm every weekday and all day Saturday and Sunday – and we have not looked back! It’s amazing that all estate agents don’t do this and it has turned out to be our (not so) secret weapon. Longer opening times not only provide more flexibility and convenience for our seller clients, but actually enable more buyers to consider more properties, meaning we can help more people move – faster!
If you’d like to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this market please feel free to call us up to 10:00pm weekdays and 6:00pm at weekends. While our competitors are resting – we’ll be right here for you!