ONE town centre sales and lettings agent enjoyed “virtual” success during the COVID-19 lockdown and has now-re-opened for business with staff and customer safety at the forefront of a new business model.
When lockdown happened, Gary Pemberton who owns Belvoir Sales & Lettings on Sankey Street, split his team into two, one part on Furlough and the other working primarily from home. Each team member recognised that they were playing a vital role in the future of the business irrespective of being on Furlough or not.
Gary explained: “During the initial part of lockdown we adapted very quickly. As we had properties empty and available that would be ideal for housing NHS/Key workers & essential moves – we had our Premium Marketing Package put in place for these empty properties with the support of our landlords. With this package, our perspective tenants could see the 360 Virtual Tour, Professional Photos and a RICS Floor plan. This meant tenants could view the properties remotely and decide if they wanted to take them. Our process’s become entirely contactless with the aid of Digital templates and signatures.
“Through the whole of the lockdown period, we actively demonstrated through our social media channels that we were physically closed, but virtually open. This in turn has meant that as a team we have been able to communicate with all of our current and future customers in a timely manner and to continue to gives excellent service.
Gary added: “Each team member has very specific job functions. We have worked hard to support our tenants and landlords that have fallen on hard times during this pandemic. Because we are in a Peoples business with bricks and mortar in the middle, it has felt like we have seen the Pandemic through hundreds of people’s eyes with their stories when we have been talking to them.
“As and when properties become available, we would safely checkout tenants in a remote sense and put in place our marketing package. This has been so successful that we have nearly run out of rental properties available.
“Whereas a number of Letting/Estate Agents around the country literally closed their doors entirely with little or no contact with their customers – we stayed open in a “Virtual Sense” which has meant we have picked up a lot of new Landlords and Vendors. We wanted to create a sense of “We are open for business” to our customers. During the April/May period we even sold some empty properties using our Premium Marketing package.
Part of the team went back to the office in the physical sense from Tuesday 19th May.
“We took our time after the government announced the Property market was open again, as we wanted to make sure our office was safe and complaint for our team and customers. We operate an Appointments only policy on the door and have moved to new temporary opening hours of 9am to 5pm – Monday to Friday. We have commenced Sales viewings again in a very careful manner using PPE and conducting risk assessments. We are also busy meeting new landlords and vendors in a safe manner.
Gary added: “Our Social Media presence has increased dramatically through this Lockdown period with our innovative and interesting content. Out Media partner “Warrington Worldwide” have been amazing at sharing our posts, which has given us huge coverage and a USP in the town.
“None of the above could have happened without the support of my amazing team, so I want to say a HUGE thank you for your support through this challenging period.
The team at Belvoir Warrington are here to help Vendors, Buyers, Landlords & Tenants with their needs – so please contact them…