Local lockdowns: what can we learn from Leicester?

Posted on 21 Jul, 2020

In a case of ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’, agents need to be on guard for their own local lockdowns.

4th July 2020 was going to be England’s Independence Day, with the most dramatic loosening of Covid-19 restrictions yet. Leicester, however, has applied the brakes as it slips into the country’s first local lockdown.

Speaking to Property Industry Eye, the owner of Oliver Rayns estate agents in LE2 said:

“We re-opened this morning, but are looking to place a pause on all property viewings within the affected area, relying instead on our 360 degree virtual property tours to hope to entice prospective purchasers to view when the latest restrictions are lifted.”

No doubt agents everywhere will be watching and waiting to see what happens in this East Midlands city. The response to localized rises in Covid-19 cases highlights how agents need to have an emergency contingency plan in place, as well as adopt a new ‘everyday’ approach to business.

Agents in local lockdown will have to factor in a return to travel restrictions, increased social distancing and a ban on all but ‘essential’ moves – just as people were getting comfortable with conducting in-person property viewings again.

“Published figures do indicate that local lockdowns are possible,” comments Viewber’s co-founder, Ed Mead. “We know it is the speed at which these can be enforced that is detrimental to the property market as is the uncertainty in Gov’t messaging.”

Ed highlights that being prepared to change marketing methods at a moment’s notice is key for agents who want to be agile and flexible:

“Creating as many digital marketing assets during one property visit has to be the way forward, as agents will need everything at their disposal from day one. There is no time for ‘I can nip back and take that virtual tour another day’ – as that day may be 2 or 3 weeks in the future.”

"A Viewber can provide an agent with static photographs, a floorplan, a video walkthrough and a virtual tour all from one property visit. Agents can book a Viewber appointment with as little as 24-hour’s notice and there is a speedy turnaround time when it comes to delivering the elements back to branch. It’s a great service for every property on an everyday basis but absolutely critical for agents who get an inkling that a local lockdown is looming,” concludes Ed.


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