This week we have another important update from our Managing Director, John Cunningham. John discusses the way we have adapted during this extended lockdown, and how we can do ‘virtually anything’ using our range of digital platforms and business processes.
Click on the image below to view the update.
Hi everyone, John Cunningham here with this week’s update on what’s really going on in this COVID related marketplace. A lot of the questions we’re getting asked right now is how are we actually doing business in this new world? What’s the way that we’re actually able to transact business? But also to actually end up having record months like we had in July. I thought I’d just share with you a few insights into how that’s actually taking place.
We see it as virtually being able to do everything, and I use that word obviously in the sense that we added a lot of things virtually. We’re doing virtual appraisals. At the same time, we’re doing real appraisals, physical appraisals. I’ll explain that a bit more. We’re doing virtual inspections of property with buyers and tenants to make sure that we get the right people in the properties at the right time. We’re looking at virtual negotiations, all those things are happening online. There’s virtual auctions happening to great success, and that leads to us being able to do virtually anything.
In other words, business hasn’t changed dramatically for us in terms of what we’re doing to executing that. It might’ve changed quite a bit in how we’re going about it. I thought I’d just share that with you right now. As far as buyers are concerned, in the marketplace we can show buyers on a one-to-one basis on property. So that means if you’re a husband and wife, for example, or a partner, you can only go through one at a time. The other person has to wait their turn. We’re making these appointments, these inspections by appointment, with time gaps to enable us to make sure that we can maximize the opportunity for people to see the property.
Now we have had, in some instances over weekends four, six to six hours of viewings of properties. That’s the level of interest that there is in the market right now. We’re facilitating that, but we’re also trying to get everyone to see the videos, do a virtual inspection before they come through the property to make sure we’re qualifying those buyers to come through.
For sellers, the reality is we can still do appraisals as long as you go out while we’re in your home. That’s the contactless environment that we’re working in right now. We can then do a zoom to chat and talk about all the strategies that we’re going to put into place, but we can physically do those inspections now. The same goes for preparing a property for sale. All the things that you would normally do in terms of renovations, maintenance, improvements, styling, photography, all of those things can take place as long as you’re not in the home during the time that those things are taking place. You go out to the shops or you go for a walk, do something that enables us to facilitate that in a non-contact environment. Again, these things can happen.
For tenants. We are still leasing properties. As long as we get permission from the tenants to show those properties if they’re still existing in those properties. Mostly we’re showing vacant properties. It just means that we don’t have any of that drama associated with having the rights to or not to actually view that property, but these things are being facilitated in a COVID safe manner, where we’ve got a COVID safety plan that really makes sure that no one has been put at risk. For our landlords, everything we’re doing right now is to make sure that we can minimize your risk in the marketplace and maximize your return, or whether to have a minimal vacancy rate period during that time.
All these things are happening. They have been just in a different way, but they’re been very effectively for us, 49 sales in July. I think we’re already up to something like 12 or 13 sales for the month of August already. People are active in the marketplace. They’re wanting to buy, they’re wanting to secure that slice of the Northern beaches, and that’s the reality of what’s happening right now.
But if you’ve got any concerns about that, please reach out to us and to understand it better. Our policy is on the website, but at the same time, make sure that you’re completely happy with everything we’re doing. The number of virtual appraisals that we’ve done in the last couple of weeks has been phenomenal. In fact, last week, it was the highest number of appraisals we’ve ever done. A lot of those were done virtually. So please reach out if we can help you, and we look forward to keeping you up to date as we move through this lockdown to see where we end up in the next couple of weeks.
Take care and all the best.