We have all witnessed another harrowing week of bleak headlines about the impact of Covid-19, and I was especially moved by the distressing news of the loss of life for some frontline NHS staff.
In many ways to write a few lines about the property market right now doesn’t seem that important in the current circumstances, but I know that house sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants are seeking insight, because the prospect of needing to move house is still a journey they will embark on post lockdown.
Market Insight and Working From Home
The transition to home working has been a relatively smooth operation. This was made all the more easy with the use of technology such as Zoom, and the ability of suppliers such as johnjoe.co.uk being able to create video and online brochures for marketing our clients properties.
We are also able to devote time to upgrading the McCarthy Holden web site, with the services of Servon Design who will be designing bespoke new homes pages on our site as well as improving the overall look of how our clients properties are showcased. We hope to have the new homes pages up and running by the end of this month, and be able to show off the amazing range of new homes we have on offer in many locations such as Virginia Water in Surrey through to Upton Grey in Hampshire.
Our negotiation staff are keeping closely in touch with buyers on our books, by phone, email, newsletter and even video presentations. This means that post lockdown we are already creating a list of buyers who want to view specific properties as soon as we are released from lockdown.
Our property management services continues with remote home workers, resulting in landlords being paid promptly as normal. Regular inspections have however been put on hold. As with house sales, the creation of new tenancies is very much on hold due to lockdown.
Are Contracts Exchanging On House Sales?
Many solicitors are now working successfully from home, and the intent appears to be that the parties proceed to exchange and agree a late completion date. Most existing sales are managing along these lines and we are expecting a few more existing sales at the under offer stage to proceed to exchange this week.
Vendor Inspired Video Gains Momentum
As we mentioned last week, the biggest surprise during lockdown was in the form of many clients asking if we could produce video content of their property if they sent us video clips and still photographs.
This is working out very well and below is a selection of the latest collaborative results.
How This Works
Vendors send us the video clips, and then with some editing help from johnjoe.co.uk a promotional video tour is created.
We are now issuing guidelines to our video focused vendors, which includes the specification of 1920 x 1080 size, landscape video preferred and MP4 output.
The ideal duration for a full property video tour online is 4 minutes. This means the file size is suitable for quick streaming online and also, it is at the maximum time a potential buyer is likely to watch a video.
We look forward to many of these collaborative home grown marketing initiatives in the weeks ahead.
The Week Ahead
As we enter a time of reflection in Holy Week, I have no doubt many in the country will stop to think deeper about the NHS workers and other key workers who keep society on track. Some will think and reflect and some will pray about these people and the risks they face each day at these times. There is no doubt they are very much in our minds and hearts as we all face into another week when the Covid-19 pressures are due to escalate.
The week ahead is also a good time to reflect on the work of political leaders such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock. I hope a positive from these events will be to hold such people in respect for the good they do, and that we don’t return to the corrosive politics and media coverage of the recent past.
We will provide another market update in a week or so, and you are of course welcome to subscribe free to our newsletter (just click the link near the bottom of our home page).
John Holden – Chairman and Managing Director