The COVID-19 pandemic forced estate agents to close their doors for months on end and adapt to new ways of working. Remote working is largely enabled by technology. Leveraging the power of Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, video tours and specialised mobile apps such as Veco™ Connect allows agents to work effectively and efficiently minimising the need of being in the office.
Even with lockdown slowly being lifted one thing seems certain, the ‘new normal’ is here to stay. It is extremely unlikely things will just return back to how they were, at least not anytime soon.
Lockdown has changed employees’ attitudes to working from ‘the office’ as many have warmed to virtual meetings and home-working. A recent survey found that 35% of people would like to keep working from home two to three days a week because they are less stressed and more productive. Almost half of the respondents also believe that their homes are a more relaxing work environment.
Businesses are embracing remote-working as well not only because of the benefits for employee wellbeing, but also because it allows them to reduce costs incurred by rent and other overheads.
Furthermore, many agencies’ branches aren’t big enough to accommodate all staff working from the office full-time while adhering to the strict government guidance on making a workplace COVID-19 secure for both clients and employees.
Even with lockdown cautiously being lifted and physical viewings now allowed, they won’t be the same for a long time due to the safety measures agents are advised to take. They include but aren’t limited to:
- Encouraging clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only visiting the ones they have a strong interest in.
- Maintaining a minimum of 2 metres distance from others wherever possible and wearing a face-covering in more enclosed spaces in line with government guidance.
- Not sharing a car with clients.
- All parties viewing a property washing or sanitising their hands immediately after entering properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter.
- Agents ensuring that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.
To read the full guidance click HERE.
All of these changes to our everyday lives and the ways businesses operate make mobile working more important than ever. Having the right property management software and an integrated mobile solution is paramount for agents to work efficiently when they are out of the office, which, in this ‘new normal’ we are all adapting to is more often than not.
A mobile app like Veco™ Connect allows agents to deliver outstanding service and communicate with colleagues and clients instantly ensuring all appointments and viewings go smoothly and safely following the government guidance.
Another important feature that agencies should be looking for when choosing a mobile working solution is the ability to register and manage offers remotely. This minimises the need of visiting an office and with it, the risk of transmission as well.
Last but not least, an important consideration for estate agent apps is a built-in security feature that would allow them to alert colleagues if they ever feel unsafe in a situation.