LESSONS FROM LOCKDOWN
If lockdown has taught us anything, it is that we are capable of great change. March the 23rd changed things in the UK, possibly forever. Countries began going into lockdown, the objective being to protect their respective populations from Covid-19. This, in turn, leads to a systematic shutdown of our economy, our staff going onto furlough and having to take stock of where we were at as a business.
The surge of buyers in January and February ready to buy new homes were suddenly stuck at home, with time to take stock of their lives. Businesses had to quickly adapt, including our agency. We went from accompanying buyers and applicants to visit properties to buy or rent, to a situation where everyone had to stay at home. This meant buyers stayed where they were, mortgage applications expired, and the property market slowed right down. Whilst renters stayed where they were, buyers were still expressing interest in properties. Expecting the worst, we moved very quickly just before lockdown to create our virtual viewings portfolio. Video walkthroughs of all our properties on the market. This proved to be a decision that supported us through lockdown and gave us the ability to keep things moving.
As businesses adapted to remote working, so did employees. Things are far from returning to normal and the economy has adapted to doing things virtually. The technology was always there, but businesses have realised they can leverage the tools out there to streamline, downsize their offices and run a leaner business. Zoom, Facetime and WhatsApp meetings suddenly became the new normal.
With most of our team on furlough, we decided to make some radical changes to the business, from both a marketing and technology perspective. without the coming and going and usual day to day running of an estate agency office, it gave us the opportunity to make some radical changes.
John Bray was established in 1872 and is the oldest estate agency in Hastings. Whilst we have a great service team, processes, and procedures, we wanted to rebrand, as well as to bring in the latest technology. We have always strived to be distinctive, professional, and dedicated to our customers. To that end, we wanted to freshen up our well known and established brand, whilst rolling out some new technology to enable us to enhance our customer service.
One important part of this project was to take our new brand, which runs across our business and develop a new website. The new website which you see today, not only reflects our new brand but is packed full of helpful articles, safety guidelines, all of our social media channels and our blog you are reading now, which we aim to bring to you every month.
One feature which we are particularly pleased with is our virtual valuation tool. This now provides our customers with the ability to send us information and photos of their property online so we can complete a remote or virtual valuation.
We have a great deal more to share with you that we continue to work on in the background that we will share with you in due course. There are always positives that can be taken from any situation, which we have taken from 2020, to provide you, our customers, with the service you have come to expect from John Bray. Distinctive, Professional and Dedicated.
Since the lockdown was relaxed, the pent-up demand for properties, the recent stamp duty relief, and a desire to move further out of cities have increased the demand for homes in the countryside or seaside.
We have more exciting developments we are working on, so keep tuned to our Facebook page for updates, watch our new #JohnBrayToday industry updates or read a copy of our new quarterly Life Magazine!
Thank you for your continued support.
John Bray Estate Agents