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1. People

Since the beginning of lockdown, John Bray have been putting people first. This means staff, vendors, landlords, tenants and contractors. We implemented government guidelines very early on, providing virtual services right from day one in order to #KeepEveryoneSafe.

2. Guild Member Offices

As a Guild Member, we accommodate the two-metre social distancing rule; meaning fewer ‘desks’ or work stations to allow this to happen. Our floor is marked out to allow any customers or visitors to keep to the two-metre rule and limit the number of visitors to one party of two people at any one time. We keep face-to-face contact to a minimum where possible, and we have recommended their staff work side-by-side with a minimum two-metre distance between them, rather than facing each other. We also implemented screens in both our sales and lettings offices. We also installed screens, to allow for customer interaction, while maintaining protection for all parties. These are cleaned after each visit.

We have ample supply of hand-gel, anti-bacterial wipes and sprays, soap and tissues and make sure these are readily available for staff, visitors and customers to use. Staff wash their hands with hot water and soap frequently.

Although we are open for business, we keep the front door locked to control the number of visitors within the office, providing extra assurance to both our team and anyone visiting. In most cases, we advise booking an appointment for visits to the office, so we recommend calling us before popping in.

Right from the start we have led by example to keep social distancing measures in place all the time. This includes when conducting morning meetings, when preparing refreshments, visits to the lavatories and allocating lunch breaks.

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3. Valuations

John Bray is a people business and requires interaction with sellers, buyers, applicants, landlords, tenants, and contractors, to name but a few. Here is how we are providing a safe environment for everyone concerned

Virtual options

The updated Government guidance stresses the continued need for digital valuation and viewing options – which Guild Members offer. Technology is allowing us to complete valuations, viewings and inspections in accordance with the seller’s instructions, virtually where possible. We have access to detailed property and market data, as well as software to help you submit details about your property along with photos and videos. Find out more about starting a virtual valuation today.

Physical visits

Where a face-to-face meeting is required, we use a health assessment form to assess any risk associated with each individual visit; which allows us to do this simply and effectively. We carry out an assessment of the team member visiting you. Remember, this is a two-way process so be honest with your agent and disclose any symptoms when you're asked, in the same way your agent would ensure anyone they send to your property is free from such symptoms. This is designed to reassure and safeguard everyone involved. All agents have been advised never to attend a physical valuation appointment if they are feeling unwell.

Where we do conduct a valuation, please don't be offended if our agents respectfully avoid any handshaking or physical contact and decline any coffees/refreshments you may be kind enough to offer. They should also keep a two-metre distance from you. They will also use face masks.

When it comes to valuing your property, we will want to present how they intend to market your property to buyers. We recommend showing you any marketing via digital resources, avoiding leaving any paper documents at your property. We will follow up with an email but ask if you are unsure of the next steps.

We offer a people-focused service, but keeping any face-to-face contact to a minimum, keeping this time as limited as possible.

Reassuring you is paramount, so you can expect us to explain our actions to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus. If you are unsure or would like to know more, ask!

After the meeting

Upon leaving your property, we use hand gel to sanitise their hands and wipe any equipment used during the visit with a disinfectant. Back at the office, we wash hands with soap and hot water before doing anything else. At the end of each day and after their final appointment, they also give their steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake, and all controls a wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes.

4. Viewings

Virtual tools

We encourage buyers and applicants to continue making the most of the technology available by offering virtual viewings. We have access to technology which allows us to provide you with virtual viewings (videos) of all of our properties. If you wish to do this yourself, please let us know.

By using virtual viewings as a first step, we can ensure physical viewings are with buyers who are genuinely keen on your property. In recent research commissioned by The Guild, homemovers pointed out that with virtual viewings, they can see more properties and widen their search area – so a remote viewing is a great way to gain initial interest which we consider a viewing of your property.

Physical viewings

Our team have been provided with a health check to carry out on all viewers intending to visit the property, asking everyone to declare any symptoms.

You can expect the number of people viewing a property to be limited to no more than two at any one time and, where possible, our team are likely to ask owners and their families to vacate the property for the duration of the appointment to respect social distancing.

If the property is occupied, our team can also use our checklist to check on the health of the seller and all those in residence before arranging the appointment.

We do not to travel with prospective buyers and everyone should meet at the property, should a physical viewing need to take place.

Our team respectfully avoid any handshaking or physical contact, while keeping a two-metre distance. They will be wearing protective gloves and actively avoid any paper documents.

They will use use face masks. The agent should be the only person permitted to open doors to show potential buyers and tenants the rooms and storage etc.

After the viewing

When your agent returns to their vehicle, they will use hand gel to sanitise. They will also wipe any equipment used during the visit.

If the property is vacant and we are using a key to gain access, we will wipe the key when it is taken from the key cabinet, wipe it after the viewing and again before it is placed back in the key cabinet.

5. AML AND RIGHT TO RENT

We are required to complete legal requirements to confirm the identity of sellers and buyers, and landlords and tenants in some cases. This is completed before a business relationship commences.

6. Property Management

Interim inspections

Our property manager uses technology such as FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp or similar to achieve these. We make clear notes of what we have seen, just as we would with a manual recording of an inspection.

It is important to ensure the health and safety of tenants. Annual gas safety checks continue; which can be arranged at any time from month 10 of the existing certificate, without impacting the expiry date. Gas Safe engineers are permitted to visit in accordance with Public Health England guidance.

Contractors may continue to visit properties to undertake maintenance and repair, but first complete a health assessment. The contractor will visit in accordance with Public Health England guidance.

End of tenancy check out

Where any face-to-face visit must take place in the property, we ensure a health assessment is completed prior to the visit taking place. Our representatives are likely to be wearing protective gloves and avoid any physical contact. On returning to their cars, we recommend they safely dispose of their gloves and use hand-gel to sanitise. They should also wipe any equipment used during the visit.

Where a tenant is required to visit the office, two-metre social distancing is observed and if possible, behind a protective screen.

Where any keys are issued, our team wash their hands once this has happened and where keys are received back, wipe the keys and wash their hands.

We do not take any cash or cheque payments from tenants where possible. Speak to us about payment methods.

For new tenancies, as a precaution and in some cases we may need to operate a ‘three-day void period’ between previous tenants vacating and new tenants taking up residence. This is based on results from research that has found the Coronavirus can still be detectable on surfaces for up to 72 hours.

In Summary

It is our sole intention to work safely, serving our clients with health and safety as a primary concern. We will continue reviewing this policy to ensure it remains relevant and appreciate you working with us in these new ways during this unusual period.

Links for further information:

        

Contact Us

John Bray

72 High Street
Hastings
TN34 3EL
United Kingdom

01424 421 544

enquiries@johnbray.uk

About Us

John Bray is the oldest estate agent in Hastings, established in 1872. Since then we have seen many changes, but we are still locally owned, family run and independent. This gives us the opportunity to offer a bespoke service, tailored to our customers' needs. We specialise in sales and letting of unusual and distinctive properties. We are extremely proud of our tradition and unrivalled friendly service from our knowledgeable team. That is why our customers come back to us time and time again!