Covid 19 and how our lives have changed

PUBLISHED: 31st Mar 2020

On a normal day I would take an hour to get ready for work and then drive from Beckwithshaw to Bramhope, usually feeling wound up as I got to the office because of traffic queues on the way or a ‘particular’ tractor that if you were behind would be for most of the journey.

I still get up at the same time, but in that first 90 mins (time saved having to get ‘full face and hair ready’), David and I now go for a walk along the drive of Moor Park, the daffodils look lovely and the birds are singing – this is nearly 5,000 steps – I often take pics to post on my social media – I think it is nice to see pics of nature and flowers.

We return home and I ring my Mum, Friends and Trudy our Associate Director who is currently not in work, but is using the time to study for her exams – it’s important to talk to people throughout the day, so I have a few calls planned with suppliers or potential new people we can outsource things to or improve our technology.

When we set up David Phillip Estate Agents, everything was set up to be ‘cloud based’, so simply moving the office from Bramhope to home was really easy – the Customer Experience is exactly the same, although at the moment there are not as many valuations coming through or phone calls – we are adapting to this though and this week we will launch ‘virtual valuations’ – the technology is almost ready to go and because we are affiliated with lots of property pricing databases this is something that is easy for us to do – David has also been selling houses in North and West Yorkshire for over 30 years, so he is probably one of the best in the business at providing accurate valuations.

This morning I have had a long chat with our account Manager from Zoopla, it is really good to know that they are receptive to the current situation, and even though we are going to complete on fewer properties this month, our costs are reduced.

I’ve received an e-mail from someone interested in a property we are marketing in Otley, she lives in Doncaster but has already viewed the property via our 3D virtual tour, and likes it enough to want to view it when the restrictions are lifted – anything virtual really works for us at the moment, and our clients are really impressed. This property in Otley has already been viewed nearly 1,600 times on Rightmove – we know this because we are really keen on checking our data – last month we were the agent in the Number 1 position  for the most average views per property per day on Rightmove in our area, which is fantastic as we have only been in business for just over a year.

The time away from the office has given me the opportunity to be creative and innovative and provided me with time to be strategic. I have a call arranged soon with our Virtual tour provider – in an e-mail he has told me “this solution doesn’t exist anywhere globally – so this would be a world first” - this I am interested in! – At David Phillip Estate Agents we like to be ahead of the game.

Now that I have finished my blog, I will do some more posts on Social media, it’s great that our audience is growing – and then start work on my VAT return!.

So one week into lockdown, what have I learnt – after the initial panic of the market pause (so annoying as we had taken instruction for 5 properties only the week before), I am finding that I have structure in my day which is key, I am able to spend more time talking to family and friends and enjoying being outside in the fresh air. This ’pause’ also gives me time to be creative, innovative and to make plans for the future. Horizon scanning is key to me to ensure we are ahead with technology and the direction of the business, so this has given me time to do research. Trudy is studying for her exams which is great for our business, and everything seems a little calmer.

I try not to watch the news so much, but every time I do, I feel thankful for the NHS and although we are on ’pause’, it is nothing like what our nurses, doctors and other key workers (including my niece) are doing.

This time of lockdown has given people more time at home, spending time with their families and assessing what is really important - I do know that during this time, people may be thinking of looking for a new home, so once the restrictions are listed David Phillip Estate Agents will be in an even stronger place, and if anyone wants a chat about property or houses in general, please just call on 01132 676 400 – hopefully we will be back in our office in Bramhope son too.   


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