As restrictions start to ease across areas of the UK, just 1 in every 7 businesses proposes using increased home working as a permanent business model, and a further 19% of businesses 'unsure'.*
Whilst Redbrick Properties is slowly returning to a fully open office, there is so much we have taken away from this incredibly challenging period.
This time last year, we were only just starting to realise the magnitude of the changes we would have to invest in, allowing Redbrick Properties to continue to provide a 5* service to our landlords and tenants, in a safe environment, whilst our office was closed and all of the team were having to work from home:
- We had already invested in Matterport 360° Virtual Video equipment so prospective tenants could still view our properties safely from home, in the very best light they could possibly be seen in, by using Zoom assisted virtual viewings rather than face to face physical viewings.
- Luckily, as our CRM system is bespoke, we were able to move the administering of new tenancies over to a fully remote system, integrating it with software such as DocuSign, and away from the usual paper-based system that many letting agencies continue to use today.
- Next was our Vonage phone system which allowed the team to connect at anytime, from anywhere, on any device, ensuring we would never miss a call from a tenant or landlord, even though none of us were in the office.
- And then there is Inventory Hive, so we could create, manage and store property inventories and right to rent reports without putting our tenants and landlords in any danger.
Investing in these new systems has not only allowed Redbrick Properties to ensure all our clients were kept safe and out of harm's way, but they have also ensured we had the best letting season we have ever had, under incredibly challenging circumstances, by continuing to provide an enviable service.
Here at Redbrick Properties we are also advising our landlords on ways they can keep ahead of the game, by making their properties as attractive as possible to those tenants that still have to and will continue to work from home:
- By marketing that small 'spare-bedroom' as a 'home office', with large desk and chair, phone sockets, and good shelving and storage, you are covering a new base that has never been so much in demand.
- Offering a top speed 'Office' broadband package, allows a prospective tenant peace of mind that they can conduct work meetings from home without the fear of interruption or low quality.
- As 'Garden' was the most popular search term in 2020 it has never been more important to change that dirty, concreted front yard into a desirable green space that your next tenants can escape to. In fact, private outdoor space was the strongest design-based predictor of comfort during lockdown and the most valued quality of a home during the pandemic.
The housing market is open, and we are slowly beginning to return to the office, but we will continue to embrace and drive change in this manner to ensure we keep ahead of our competition, and our landlords can stay ahead of the game. After all, there is no telling what is around the corner.
If you are thinking of renting out a property, or would just like to chat about how you can stay ahead of the game, why not contact our team on 0113 2305552 for a free advice or a rental valuation, and see what your property could be worth.
*Source: Dataloft, ONS (2021)