An update from Readings Property Group following the second national COVID-19 lockdown

Below you’ll find a brief note from all of our departments, letting you know how they are operating during these difficult times and what measures we’ve put in place to still offer our clients the exemplary service that you’ve come to enjoy from us over the years.

I’m not going to lie-some things are taking longer to facilitate than normal, but our fantastic staff, whether working from home or the office are doing all they can to deliver to our clients.

It’s also important that we do our bit as responsible members of society to protect not just our staff, their families and our clients from Covid 19, but the wider society as a whole. That’s why, some of our working practices will have changed for the foreseeable future.

For example, we’ve invested heavily in IT infrastructure so that we can have staff working seamlessly from home, in order to help adhere to social distancing policies and keep our business operating efficiently.

All staff are back at work, but are splitting their time between working from home and in the office in most cases. Those staff working from home have full access to our network and phone systems, but will be leaving you their direct dial numbers to call them back on, if they miss you.

We’re also adhering to industry guidelines and operating a “locked door” and “appointment only” policy here in the office. We’re trying to balance the need for our clients to be able to contact us against unnecessary face to face contact.

Lettings and Property Management

This is an area of the business that really hasn’t stopped during the last few months. Most contractors are back working, but some are not at full capacity, so it may take longer to get some non-essential repairs carried out.

All contractors will only enter properties where no-one is self isolating and will respect you by wearing PPE and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please accommodate them where you can, especially when it comes round to carrying essential works, such as landlord gas safety certificates.

All tenants have been given the link to FixFlo, our online repair reporting facility and now, more than ever, it’s essential that you use this as there’s a Covid 19 section that both contractors and tenants need to complete before a works order can be created. Access FixFlo here, or report a maintenance issue here.

Priority will be given to urgent or essential repairs in the first instance, so please bear this in mind.

Non-essential physical routine property visits will be postponed, but will take place once the current situation regarding the pandemic becomes better.

Sales and Auctions

Our sales and auction teams have had to adapt rapidly to the changing social backdrop. Demand has been beyond our wildest expectations and with that has come the need to control face to face contact amongst our staff and our clients. The first step was to ensure that all our property offerings have a video tour. This enables the first layer of filtering. We ask all clients that wish to make a physical viewing to confirm they have viewed the video, that they are free from Covid symptoms, that they will wear suitable PPE and to confirm their financial ability to purchase. A limit of two people per viewing is a must together with hand sanitisation before and after the viewing. Social distancing is always observed.

We have enjoyed strong sales throughout the pandemic but we have had to manage people’s expectations in terms of time scales, both the solicitors and the lenders have found it difficult to cope with the increased number of cases. Surveys, and mortgage offers are taking longer. So be prepared to be flexible and work with the others in the chain.

For those looking for a speedier conclusion we are still carrying out regular auctions with great success. It is unlikely that we will return to in the room auctions for some time to come, however we still have a great solution in both online auctions that we run nationally every week and livestream auctions every eight weeks.

We anticipate that the current level of measures that we’ve introduced will continue until at least the Spring of 2021.

So there you have it! Is it perfect? Probably not. But does it show that we’re adapting to a continually changing scenario so that we can still provide an effective level and range of services? We think it does and hope you do too.