So here we are in unprecedented times and for once everyone is in the same circumstance. This is a disease that does not discriminate against anyone at all. I do not profess to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I have been watching the daily updates from the government and that has been enough to keep me obeying the guidelines on everything from social distancing to how to do my shopping and more importantly how to keep our business going.
There have been many new words that this disease has created such as furlough, how many people had even heard of furlough before last month, let alone Covid19. At Cross Keys Estates we have taken many measures to to ensure that the safety and welfare of our staff and our customers comes before profit. We were the first estate agent in Plymouth to issue personal protection equipment to all our staff, here is another relatively new phrase for the masses (PPE), we issued all staff with hand sanitisers, disposable gloves and face masks. To start with, I think most of them thought it was a bit excessive but as the days and weeks have passed I am so pleased that we took this measure. We were also the first agency to close our office doors to the general public ahead of the government’s advice that followed 2 days later.
All these actions at the time seemed to be quite drastic but have now become the norm for most businesses. In the last month we have heard many upsetting stories about how devastating this disease has been for many people, weddings that have had to be cancelled, holidays, festivals, concerts, sporting events and even such things as charity events which bring in much needed money to help such good causes. I think that one of the worse things that has happened during these times is the isolation that has had to come with it, so sad to hear about families having funerals where only five people can attend, hospital patients that need the love a reassurance from family members that are not allowed to see them. We currently have a member of staff in exactly this situation and our love and best wishes are with her and all of her family.
As a result of this distancing and isolation that we have had to embrace, we have brought forward our plans for a new website. Due to come in to play in July/August time, we thought that somehow now would seem more appropriate. Our new website went live this weekend enabling us to have the extra facility of doing property video tours. Obviously we can only go to unoccupied properties at this moment in time, we have started with the properties that are available for renting and I am pleased to say that all of our vacant rental properties will have a proper video tour available to watch from this weekend onwards. Once we have got all of these live, we will then make a start on all of our sales properties that, again, are unoccupied, with the hope of getting these live by next weekend 24th April.
We have had several enquiries for potential buyers wanting to arrange viewings on some owner occupied properties. We have had to say categorically “NO” even if the owners are willing to show potential buyers around themselves, the answer is still “NO”, viewing a house is not deemed as an essential thing to do according to government guidance and we would never put either the home owner or their family nor the people viewing a property in such unnecessary risk. What we would advise to all potential buyers, is to look at our new website, take the video tour, not a virtual one with lots of different moving photos but an actual video tour starting from the front door all the way through the property. This should hopefully give you a very accurate impression of the property. If you have any further questions that you want answering, you can email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org where one of our distance working staff will be more than happy to answer it for you, however please bear in mind that it will not be possible for anyone to actually get moved into a property until such times as the government guidelines have changed.
If you are looking to rent one of our available properties, we now have the ability to action your rental requests completely remotely, meaning that you will not need to come in to contact with anyone else and therefore complying with all guidelines set out by the government to comply with any end date to the current restrictions.
Finally, I thought I would tell you about another great thing that is happening during these difficult times. Cross Keys Estates joined forces with Fuel Catering to make a charitable donation. We gave £200 which Fuel matched. This meant that between us, we made it possible for the nursing home in Stoke Village to get many much needed freshly prepared meals. We also had a request for a Plymouth family where the husband has terminal cancer, they have three small children and all five have had to go in to self isolation for obvious reasons, making it impossible for them to get any shopping done. Together with the help of Fuel, we were able to get 20 meals to them. We later got a text from the family expressing their gratitude as life at the moment for them just does not allow them to leave the house. It was a very small thing for us to do but a massive thing for the family. It is nice to be nice in these circumstances and hopefully the whole world will look back on these times once this is all over and remember that the most important things in life are your family, your friends, your community and your sense of morality.