The last ten weeks have been extremely challenging for most. If you would have asked me at the start of this year my predictions for the property market, were that the industry was set to have one of the best years yet, post Brexit and with two successful years under our belt establishing ourselves as a reputable agent of choice, we were hugely excited for the growth plans we have in place and eager to work towards. We still are!
Having observed lots of businesses countrywide over the lockdown period…. I see two camps. The first camp is burying their heads in the sand, waiting for the government to deliver some positive news, have furloughed most of their team members and are simply waiting for the cloud of COVID-19 to pass.
The other camp has taken this unprecedented time as an opportunity to learn, grow, innovate, and become more agile as a business to better serve their consumers, teams and communities moving forwards.
I like to think we have fallen into the second camp!
Despite working from home, we have continued to work tremendously hard to keep in touch with our customers at such a difficult time, communicate regularly with our ongoing sales ensuring we are working closely with the acting solicitors to get them to the final stages in readiness for an exchange and completion and complete the transactions where the moves have been imminent and it has been safe to do so following the governments guidelines.
We have also used the valuable time to work on the business, critiquing our customer journey from start to finish, looking at where we can improve to ensure an even better buying/ selling experience and putting systems and processes in place to ensure we have laid the firm foundations to support our exciting growth plans.
I would summarise our activities over recent weeks, into the following categories, in line with our company core values.
Integrity – We have tried our best to do the right thing! It is devastating for any business owner right now facing the uncertainty of these unprecedented times. But putting our teams, customers and people’s health and lives first is our goal, alongside protecting our NHS and keyworkers who are fighting everyday to save lives and keep the country going. We have focussed on assisting people who still need to move by helping them to adjust to a new normal and helping to facilitate their moves in the safest way possible by following the strict governments guidelines for home movers. You can check out the guidelines here: -
Communication – We have adopted an over communication strategy by listening to our buyers and sellers at this challenging time and understanding what they need from us as their agent. We have been keeping people updated and being transparent on where things are up to. We have also taken the time to re-qualify our full database to reconnect with people, re-establish their wants, needs and motivation moving forwards to know where all our prospective buyers are up to in their moving journey and how we can help them at each stage. By doing this exercise, it has been refreshing to see how many prospective buyers and sellers are still committed to moving! By doing so, we have also created new proactive opportunities on the back of simply having great conversations with our potential buyers and sellers daily. Opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been there!
Knowledge – It has been our duty to be there for our customers and spread our knowledge and light on the government guidelines where possible. We have also connected with local businesses and interviewed local business owners to see how they have been getting on during ‘lockdown’ and shared any tips and advice they can offer to their prospective customers. We called this our “Isolation Insights Series” which can be found on our Facebook Page.
Positivity – I am firm believer that positivity spreads positivity and only surround myself with people who share this same outlook. Our ‘can do’ attitude has enabled us to focus on the positives we have taken from the situation, the learning points we will take with us going forward and embrace the likes of the fantastic technology available at our finger tips to improve our offering and engage even more buyers and sellers. We have been working on some exciting new initiatives and have recently joined forces with the ‘Guild of Property Professionals’ which is an exclusive network of the best independent estate agents up and down the country, who specifically selected Harper Williams to be their local representation, feeling we are a perfect fit in line with their own values as a ambassador of the industry.
We will look forward to sharing our new marketing initiatives over the coming weeks with you all!
Empathy – Naturally this has been a challenging time for most, especially for our key workers, those with children, people worrying about their jobs, those worried about the future of their businesses and those struggling unable to see their families who they are missing terribly. Although we may not all be in the same boat, we have been caught in the same storm and we have tried to understand this and relate to people’s situations as much as possible. We have offered a listening ear and for those who have been concerned about their upcoming move or pending move, we have been able mediate between all parties to offer solutions that everyone has felt comfortable with and will continue to do so as we navigate through the ‘new normal’ over the next few months.
Accountability – We are often taught from a young age that you only get out of life what you are prepared to put into it! This is a value I have taken with me throughout my career, and one that has served me well and will continue to do so. We believe in an actions-based approach at Harper Williams and everyone on our team shares this same ethos. Our ability to show up every day committed to our clients moving goals with the same positive attitude, willing to make a difference is a resilience muscle that we work on week in and week out. Our actions will always speak far louder than our words, and I think our efforts during lockdown staying committed to this value have made a real difference to our own outlook during this time but also to all the customers we continue serve.
It is always nice to see we are delivering what we say and that our clients appreciate our efforts and ongoing commitment to our core values, which ultimately make us the estate agents that we are.
Check out our Google Reviews to hear what our customers have to say: -
We would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support, especially during these challenging times. It means a lot and has helped with our focus to keep us moving forwards, one foot in front of the other!
If you are currently on furlough, worried about your job or considering a new career and you feel you would fit into our culture and share our core values, then we would love to hear from you.
When you’re happy, we’re happy!