Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement
Last Update: Tuesday 17th March 2020
Dear all, everyone at WeLocate and WeLocate Finance would like to wish you all good health at this challenging time.
As a business, we have two priorities:
- To ensure the safety of our team and clients.
- To do all we can to ensure our clients’ needs are not affected more than necessary (without conflicting point 1 above).
In light of the above, I wanted to note our procedures at this time.
Firstly, I just wanted to try and offer some positivity in what is a very uncertain time.
Properties currently For Sale, To Let or new properties launching to the market:
It is our opinion that if you are/were planning on launching your property on to the market, you still should. Many people will be at home and have more time to search for potentially suitable properties online. Visibility is still important and your property will benefit from being in as many places as possible.
It may be that ‘in-person’ viewings will need to be paused for a while should the government advice change severely, or the home-owner is in self-isolation in the property.
There is a lot of uncertainty ahead, but we are here to help as best we can.
Our most critical systems and operations can be run from home in the event the government implements a national work from home restriction.
Our Current Procedures
We are maintaining a calm and practical approach but also taking our responsibility to our staff and clients very seriously.
We are adhering to the best practice guidelines provided by the Government and Public Health England. You can follow updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government by clicking these links.
- Our office team are equipped with the latest technology to ensure they can work from home at any point.
- Our offices are being sanitised regularly throughout the day.
- All team members have been instructed to wash their hands regularly and are following the government guidelines provided.
- We have adopted a ‘Safe Key Handling Policy’ which all office staff and contractors will adhere to. This involves frequently disinfecting keys before and after use.
We will continue to offer in-person viewings until such time as the government advice severely changes. We are still seeing good demand from people wanting to view properties and have implemented the following safety procedures:
- Upon booking, we are checking whether the person has returned from any affected countries in the past 4-weeks and/or showing symptoms of cold and flu, or been placed in self isolation. If any of these is the case, we are politely declining their request to view in person but offering a Live Video Viewing service Via WhatsApp.
- We are requesting that customers wash their hands before and after their viewings. We are providing soap, water, paper towels and disposable bags at every viewing.
- We are operating a ‘No Hand Shaking Policy.’ Please do not be offended.
- We will not be handing out any printed material, which could potentially aid in the transfer of the virus. Still, our Accompanied Viewing Representatives will be armed with all the information you need regarding the property and can arrange for digital copies to be sent to you.
- We are requesting that no more than two people view the property at any one time.
- We are recommending that customers maintain a distance of 2 meters during the viewing.
- We are requesting that viewers limit the touching of surfaces where possible.
- Open house events have been suspended, and only viewings by appointment will take place.
We are still carrying out in-home valuations. If you are self-isolating or just reducing your unnecessary risks, we can offer our alternative ‘Video Market Appraisal’ service using Zoom Video Conferencing. This will involve the following:
- An initial ‘drive-by’ visit to your property (this will not require us entering your property).
- An appointed time for one of our property specialist’s to call by telephone.
- A live screen share option where you will be able to see relevant documentation relating to your property.
- Follow up marketing proposal confirming what was discussed, including your valuation and our marketing advice.
For in-home valuations, we are recommending the following:
- Maintain a distance of at least two meters during our visit.
- No hand shaking policy. Please do not be offended.
- We will limit the touching of surfaces where possible.
- We will wash our hands before and after our visit. Each member of staff will carry soap, water, paper towels and disposable bags for every visit.
Landlords & Tenants:
As yet, legislation has not changed; therefore, we need to operate as best as we can. We understand that tenants may want to minimise visits to their property, so we only intend to carry out essential visits, and will be implementing the following procedures:
- All periodic inspections have been postponed until at least 1st May 2020.
- Any gas safety certificates, energy performance certificates, and electrical certificates (from 1st July 2020) that are due to expire will still need to be renewed, as this is Law. Our preferred contractors have all been briefed on our safety expectations relating to Coronavirus and have initiated their own safety policies. If you feel that they are not adhering to this, you can refuse entry and let us know at your earliest convenience.
- As a tenant, if you have any maintenance concerns, please report them in the same way, and we will refer to our preferred contractors. All have been briefed as to our safety expectations relating to Coronavirus.
- If you are suffering from any of the symptoms relating to the Coronavirus and are self-isolating, you must inform us in advance of any appointments that have been booked in.
Our financial services department is least affected by the Coronavirus. Our in-house Mortgage Advisor, Steve Ellis, can still offer up to date advice and conduct telephone appointments at a time convenient to you. We can also use Zoom video conferencing to ensure you can see what is being recommended.
Should you require a FREE review of your current mortgage deal or need to know what is available to you; you can book a telephone appointment by either emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0161 696 0777.
We will update this post as and when things change, but please rest assured that we are having regular health and safety briefings based on the latest government advice and intend to look after both our staff members and our customers.
All the best.
David Warburton, Managing Director