So, how are you all? Society seems to be heading back to some kind of normality, a new reality, a new way of working. Some companies have had this time to try to figure out how this is going to affect them moving forwards, but at Eightfold Property, we had little to no time to react to this pandemic, and how it affected us and our business. We had to try and keep as much normality as possible present all the time, as there is no real downtime in property management!
The first barrier we had to face was the closing of the office. It’s our home, where we’ve had so much growth and progress as a team over the years, but we had to down tools like the rest of the world and move on immediately to our homes. It’s at times like this that I am so grateful to have a team of young, vibrant and practically fearless staff here at Eightfold. I’m not talking fearless as in reckless with the rules and dangers surrounding Covid-19, but with looking at a problem and solving it with straight discussion and dialogue. Within a day or so we were having daily meetings on Microsoft Teams, and had made sure that everyone had access to the server at the office. This meant in the first instance that we could still function for data needed to further current referencing or answer questions from landlords and tenants.
We’ve spent a lot of money over the past few years making sure that we have the latest and most efficient processes in place, and this has proven a game-changer. Everything we need to do could be accessed from the server or was already a cloud-based software or process. I was amazed when I could actually see it in action, and the pace at which progress was still being made in regard to getting referencing finished and contracts signed for summer move-ins, as well as tenants, moving house during lockdown.
As a letting agency, and also a one with a large number of student properties, a major worry we had was carrying on letting properties for the summer. How could we possibly do this? We can’t get in the houses, and even if we could, we can’t take people with us! In order to combat this, we had to utilise our relationship with our student tenants, and I have to say a huge “Thank You” to them now, as we're able to speak to those that stayed in Brighton, and in the main, they took the time to make a video walkthrough of their house and send it to us via WhatsApp. These were a game-changer. With the commercial properties, we went one step further. Our investment last year in a 360-degree camera meant we were able to visit unoccupied properties and create a 3D visual of the property. Literally like being there! Technology continues to blow my mind!
When the lockdown measures were eased a tad, and we were allowed to open the offices, we decided that as our Lewes Road office was so small, we would still remain closed in order to protect both our customers and our staff, but it was fine really as we had already adapted beyond all my expectations to this new normal. We managed to start doing the odd socially distanced viewing, and I’ve got to say at this point, that I have been blown away by our results and stats. I already knew we were one of the most productive agents in Brighton, but when you consider the size of the company compared to the competition it magnifies the results somewhat, and last week when I asked Rightmove for the stats from the 28th March to the 6th June, we had actually let more properties during that period than ANYONE in Brighton. ANYONE!
It’s always been a policy of mine to let my staff be creative and independent, and sometimes I worry that we are not corporate enough, but it’s in times of desperation that quality and integrity come to the fore and we smashed it, as a company and a team, and that’s not taking into account that Max in commercial was still letting and selling commercial units all this time as well.
If you have had issues with your properties not being let in this tough time for property then please feel free to get in contact on 01273 672 999 or firstname.lastname@example.org for both residential and commercial properties.