We think it’s safe to say the last few weeks have been pretty tumultuous. We’ve heard a lot about COVID-19 - or coronavirus - on the news lately, but I think many of us didn’t consider its effects to be quite as large as they have been.
For their safety, and that of our landlords, tenants, contractors and clients, our brilliant teams are now working from home. We have heavily invested in excellent IT support and technology which will allow them to continue to deliver you the same great service, albeit with slightly longer response times. Please bear with us during this time, we are doing our utmost for you, and will continue to do so throughout this period.
How we deal with the current pandemic will reflect on us as companies, businesses, societies and individuals in the aftermath, and we want you to know that Alexander & Co, along with our partners and recently acquired businesses, are all doing everything in our power to make a troubling and extraordinary situation as manageable as possible. None of us knows how long this is going to last, but throughout this time, people are still going to want and need to buy, sell, rent and let property, and we want you to know that we are here every step of the way.
The way in which we approach problems reflects on how people perceive us. Every day - especially now - we choose to be positive and focus on the positives. This is not always easy, but it’s a choice we have made as a company and as individuals, and we wanted to share with you what we believe to be some positives of this situation so far:
- The government has increased housing benefit and universal credit. This means that those in the welfare system are being further supported throughout this time, allowing them to remain in accommodation.
- Interest rates are low, which means that mortgage deals at the moment are very competitive, and lenders remain keen to lend.
- Although property viewing numbers and sales across the country have slowed down, the demand for property still remains the same: people still want to move home, they’re just going to delay putting houses on the market until this situation passes. Once it does, we can expect things to pick up dramatically, just as they did in January 2020, post-Christmas and General Election.
- We and other agents have started to use technology to ensure that our day-to-day lives are impacted less by remote working. This means that we can still conduct viewings, market appraisals and valuations without having to actually attend the property. It’s less personal, yes, but a huge step forward for the property industry as a whole, and will change the way the industry works forever.
- And our favourite positive: people are being kinder to each other. Over the last two weeks, we have had more messages from tenants, landlords, contractors and clients wishing us and our teams well than ever before. We’re seeing acts of kindness and compassion every day from the people with work with both internally and externally, and this generosity and community spirit can only ever be a good thing to have more of.
We know times are difficult, and that not everything is positive. Boris Johnson said in one of recent speeches that this virus is going to take people before their time, which is a sobering thought, and for those directly affected by this, we share our heartfelt condolences with you. But here at Alexander & Co, we truly believe that by keeping positive, communicating, and by showing empathy, passion and resilience that we will come out of this on the other side.
We want you to know that we’re here for you throughout this time, and if you need anything - property-related or not - we’re still working and we’ve still got you covered. If there is anything we can do, we’ll do it; all you have to do is let us know.