London agent Chestertons reports that it has kept busy over the lock-down period and has registered 2,369 new tenants needing to move, conducted 3,432 virtual viewings, received 396 offers and agreed 199 new tenancy agreements over the past four weeks.
In the same period, it has also conducted well over 500 video market appraisals for landlords and brought nearly 800 properties to the market for rent.
The company hasn’t carried out any physical viewings or market appraisals since the 23rd March, when the Government announced the lock-down rules, but prepared for the lock-down by getting video tours of around 50% of its properties before the restrictions were put in place and was quick to introduce virtual market appraisals, which it has been relying on since.
A spokesperson for Chestertons told EYE:
“In terms of the new instructions, we are not inspecting any properties in person, nor doing any physical viewings. If the property is vacant, sometimes the landlord already has a video (especially if it was previously on for sales), but otherwise they are sometimes providing them directly to us.
“In terms of our new instructions with an outgoing tenant, in most cases the tenant themselves are happy to provide a video tour for us, at the request of their landlord – another example of people pulling together at this difficult time!”
The firm has also been helped by the launch of its new mobile-friendly, web-based landlord and tenant platform, Chestertons Connect, which allows landlords and tenants to progress a tenancy completely online from start to finish, meaning that agreements can now be finalised in a matter of hours.
Richard Davies, Chestertons’ Head of Lettings, said:
“The lock-down brought its own set of unique challenges to lettings agents, but both tenants and landlords have been quick to adapt, with landlords understanding that they have to be a bit more flexible with their price and terms, and tenants appreciating that they either have to wait until the restrictions are lifted or else make a decision on the basis of a video viewing.”
With more and more tenants opting to do video viewings in the hope of securing a deal during the lock-down period, Chestertons produced a special Guide to Video Viewings specifically for tenants, advising them on the sort of information that they should ask for, to help compensate for the lack of physical viewings.
You can see the guide here.