Chestertons does thousands of virtual viewings and agrees hundreds of new tenancies

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.


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  1. NewsBoy

    No mention of anyone actually moving?  Presumably any new tenancies will have to wait till the end of lockdown before they complete

    1. Bless You

      Simply don’t believe those figures.

      Not saying they haven’t but all those videos ?? All those renters with no job taking property on a video??


      Probably all reserved. Not signed agreements.

      1. Chestertons

        The figures in the article are all correct as of Monday 20th April.

        The website has a ‘Virtual Viewings’ search filter which shows all properties that are available to view by video. Feel free to check it out for yourself, but currently 885 of 1,525 available rental properties have the option, equating to 58%.

        Tenancy Agreements are very different to ‘reservations’. The 199 Tenancy Agreements mentioned in the article are signed agreements, not just ‘reservations’.

        1. 123430

          Love how Chestertons are trying to justify their stats. Just enjoy the BS. We like positive news. Most of us on here are agents, most know how you can massage numbers, make up fake listings, put up old inventory and say its new, portal juggle, register 5 students for 1 property to move in, in 2021 and say it’s 5 new registrations. Feel free to send us more BS positivity.


  2. The Future Is Tech

    Lettings should be fine on virtual viewings to keep going. After all, it’s not buying the property blind is it.

    People can still move into empty properties during lockdown within the guidelines

  3. AgencyInsider

    Good to see there are businesses making a go of things in these difficult times. Hats off to Chestertons.

    1. Chestertons

      Thank you AgencyInsider. Many Tenants and Landlords still need help during this difficult time and our team is doing what it can to help them.

      1. Woodentop

        Doing what you can and doing the job properly, are two different things.

        1. Chestertons

          Glad to be doing both

  4. DASH94

    2 days ago there was an article about another agent doing a similar thing – and they and most positive commenters on the thread got pretty roundly raked over the coals for it on here:

    What’s the difference here?

    I’m full of admiration for them – but I’m genuinely confused as to why Chestertons are being applauded and Centrick got slated for it.



    1. Mothers Ruin

      Opinion on this does seem to be firmly divided. We took 7 tenancy applications in for empty properties just before lockdown and we made the decision to allow 3 of those to move in. They are key workers and all documentation has been completed electronically. The rest will just have to wait because they aren’t essential and they have somewhere to live. I have never and will never allow anyone to take up a tenancy if they haven’t seen the property and we’ve not met them. It depends on how you run your business and what relationship you have with your landlords imho.

  5. 123430

    We all love good and positive news. I’m not too sure if Chestertons have a habit of BS how amazing they are? Good PR? Flood the market with BS positive news, tell everyone how great they are? No-one can realistically know?

    I think all agents should say how amazing they are and doing 1000s of deals every day during these challenging times. It will at least cheer everyone up, even if it’s not true. But good luck to Chestertons, at least they’ve put a questionable smile on our faces.

    1. Chestertons

      Glad if we can put a “questionable smile” on anyone’s face, but the figures we provide in our updates are not ‘BS’. 

  6. Property Poke In The Eye

    Love a bit of positive news and fabricated numbers 🙂

    1. Chestertons

      Glad you like the positive news but sorry you feel you have to be negative about them.
      We’re always happy to share the details behind the numbers with the PIE team, or any other journalists, for verification.

  7. robertbartlett52

    Great job, chaps. Showing initiative and leading the way…

  8. Woodentop

    This fraught with danger. So your not meeting the tenants, who have not actually seen the property, all in a real environment, often to be later portrayed … “if only I knew about ….. “, “The picture and what I was led to believe, looked better than it really is”. “You missed out ……”


    You have a duty of care to your landlord and tenant. I just hope your are water tight seeing as you are signing up a legal document for 6 plus months and the financial risks to the landlord if it goes pear shaped.


    I’m not against doing ones best in these hard times, but ignoring basics is reckless and this does sound more like an advert for the company. You are ignoring so many things to do business. DASH94 is so right.


    Disclaimer to landlord: “The tenant we are proposing has only seen the property via a video tour, they have not visited the property to ***** in full what they are getting into and whether they will actually be happy when they move in. We cannot guarantee they may change their mind and raise issues of rent payments being withdrawn and legal complications could follow. We have not met your tenant, therefore we have limited ability to assess suitability of your tenant and only obtained documented information which is less than many agents normally do for correct referencing to protect you. We have therefore not followed full due care and diligence, should anything go wrong its on your own head if you accept them as tenants.”

  9. mle1987

    I’ve read a couple of articles on here about letting agents shouting about how great they are doing during the lockdown. How is this still being allowed to happen? The government advice states:    
    Home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus (COVID-19).  
    Are you honestly telling me that Chestertons have agreed 199 new tenancies and all of these home moves are unavoidable?
    The movement of people should be limited to prevent the spread of the virus and ultimately reduce all of our time in lockdown.  
    As well as this agents themselves should be at home and only going out for food, medicine or one form of exercise a day. Not doing virtual viewings, inventories, checking meters, checking smoke alarms etc.    
    Am I missing something here or are some agents taking advantage of the situation, while the rest of us are abiding by the rules and patiently waiting?


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