EYE poll: Should the property market close under tighter national lockdown?

Boris Johnson has this week warned that the government may have to tighten lockdown restrictions if the public flout the existing rules at what is a “very perilous moment” in the COVID-19 pandemic, as a surge of infections puts pressure on the health system.

With growing government concern that the third lockdown may fail to bring the latest spike in coronavirus infections under control, Johnson’s official spokesperson has said that the lockdown measures are being kept under “constant review”.

The introduction of curfews, the closure of nurseries and places of worship, tighter restrictions on exercise, and mandatory use of masks, have all been suggested as part of a potential tightening of the restrictions in recent days, while Labour leader Keir Starmer has told the government to effectively shut down the housing market.

The government’s own advice on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak, which has been updated in recent days, states: “It may become necessary to pause all home moves locally or nationally for a short period of time to manage the spread of coronavirus. We will let you know if this needs to happen.”

The news has sparked a mixed response from agents, as reflected by the comments posted yesterday on EYE, with some in favour of seeing the housing market closed to manage the spread of coronavirus as the pandemic worsens, while others think this is an absurd suggestion. But what do you think?

The poll closes at 7pm this evening.

Should the property market be put into full lockdown with branches closed and a ban on physical viewings, valuations and meetings?
Should the property remain partially open, as now, with branches able to open, socially distanced physical viewings, valuations and meetings?
Are you:

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  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    If we close, people lose their jobs.

    It’s not exactly as if we see 1000s of visitors each day similar to takeaways, supermarkets, B&Q etc. Visitors are a rarity.

    1. Typhoon


      1. SISDAD

        The question asks what the estate agency sector should do, not what other businesses should do. In order to minimise risk, we should stop going into peoples homes, as should viewers. We should retain the necessary staff to continue with sales progression.

        Lockdown for a month, extend the stamp duty deadline for a  month, then review. With a strong pipeline, and furlough payments, there should be no need for job losses. Come back when cases are down, see a surge in the market, and catch up on lost sales!

        1. Happy Daze!

          Who is going to pay for all this furlough? It’s not free money. The next complaint will be the increase of CGT…. We will be paying this back for generations so it’s no simply ‘claim furlough’.

          1. SISDAD

            The whole country will be in debt for years; I expect to pay more CGT as well as personal tax for many years to come. It’s just how it is, the furlough payments are a short term solution to keeping businesses afloat, I think we all know nothing is for free. 

        2. MillicentBystander

          Furlough will just migrate into UBI or unemployment.

        3. Kyle

          So simple!


          I expect to pay more CGT” – all you really need to know about SISDAD, to be fair.

    2. surrey1

      If a business can’t cover overheads for a month after a busy end to 2020 I’d question how well run it was.

    3. Ed Mead

      Almost 100,000 viewings done by Viewber since first Lockdown and not a single reported transmission of Covid – ’nuff said?

      1. surrey1

        Are they all doing track and trace or is it just they have no clue where they get it from?

  2. Herb

    Everyone is now a covid expert and Professors of Virology. Covid is spread due to households mixing with no PPE. Period.

    1. porkpie

      You do realise the irony in that statement don’t you?

      1. mro123432

        To be fair to Herb he did say ‘with no PPE’ all agents and viewers should be wearing PPE

      2. hgrlet

        I think we’re beyond irony, pal.

    2. Edgar

      Also a lot of it is spread in hospitals and care homes.

  3. Mndglt

    If they’re going to stop people moving home then maybe they should stop the 100s each day wandering round BnM, Wilko, Range, Home Bargains etc for ‘something to do, to get out of the house’ the only places open should be Supermarkets (not BnM because they sell crisps and 2 freezers, when they’re next door to an Asda!) Car repairs and click and collect places if need be. If I can’t sell my house then Karen’s shouldn’t be walking round Home Bargains shopping for the latest scented candle. We can use PPE in a house move and not be near others, it can be done much more safely than shopping can. 

  4. James White

    Simply apply the rule – if you can work from home you should.
    Too many owners who have not moved with the current times are putting their lack of trust in their staff (and a profit) before the health and well being of their staff and their families.
    If you have the technology to do so, and god knows you have the money to implement it, then let your staff work from home…….  
    (awaits barrage from dinosaurs seeking to use the word snowflake)

    1. Cheese.

      100% correct. If people are able to work from home (support staff, property managers, admin, finance, marketing, progressors etc) then its sensible to do so. This will limit contact, movement, and i would imagine keep staff happier.

      I’m of the thoughts that offices should be shut but viewings should go ahead with heavy PPE (face masks and shields, plus disposable gloves) but if everything must stay open, then the less people in offices can only be a good thing.

      I imagine the considerable amount of dislikes on your post are from people who don’t believe COVID is a thing, and/or think Boris is the greatest thing since Maggie T *spits*.

      Guys, think of your employees, their families and their life’s. do you really want to go through the labour of hiring and traning staff because they’ve died? see. there’s your benefit. Now, on you go, let them take their computer home and increase their mobile phone allowance…. hurry up. times ticking.


      1. James White


  5. SE

    I’m perplexed by the questions posed in the poll in the sense that it implies FULL LOCKDOWN equals no viewings and valuations physically, which in turn implies a paralysis (“Property Market in Full Lockdown”), but fails to acknowledge that business can still be conducted virtually with a great many agents successfully doing so already.

    This is surely about adapting and adopting the technology that is readily available to keep our people and our customers safe, whilst also ensuring people can move and full paralysis does not take place!

    Perhaps a little less fear mongering and a few more solutions would be helpful.


  6. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    We are in the midst of our 3rd national lockdown…logic would suggest that lockdowns do not work (as has WHO)… indeed it hasn’t thus far.

    All of those suggesting “tighter measures”, either haven’t really acknowledged this reality, or are simply blind to it.

    But hey, I’m sure it’ll work this time…and if it doesn’t, at least we’ll be able to proudly look back and say we, in our collective idiocy, destroyed what was left of our economy (not to mention, the wonderful new style of totalitarianism we’ve invited into our lives, that now controls multiple facets of our existence)…on the premise of a virus that (if the figures are to believed- which they really shouldn’t be!) has serious consequences for 0.09% of the population.

    We need to get our heads around the fact we’re being defrauded, and many of us… willingly so.





    1. James White

      More like an open prison than a lockdown ……
      This won’t achieve anything…..
      I agree, but there are things people can do to be safer across the industry and that is to work from home in many instances.

    2. AgentQ73

      If Lockdowns don’t work why have rates of infection, hospital admissions and deaths fallen a few weeks into every lockdown so far and conversely gone up when restrictions have been lifted ? Not just in the UK but across the world.

      Who is defrauding us ? What of and why ?

      1. James White

        When I said this won’t achieve anything, my point is that this isn’t working as a lockdown – there seem to be just as many people going about their ordinary lives as there were in the Autumn…….

        1. AgentQ73

          Hi James 
          I was trying to respond to Eyereader rather than yourself, I agree with your point.

      2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

        Hi AgentQ73,

        I’ll try and summarize as succinctly as possible(!)…and happy to respond ( constructive debate is a wonderful thing, from which we can all learn something)

        Lockdown 1 (March-June). Yes, infection rates reduced. This is quite simple really, in March and the months following the weather, average temperature and hours of sunlight improve/increase. This is entirely normal/predictable, and follows the course of any normal year, and any seasonal virus. This is known as ‘seasonality’, and it has been the case since time immemorial. As the weather improves, seasonal (and particularly SARS ‘family’ viruses, of which COVID is one) viruses, will cease to be transmitted (or run at such a low ebb, as to make them inconsequential) in any significant way. Sunlight is also very important, as Vit. D (produced in the body when exposed to direct sunlight),and is crucial in defending the immune system against such viruses. Therefore, your belief that the ‘lockdown’ caused the reduction in infection rates, may in fact be a case of mistaken identity…It was in fact the result of the entirely normal, and predictable path that seasonal viruses follow.


        Lockdown 2 (November) I’ll respond to this later, as i’d need to look closer at ONS figures to establish precisely whether there was a ‘true’ reduction in infection rates, as my recollection is that in fact, there was no reduction (however, this was as a result of much increased testing- skewing the figures, much as we see today).


        Lockdown 3 (January 5th- present) If the Government figures are to be believed, and the incessant declarations of the NHS at ”breaking point”, deaths at their highest rate (it was proclaimed only a few days ago that 1000 deaths in one day is the highest death figure we’ve seen in one day, infections at their highest rate particularly in London, stories of ambulances waiting 9 hours to ‘off-load’ patients, and the general fever-pitch hysteria we’ve now reached…i’m struggling to establish how you’ve assessed that this ”lockdown” has resulted in reduced infection rates(?).


        You say ”across the world”, however there are many many countries who introduced one ‘lockdown’, and have not since reintroduced them. Noting that many of these countries have only a fraction of the reported death rate, the we have in the UK (some of which I have spent many years living in, and are classed as ‘developing countries’- which poses its own questions about the state of the UK, the health system and societal health in general).


        The who and the why…this is slightly more complex, and would require a more than superficial knowledge of the dynamics of politics in this country, including ‘special interest’ groups, lobbyists, party donors, ‘special’ Government advisors and so on.

        The why, is a point of much debate (and not one i’m not keen to address on a public forum), however the reality is…and no matter what the whys and wherefores are, we have witnessed the introduction of Totalitarianism (and this simply isn’t a point to be debated, it is a reality by the definition of the term).

        ”Totalitarianism is a concept for a form of government or political system that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life.”

        Here are some of the facets to confirm this fact:

        -Mass censorship, carried out by private companies/entities (FB, Twitter, Youtube etc.).

        -Removal of freedom of press (only last week was ‘Talk Radio’ subject to its Youtube account being suspended for ”breaching Community Guidelines” based on views expressed around the COVID subject- albeit subsequently reinstated, but with a tangible change in tone).

        -Restrictions to freedom of movement.

        -Removal of freedom of association.

        -Micro management of daily lives.

        -Police enforcement of breaches and activities that were considered only 14 months ago…as inalienable human rights.

        NONE of the above, is justified or logical when viewed in the cold light of day…and i really think much of the population needs to wake up and look at what is…staring us in the face.



        1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

          I’ll further reiterate a point that I made yesterday…and I am yet to have anyone (not only on PIE) provide any credible evidence, that clearly demonstrates the efficacy of the ”lockdown” concept.
          In addition (and i’ll try and dig out the link later), the UK Government in Feburary 2020 commissioned a report/projection into the negative effects of lockdown, and ‘collateral’ damage casued by such measures. 
          The conlcusion of this report, in simple terms projected that as a result of ”lockdown”, there would an additional 75,000 deaths caused by the measures imposed. Now, given that this almost matches the figures of those who been reported to have perished ”WITH” (note the nuance of not using the term ”FROM”, because we arent presented the ”FROM” death figures) COVID, would suggest that by introducing such measures, we’ve actually doubled the number of those who have/will sadly pass away.
          If you can justify this insanity…please do.

        2. AgentQ73

          Hi Eyereader
          Thanks for the response, to address your points.
          Lockdown 1. You attribute the drop in cases to the weather, yes i agree the weather certainly helped but why if that is the only reason and the lockdowndid not contribute did cases in countries on the other side of the world drop at the same time when they were experiencing their winter ?
          Lockdown 2. I am based in Greater Manchester and I can assure you numbers dropped during the lockdown, granted we had tighter restrictions imposed prior to November and the weather was anything other than pleasant.
          Lockdown 3. My understanding is that it takes 3 – 4 weeks for increased restrictions to feed thorugh and have an afffect on hospital admissions and longer on deaths so it is to early to say either way. We are currently seeing the reprecussions of the Xmas easing.
          Surely you accept it is largely passed from person to person ? If you accept that logic would dictate the less people are in close contact the less spread there will be therfore limiting peoples interactions (lockdowns) will slow the spread ?
          You dont seem to be able to address the who and why and dont want to discuss it on here which is a bit odd but you are fully entitled to engage as you wish.
          What is it that is staring us in the face ?

          1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

            Hi AgentQ73,
            Lockdown 1- For clarity, ”I” don’t attribute reduced infections to the weather. It is widely understood, by vast swathes of the scientific/medical community (and has been in recent decades), that many viruses (including SARS-coV2) are seasonal and adhere to ‘seasonality’. Feel free to check the ONS stats on viral hospital admissions/deaths. If you can find one spring/summer season where there is anything other than a reduction in virus related admissions where compared to the preceeding winter season, it would nothing short of remarkable.
            Lockdown 2- As I said, I reserved comment on this front as i’d need to look into the offical stats (as unreliable as they might be). It would also be worth noting/taking into account the numbers of tests carried out (and the vast expansion in scope, in the lead up to and including November) in Manchester Vs. reported cases. I think you’ll find a direct correlation between the number of tests carried out, and the number fo infections reported (this is entirely logical). However, i would need to look more closely at the figures involved.
            Lockdown 3- So by your own belief, we’ve not seen the claimed positive consequences of this? In which case, it would slightly illoigcal to claim that Lockdowns work in reducing total mortality.
            Having said that, there are many multiples of papers that have been produced by many eminent scientists, virologists, physicians (including many of the those who contributed to the creation of ”The Great Barrington Declaration”), that set out in depth, the reality of the inefficacy (and subsequent collateral consequences) of ”lockdown”. 
            Yes, of course viruses are passed from person to person (it is difficult to catch a virus from a UPVC window or a tree, for example!) however viruses are not only transmitted through surface to surface contact, they can be transmitted through the air (in aerosol form, and can travel some distance- significantly further than the two metre distnace that has been introduced).
            The reality, and the figures do somewhat speak for themselves (given that the UK has the highest death figure in Europe, apparently)…and i’ll reiterate. We are now in our third lockdown, the first two didnt work, what makes you think it’ll come right this time?*
            Perhaps i could put the question back to you, and ask what you believe the intended effects of ‘lockdowns’ are? Indeed, if your belief is that they are aimed at extending the timeline in which those who are susceptible to death, then yes…to some extent, it does work. But it seems to me, looking at your other comments, that you believe ”lockdowns” reduce the overall infection, and death rates…which they do not.
            I believe I have addressed (perhaps you may wish to read my response again) the ”who”, to some extent. As to the ”why”, there’s nothing odd about not wanting to address this on PIE, it is simply a choice I have made, because i don’t believe it would have any merit given the tone of the some of the beliefs of other readers.
            Again, you ask what is ”staring us in the face”…I believe i have addressed this too. In short, we now live in nothing less than a Totalitarian state, and you will be hard pushed to convince me that an illness effecting 0.09% of the population, in any serious way…justifies our wholesale giving away of freedoms we have enjoyed for the last century or so.
            How have we been defrauded? As above…
            (apologies for typos, I am trying to address your queries as swfitly as possible!)

            1. Dick Value

              If you’re not brave enough to bring up the subject of ‘The Great Reset’, I will. Suggest everybody do their own research on it, there are plenty of resources available online. If you do one thing today, read up on the World Economic Forum and its goals and ambitions for US, the global population. Then you’ll see where we’re at.

              1. AgentQ73

                Not everyone is going to do their own research why dont you tell us all what you have found out ?

              2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

                It isn’t a matter of ‘bravery’.
                But as the old saying goes ”You can lead a horse to water…”

                1. Dick Value

                  Especially with the likes of AgentQ73.

            2. AgentQ73

              Lockdown 1. So we are agreed infections, admissions and deaths fell at the same time the hardest lockdown yet was imposed and the weather improved. In my opinion both those things contributed, you are saying the government stopping people working, going to school, socialising etc etc didnt contribute it was all down to the weather… Aye ok then.
              Lockdown 2. Cases, hospital admissions and deaths dropped due to the increased restrictions before and during November, despite the weather having changed. This would seem to contradict your opinion transmission is not affected by lockdowns just the weather. More tests were carried out in Greater Manchester yet cases fell. See also Liverpool.
              Lockdown 3. ” So by your own belief, we’ve not seen the claimed positive consequences of this?” I am saying we have not yet seen them as we are less than two weeks into it.
              “Yes, of course viruses are passed from person to person (it is difficult to catch a virus from a UPVC window or a tree, for example!) however viruses are not only transmitted through surface to surface contact, they can be transmitted through the air (in aerosol form, and can travel some distance- significantly further than the two metre distnace that has been introduced).” Hurrah so we agree that people being in proximity to or being where people have been spreads the disease, therefore limiting person to person contact (bothe literal and proximity) will limit spread.
              The purpose of the Lockdowns isnt to eradicate Covid it is too slow it which it demonstrably does, had we not locked down a lot of people currently recieving the vaccine would not be around to recieve it. 
              With respect you havent addressed the Who other than imply its some vague coaliton of Government, Special advisors and lobbyists. Must admot if that is the case they have done well to get the Chinese, Iranian and Russian governments on board not to mention the rest of the world.
              As to the Why which you dont want to adress, I will draw my own conclusions as to why that may be.
              “we now live in nothing less than a Totalitarian state” I think the citezens of China, North Korea and Iran would disagree with you on that one.

              1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

                Hi AgentQ73,

                You seem to hold the belief that ‘lockdowns’ work…however you appear to have (to some extent) rather proven yourself wrong in so far as you have now changed your position to believing that seasonality AND the lockdown contributed to reduction in viral transmission (could you explain then, how in previous years…I.e. every year since records began, the same effect has been seen (with NO lockdown). To give credit to an incredibly damaging measures, for the what is essentially the work of ‘mother nature’…is akin to standing outside under a rain cloud, chanting and then suggesting you made it rain.

                You then go on to say that we don’t know the effects of this current ‘lockdown’. Citing only the stats put out by the Govt. relating to ”lockdown 2”. Therefore, can we surmise that far from ‘lockdowns’ being an effective remedy, they are at best…questionable?

                I don’t believe that anyone with any basic scientific understanding would suggest that viruses aren’t passed form person to person (indeed viruses originate from living beings, as the ‘host’)…however, it seems you’re attempting to debate something that hasn’t been claimed/said…perhaps in an attempt to cast aspersions on my view point(?). This is a commonly used tactic and there do seem to be some elements of cognitive dissonance at play here…

                The purpose of the Lockdowns isn’t to eradicate Covid it is too slow it which it demonstrably does, had we not locked down a lot of people currently recieving the vaccine would not be around to recieve it.’

                If you’ll excuse me, this comment really demonstrates the absolute disconnect from reality, that you and many others appear to be suffering from.  My point is that you appear to believe that prolonging the timescales of death and infection has ANY material benefit to society as a whole, when viewed in the context of social, political and economic devastation being imposed upon us…It’s just bonkers. Yes, lets wait longer, and bring about more decimation of industry and society.

                ”With respect you havent addressed the Who other than imply its some vague coaliton of Government, Special advisors and lobbyists. Must admot if that is the case they have done well to get the Chinese, Iranian and Russian governments on board not to mention the rest of the world.” Yes, it is quite remarkable. But again, you would need a deeper understanding of financial markets, the drivers behind these, and the global players who influence these markets (feel free to research George Soros’ ”success” and influence over the Thai economy some years ago). From your comments, i suspect that a little more research may do you a world of good. My understanding of these mechanics isn’t vague at all…and those who do understand such mechanics, will…understand the point i’m making.


                “we now live in nothing less than a Totalitarian state” I think the citezens of China, North Korea and Iran would disagree with you on that one”.

                With all due respect, this comment is absurd…it appears as if you wish to suggest that Totalitarian exists only at the extreme end of the spectrum, and if it isn’t like Iran/China or North Korea, then it can’t be Totalitarianism. In actual fact, Iran is not nearly as oppressive as Western media would lead you to believe. I would suggest that you are failing to see what is in front of you, and you’re not alone. I even provided a definition of this form of Governance, and I fail to see how you’re unable to absorb the reality of this fact. With the best will in the world, and whilst this may difficult to accept…it is a reality (by definition).

                I should also point out that Totalitarian (or other forms of governance) regimes are not imposed overnight…such changes are made incrementally, as we have been witnessing since February 2020. At what point may you see this reality, when the police come knocking at your door because your mobile data demonstrates that you traveled beyond the arbitrary distance imposed upon you, for your morning walk?

                I’m going to conclude my response to this thread here, as i do have work to do.

                Always happy to debate. Have a lovely day.






                1. AgentQ73

                  I havent changed my stance at all, Lockdowns work, the weather in Lockdown 1 helped. I have never said it didn’t. Bit of a Strawman argument you have made there.
                  Lockdown 2 coincided with bad weather and cases etc still fell. This isnt a one off in the UK it has happend across the world during the winter months. What do you put that down to if not the Lockdown ?
                  2 out of 3 Lockdowns have coincided with a drop in case rates, hospital admisions and deaths. The third lockdown is 8 days old so it is to early to see results. I think most reasonable people would say that is strong evidence they work.
                  “My point is that you appear to believe that prolonging the timescales of death and infection has ANY material benefit to society as a whole,” Slowing the spread of the virus does save lives, there are people alive today who would not have been if it had been allowed to spread uncontrollably, these people can now get the vacinne, I cant realy see how anyone in good faith would dispute that. If this is worth the price of the damage to the economy and the associated other health impacts is I guess a view each individual will have to make on their own.
                  Regards the Who, telling me I wouldnt understand, mentioning George Soros and telling me to do some reasearch frankly just comes across as a bit patronising and evasive.

                  1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

                    Hi AgentQ73,
                    Any sense that i was attempting to be patronising, is eniterely unintentional.
                    I apologise if this is how it appeared.
                    What i don’t have the time to do, is to essentially explain the elements of soci-political history and actions, that have led us to where we find ourselves today (in fact, I would probably reach the character limit on PIE’s comment section, before even scratching the surface of this incredibly broad and deep subject!).
                    Everyone establishes their own ideas and opinions based on the information available, and the more information we actively seek out, can only be of benefit to our understanding.

                    1. Mythoughts

                      Myself and the vast majority of the respondents took the question to mean, do we think Estate Agents should close their businesses to decrease the transmission of Covid in the light of the comment made by Boris Johnson

                      Whether or not Estate Agents consider lockdowns are effective, legally or morally sound, or see the lockdown as an erosion of personal or political freedoms or as means of being controlled by some form of “Alluminati” cabal  was not the  question.

                      All very interesting and I’ll bear your opinions in mind when the appropriate question is posed.




    3. Dick Value

      Perspective is everything but seems to have gone walkabouts in most discussions around Covid.

      Covid has killed just over 1300 healthy under 80 year olds in England out of a population of 50 million since the pandemic started (official NHS figures). More people died on the roads.

      If this Government has proved good at one thing, it’s instilling fear and panic in people where the data shows it really is not justified. Feeling under the weather? Stay home and away from others. We’ve been doing this for centuries.

      1. AgentQ73

        Yeah no need to worry about that those over 80, or with lung conditions, kidney conditions, type 1 diabetes, cancer etc etc etc its not like they count is it.

        (For the avoidance of doubt this is intended as sarcasm)

        1. Dick Value

          It’s called shielding the vulnerable dopey.

          1. AgentQ73

            Hi Dick, and if they cant shield successfully its just tough ?

            1. Dick Value

              ‘if they can’t shield successfully’, what on earth does this mean? Are you talking about forced exposure in some manner?

  7. MarkJ

    I have a relative who is an aneathetist at a hospital in South Wales …..she leads a Covid team in ICU. She is normally made of steel and she’s sees death on a regular basis. Survival rate in her ICU is 40-50% ….when patients and relatives ask she tells them the truth.

    However for the past few months shes seriously changed and I think that she’s suffering from PTSD …..when you have to use your own iphone for patients to have their last video call with family….all day everyday …..is that something you can switch off to when you go home. I know I couldnt. Her parents are getting worried about her.

    Numbers on graphs on the 6 oclock news dont begin to tell the story…. Anyway the morons who mix dont watch the news ….


    As a compromise Estate agents need to stop physical viewings on anything except properties already sold. So viewings before exchange/Surveyors valuations/gas safety certs/damp & timber ok but masks (and gloves ) compulsory.

    Stop for 4 weeks to see if infections/deaths drop as vaccinations rise….


    1. AgencyInsider

      Well said MarkJ.


  8. Agentx

    Hi, I’m pretty new to this and just hoping to get opinions from other agents across the UK.

    I’m an agent in a popular office in Belfast – Basically I just want to know if other agents feel happy enough to be working or feel as if they’re being put at risk?


    We’re busy, doing roughly 50 viewings, 5 valuations per day – Agreeing 2/3 per day, I appreciate maybe some agents aren’t right now. i love my job and I’m just trying to get the thoughts of people in the same job what they make of the market remaining open? Thanks

    1. AgentQ73

      Personaly I feel reasonably safe taking the precautions we do, is it good for the country as whole is another question altogether.

    2. surrey1

      Sounds like a reasonably high volume operation compared to where I am. I guess I would just question how many of those need to happen? Are those valuations coming to market now or in three months, are those buyers in a position to proceed today? Unfortunately the competitive nature of our business will see some take unneccessary risk for competitive advantage unless they’re told they can’t. 

      1. Agentx

        ‘Unfortunately the competitive nature of our business will see some take unneccessary risk for competitive advantage unless they’re told they can’t’ – Think this is spot on.

  9. padymagic

    Keep it closed for 4 weeks. That should help to ease the pressure on the NHS. It’s all very well saying we aren’t the primary cause of covid spreading, it only takes one person to walk around shredding the virus to cause mayhem.  Secondly work from home progressing sales but not go out showing buyers around or putting new stock on the market just for 4 weeks.

    Is this too much to ask?

    1. SISDAD

      Mirrors my earlier comment!

  10. DASH94

    We’ve remained open throughout.  We’re a letting agent as well as Sales. Just over 400 managed rentals

    We furloughed some staff last year but kept 2 in the office.  The workload did not change to any huge extent – the type of work did,  but the actual volume was the same as usual.  We’ve kept everyone working this time.

    No member of staff or tenant or anyone we deal with is under any pressure to do anything they’re not comfortable with.

    We’re not city based.


    1. Gloslet

      You ‘kept’ 2 in the office – I hope you left them with food and water ?!

  11. Agentx

    Has anyone here actually caught covid through work? (at a viewing or val etc)

    1. ManchesterAgent

      One of our viewing reps recently tested positive. Nobody in his family or friends have tested positive, the most likely way he has caught it is on a viewing.

      1. Simonr6608

        So he hasn’t been shopping or put petrol in his car or even met with people outside of work, saying it must have been a viewing is a bit of a stretch. Not saying it couldn’t happen but there are other reasons as well.

      2. Dick Value

        A positive test is not a case neither does it mean there is an infection. How the Government keep getting away with their figures is beyond me. Look at charts featuring positive tests alongside hospitalisations and deaths and tell me there isn’t a significant problem with the testing regimen.

    2. MarkJ

      Agentx It doesnt exactly leave a date and time stamp where you caught it.  You are going to be guessing where you caught it afterwards…. without ever knowing.
      I know a few people who have caught it (1 hospitalised) who work for estate agents but dont know the original source….work or outside.

    3. Estate Agent W1

      Yes, 50% of our office caught covid (3 out of 6) with one in hospital for over 4 weeks. Thankfully the other 2 suffered at home for 2 weeks and took another 2-3 weeks to recover.

    4. surrey1

      Yes, as much as one can ever know where one picked it up. Not going anywhere else though.  

  12. Propertyeye123

    I understand smaller estate agents not in a position to get all staff working from home however I work for a corporate with the money behind them to provide staff with laptops and get everyone working from home! They care more about making money than looking after staff and customers, how hard is it for us to work from home chasing pipeline and other business whilst we stop viewings and valuations for a short period of time?!?

    1. James White

      It’s actually easier for the smaller agents.
      500 branches x 5 laptops at £500 each would just be too much for them or their shareholders to swallow…..

      1. BerksSurreyAgent

        I agree theoretically its’ easier for smaller firms, but where staff of ours didn’t have an office laptop they’ve taken their entire PC’s home, that can be done in any company if they actually want to do it and trust their staff.

        1. James White

          Mine have too and the phones.  We have plug-and-play phones – you can put them in to any router and they behave as if they are in the office – cloud stuff (magic really), its been about for a long while now……

        2. Propertyeye123

          Yeah it wouldn’t be a problem for us to take our PC’s and monitors home. They can monitor how much work we are doing remotely anyway. What’s the difference from us working at home and some huge call centre?

          1. James White

            None, as nobody is visiting agents offices at the moment apart from those collecting keys etc – which can be done by appointment

  13. BerksSurreyAgent

    I think it makes good sense for Govt to close estate agency offices to the public (ideally all staff should work from home, our company has been almost exclusively working from home since 23rd March, it is possible) and stop physical viewings & valuations for a minimum four week period but allow already agreed lets to continue and sales agreed to continue toward exchange and completion, including allowing surveys to happen and moves to happen, limiting the potential virus spread but still helping Govt get much needed Stamp Duty revenue (and our businesses to still earn). Compared to the mire so many industries are in I do not consider that a massive hardship to ours.

  14. majortom1

    If one takes great care and adheres to the rules on viewings and listings I cant see an issue.


    The issue as I see it is the Agents themselves spreading it amongst them and thus their families. It is not whether branches should be open or not (although why-how many people are visiting offices at the moment) it is how they are open. If you have an office that’s only say 500-700Ft Sq any more than max two people in at any one time is probably reckless. If you have 2000 ft sq perhaps 3 or 4.

    I drove past an office the other day where i saw at least 5 agents huddled round the morning meeting at 8.30 for their morning meeting. Call me out if you want  but that’s just plain stupid IMO and if Im honest reckless ……………….and all that word infers

    There the rule of law and there’s the spirit of the law !

    If your company hasn’t tooled you up to work remotely that’s an issue.Propertyeye123 above agreed

    1. James White

      Morning meetings???  Really???  Cannot be done over Teams etc

    2. Agentx

      We have one small office and there is 7 of us working in it..this is what makes me wonder am i being put at risk by my superiors or should i just be grateful to still have a job?  You dont want to seem like youre moaning and complaining but it just doesnt seem right

    3. Dick Value

      Remember branches closing in Winter 2018 and everyone working from home during the serious flu outbreak? Me neither.

      1. Cloggs

        You clearly haven’t lost a family/friend …

        1. Dick Value

          Why do you assume that? I did lose someone close to a road accident but I still venture out on the roads.

  15. purplepatchy

    Turkeys voting for Christmas… COVID is obviously very serious (having already had it in March last year and being a lucky member of the clinically extremely vulnerable group) but so is losing your job or god forbid, your entire business that you’ve spent however many years pouring your heart and soul into.

    It’s just not fair to accuse those who aren’t happy with the latter of being heartless and not caring about people dying.

    If you’re adhering to all of the safety guidelines – PPE, sanitising, social distancing, masks on viewings, proceedable viewings only, clients out of the way in the garden, virtual viewings, making your office covid compliant for staff and remaining closed for walk ins then I do not see any issue with keeping your business open. The risk of passing COVID on with these precautions would be absolutely minute.

    Yes, there is still a risk and cost to staying open but can we stop pretending there is no cost to being forced to close with no end in sight. If not for yourselves, for your clients.

    1. majortom1

      Agree with this viewpoint. Its the office mixing which I think is a big concern generally and -by the looks of it form above comments – those that are forced to work in what is a dangerous environment feel genuinely pressured to work in such an environment

  16. Stan

    We are mid process of buying a house and awaiting paperwork to be completed via solicitors and payments made.

    The property has been empty for several months as it has been subject to probate which is due to be granted any day now.
    Our house is sold and we are in tenuous temporary accommodation, an Airbnb and all our furniture and belongings are in storage 400 miles away.

    The only intervention we would need from our estate agent would be passing over the keys.

    is it likely that the conveyancing process would be allowed to continue? My wife is literally ill with worry over this.

    Thank you


    1. Propertyeye123

      Solicitors will open as normal just like back in March, majority are working from home already. The only thing that would stop you from completing is if the tougher restrictions are that removal companies are unable to work. 

  17. Woodentop

    1. Full lockdown stops the virus from spreading. Saves lives and jobs in the long term and costs £billions.  
    2. Partial lockdown allows the virus to circulate. The pandemic lingers on and on, costs megar more £billions and business’s a slow death and for many misery and uncertainty. Many are selfish and ignore the rules to the annoyance of all those that comply and end up being infected by them.  
    3. No restrictions allows the virus to spread unchecked, the NHS can’t cope and other illness are not treated, many will (are) die, others incapacitated for months (unable to work) and others see no effect on their health.  
    1. Was always the answer and where it has been successful in other countries but we hang onto out individual rights and freedom. The need to try and support the economy and play around at 2. was always going to put any government (as has around the world) at odds with lives v jobs and never going to stop the virus, a mathematical calculation of risk v economy. You may not have an adverse reaction to Covid …. if you aren’t worried, who’s being honest? Someone somewhere every day is a death statistic, will you become one?  
    1. Is the answer but applies to every one in the UK. What a joke devolved powers with differing standards has created for Covid sees no borders. Many business will not survive but the majority would. Now we play the vaccine game which apparently will not bring it under control till the Autumn 2021 at the earliest, so 2. will continue. Can you afford to wait that long and continuing with the linger death?

  18. Russell121

    Meanwhile you can still play elite sport, produce TV shows and go abroad which none are essential. So I’ll be staying open unless told not too (safely off course) as the government haven’t poccessed any joined up thinking so far.

  19. htsnom79

    I’ve been playing this a lot lately, LOUD.


    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
    So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again.
    The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

    Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over,
    Thought I’d something more to say.
    Home again
    I like to be here
    When I can
    When I come home
    Cold and tired
    It’s good to warm my bones
    Beside the fire
    Far away
    Across the field
    Tolling on the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spell

  20. AlwaysAnAgent

    68,000 cases on the 8th January. 45,500 cases on the 12th January.

    No evidence anywhere that closing estate agents will reduce cases and this “let’s close for four weeks as it will help” is based on fantasy rather than facts.

  21. simpletruth47

    Next stop the Great Gig in the Sky?

  22. Industry insider

    Estate and letting agents are safe – they’re not impacting covid!


    Do not let media presenters like Piers Morgan convince the industry otherwise.


    Thousands of covid cases are caused by media presenters like Piers Morgan and Kay Burley failing to follow the rules. Such presenters are partly responsible for London’s high covid rates. Why should the property industry suffer for media presenters foolishness?



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