Less than half of agency offices are fully open – EYE survey results

Last Friday we ran a short survey to find out how readers are dealing with getting back to work and how they feel about leaving lockdown to return to their offices.

When we last surveyed readers as the housing market reopened in May, two thirds anticipated that their agency offices would be open by June.

Over three quarters are indeed fully or partially opened but less than half of agency offices are now fully open.

A third of offices are only open by prior appointment, and one in ten is open, but for reduced hours.

Almost one in ten remain closed.


Is your agency branch open to the public?


75% of those who have gone back to work in the office feel safe. 16% are not sure if they feel safe and 10% say they do not feel safe.

Contrast these percentages with the findings of our May survey when almost 56% believed it was unsafe to reopen the housing market.

We can reasonably presume that the respondents in that survey might well have felt unsafe had they been back at work in the office, so there is a marked turnaround in the perception.

In the context of Covid-19, if you are now working in the office, do you feel safe?

We asked if, given the choice, in future respondents would prefer to work in the office, from home, or a combination of both?

Just over half would like to work from office and home.

About 37% would prefer to be working in an office, and just 10% would prefer to solely work from home.

Given the choice, in future would you prefer to work in the office, from home, or a combination of both?

Job security is playing on the minds of around half the respondents. 35% are slightly concerned about their job security and 11% are very concerned.

As furloughing becomes more expensive for employers (see the next story on EYE today) these concerns may prove well founded.

We shall follow up on this in the autumn to find out what has happened on the ground.


How concerned are you about your job security in the next 12 months?

We asked what respondents think about the prospects for the sales and lettings market.

For sales, 64% think the current bounce in activity will last until September.

20% see it lasting to the end of this year.

Just over 15% are optimistic enough to reckon we could see the activity level sustained as far as June of 2021.


The sales market is currently buoyant after the reopening of the housing market. How long do you expect this buoyancy to last?

There is considerable confidence in the buoyancy of the lettings market with well over half the respondents thinking that the current levels of activity will last until at least June 2021.

Around a quarter of respondents see the activity likely to continue to the end of this year.

Less than a quarter take a rather more cautious line and think that the lettings market will stay buoyant until September 2020

The lettings market is also currently buoyant after the reopening of the housing market. How long do you expect this buoyancy to last?
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  1. DASH94

    There was no option to comment, but it would have been interesting to see of those who answered, whether they were city based or rural offices.


    There seems to be a big difference in attitude to lockdown between the two

  2. SoldPal90

    Good survey that, thanks PIE.

    Nice to know whats happening elsewhere in the country.


  3. Malcolm Egerton

    Does anyone suppose estate agents are finally realising they don’t need an office window on the high street just like they did in Charles Dickens’ time?

  4. ayanaproperties

    That’s a really good survey,

    We Ayana Properties are also fully open and functional.

  5. Head_Shepherd#2

    A lot of agents who don’t work from High Street Offices will have been excluded from this survey.  I suggest instead of question 1 asking, ‘Is your agency branch open to the public?’ it would have been more inclusive to ask, ‘Is your agency serving customers and the public in the same way now, as it was in Jan/Feb 2020?’ – If the intention is to gauge at what level our industry is ‘back to normal’, then it should include all delivery models, not just those operating from the High Street.
    In addition, agents that worked from serviced offices before lock-down, will have been working from home, as have their High Street office industry colleagues – both groups will need to navigate their way back to an office environment should they wish to.
    And those Personal Agents already used to working from home, will likely have not stopped working during lock-down, and as such have not had to re-open, as they didn’t ever close!
    It would be useful insight for many agents I’m sure, worried about their job security (Q4), to see the scale of opportunity that already exists off the high-street and what opportunities might exist for them personally in a wide and varied array of alternative business and operating models, rather than think that their future is bound to a choice of High Street Office – like it or lump it – or out of agency altogether.  Other options do exist and it would be a shame for good people to leave the industry simply because they felt unsafe in an Office environment. (Q2).



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