It might be too soon to suggest that the lockdown is over, but there’s certainly light at the end of the tunnel. The Government gave the lettings market the official thumbs up in May, stating that people could freely move home – albeit with social distancing restrictions.
While we know how the current landscape looks, things are ever-changing. What is set in stone today could very well be different next month. And that leaves many renters and letting agents asking what a post-lockdown world looks like.
As an agent, how do you prepare for the unknown? Or is there enough hints out there to suggest how a coronavirus-free landscape might look? That’s what we’re here to answer, as we take a look at life for letting agents and renters after lockdown.
Remote working will play a vital role
During the lockdown, many agents were required to work from home as they adapted to the new normal. And with 70% of people already working remotely at least once a week before Covid-19, there’s every chance that some agents will increase their work-from-home schedule.
A third of agencies have already indicated that a selection of employees will work from home permanently. If this is the case, we can expect to see more tech-driven services for communicating with renters and helping them find their next home.
Technology-led services will take the lead
Technology is playing a fundamental role in the lettings market, and you’re going to need to equip yourself with the tools to future proof your agency and appeal to tech-savvy renters. Digital-led processes are already a key talking point at many agencies, but post-lockdown looks like it will accelerate their use and make them the new normal.
Even as the world resumes normality, it might take some time before people are entirely comfortable veering outside again regularly. Agents need to be savvy and adopt tech-led initiatives, creating ways for renters to find, view and let a home without the need for physical viewings.
Which brings us nicely to...
Video viewings are the normal
Video viewings will be the most significant new norm for agents and renters in a post-lockdown world. Changes will need to be made post-lockdown, and one of the key ones involves renters having the option of viewing a home via video instead of going to see the property in person.
Currently, physical viewings require social distancing and strict rules like wearing PPE and having as few people as possible see the property. But even as those rules relax, renters are likely to look for new ways to view a home – one that is 100% risk-free.
Video viewings themselves aren’t all that new, but their need is currently more critical than ever. During the lockdown, demand for video viewings went through the roof, and the trend continues even as rules are relaxed.
Quick, unfiltered videos that show what it’s genuinely like to live somewhere hold plenty of appeal with renters. In fact, the majority of them prefer video viewings, as they complement their always-on-the-go lifestyle.
New living requirements for renters
Renters are likely to have new demands as we emerge from lockdown. Whether that’s wanting to live closer to work so they can avoid commutes, or seeking more outdoor space in the event of a second lockdown. Bike storage is likely to be another must-have, to the point where we’ve seen searches for bike-friendly homes sore by 1,500%.
As a letting agent, you’ll need to accommodate these demands by helping renters find homes with outside space and bike storage, rather than the usual integrated appliances and wood flooring – though we’re sure the latter two won’t go out of fashion either.
Adapting to the new norms
We’ve all been through sweeping changes over the last couple of months, and renters and letting agents are no different. As the world gradually comes back to normal, some things will change forever – such as property requirements and the desire to view a home without visiting it. Agents that adapt to these new norms will find themselves in a great position to win more renters, thus letting their properties.
And that’s all agents really want, pre and post-coronavirus.