With the county in lockdown and the property market all but frozen, estate agencies across the UK have had to quickly adapt to survive these unsettling times. Yet despite this gloomy outlook, the calling for community and cohesion has become even more apparent, with estate agencies working together to overcome Coronavirus.

This week we talk to Faith Cook (Sales Manger, Fulham, Winkworth) and Tim Macpherson (Head of London residential sales, Carter Jonas) about their time during lockdown and how they have adapted to the conditions.

Faith Cook
Sales Director
Winkworth Fulham & Parsons Green

Describe your job role prior to Covid-19

I managed an office of multiple staff, active live properties, as well as overseeing viewings, carrying out viewings and carrying out valuations all in person. I also organised the marketing of the properties and the office!

Describe your job role now

I am working from home as my team have been furloughed. I have now taken over the sales and I am the only person in sales for all of my boss/franchisees offices which are – Fulham, North Kensington, Chiswick and Brentford. That is running 42 under offer sales, managing the vendors of 58 active properties on the market, dealing with all enquiries and responding with video viewings via whatsapp/email, and trying to touch base with all previous valuations.

How long have you been working with Helmsmen and why?

Since Helmsmen started. David used to work with me at Winkworth in the North Kensington office. He was great at his job and we wanted to support him in this exciting venture whilst obviously also being a benefit to us as a business.

How are you adjusting to this new way of life? 

I miss the team environment but otherwise I am so busy I don’t have a huge amount of time to think about too much else other than keeping everything together during this time!

What are the major changes you have seen? 

Winkworth have furloughed a lot of the staff so I am on my own having taken on lots more. We can’t do viewings, which is tricky in sales, although lettings have been agreeing lots from video viewings.

What are your trend predictions for 2020? 

There are always people who need to buy and sell and this will still be the case when this lockdown is over. We had a brilliant start to the year and it’s too early to tell what affect this will have on the property market as a whole, but I do think that transactions will happen and there will be a lot of people that would have had to put their plans on hold so will want and need to move when they can so hope that we will continue the success of the spring market in the latter part of 2020.

What advice would you give to others in your field? 

Keep being positive – we really need to be right now. I also think we must remember to be there for our vendors through these times. None of us really know the outcome but we are all in the same boat and need to figure out the best way to move things forward as and when we can. Vendors and buyers alike will want to know our opinion and I think it is important to try to help as much as possible.

What positives are you taking away from this? 

Be grateful for what we have and for my job. I really do love what I do, so it has been tough to not have my team around me but I will be super happy when we come out the other side! I’m also learning a lot about the other offices, how to cope in a crisis and how to people manage effectively during this time. I feel that I will be able to help the other staff and offices within my franchise group more when they need it going forward.

How are you using your time during lockdown? 

As above – I am incredibly busy, but when not working, going for walks, bike rides and I am doing a lot of cooking. I am meant to be getting married on 4th July so keeping fingers crossed for that too!

Tim Macpherson
Head of London Sales
Carter Jonas

Describe your job role prior to Covid-19

Running the high end sales business in London whilst based on Mount St, Mayfair.

And your job role now? 

I’m working from home focusing my efforts on our current pipeline of eight sales and client retention.

How long have you been working with Helmsmen and why? 

Since the outset, I liked the concept immediately.

How are you adjusting to this new way of life? 

Largely very well although I have 4 children and luckily a dog! I believe a more simple life is possible for us in the future.

What are the major changes you have seen? 

Remote working can be really useful. I have also noticed that people will put forward offers after viewing an online video.

What are your trend predictions for 2020? 

The market will remain stable in terms of pricing but we will see a huge increase in activity… which will hopefully lead to sales.

What advice would you give to others in your field? 

To remain positive and have a daily working structure whilst trying to remember that this tragic global pandemic will end.

What positives are you taking away from this? 

To be grateful for the amazing NHS and key workers in this country and focus on how lucky the majority of us are.

How are you using your time during lockdown? 

I’m spending time with my children and walk the dog. I work in a structured way with specific times and I try to help others.

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