Making homeownership possible during the Covid-19 pandemic

| 30 April 2020

Summary:In response to the lockdown, our development sales team had to find new ways to communicate with customers and showcase developments while following social distancing guidelines. We spoke to Rita Shah, a senior sales consultant, to discuss how her and her team are adapting their ways of working.

Our sales consultants help our customers make important decisions about their future homes. But what does that look like when customers are not able to view properties in person? Specialising in selling shared ownership and private sale homes in London and the southwest region, Rita Shah talks us through how the sales team continues to help customers buy homes in a time of social distancing.

A digital experience

Since the sales teams are not able to meet new customers face-to-face due to the current circumstances, they are now utilising digital platforms. Prior to the lockdown, the sales team began preparing videos of our developments, which are now used to conduct virtual viewings for customers. Rita explains that they are also working on obtaining 3D floorplans for the developments to help the buyers visualise the property they are interested in. The sales team, now working remotely from their homes, are available to speak to buyers anytime from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

“We are using digital platforms with our customers to remain in touch and answer any queries through different mediums, such as Zoom calls, video calls, and WhatsApp. We want to make the experience as realistic and accurate as possible despite not being able to physically visit the unit.”

Handover while social distancing

The only time it is necessary to meet a customer currently is for the handover of their home. In order to make this experience safe and streamlined, the sales team devised a procedure that requires little to no contact between the sales consultants and customers who able to legally complete the purchase of their new home. Rita described the team’s new handover process and how they can support customers on this important day, but from a distance.

“Before handover, we disinfect the keys and place them in a secure envelope with the required handover forms, and a letter is attached advising customers on the handover process. The team member meets the customer on site at an agreed time, and leaves the package containing the keys and forms at their front door. The consultant remains onsite for a period of time just in case the buyers need any further assistance.”  

Support during uncertain times

Despite the current circumstances, Rita and her team have noticed that the market is still active, with property reservations still being made since lockdown measures came into place. However, they also understand that there are also customers who may be reluctant to buy a home in the current climate.

“If buyers express some apprehension, we provide the most up-to-date information on mortgage products and legal restrictions. The situation may not be ideal, but we want to help customers to comfortably make informed decisions about their future home.”