April 28th COVID-19 Update
Whilst it may turn out to be misplaced confidence, we believe that things have started to slowly turn a corner with the lockdown situation. We’re responding to a slow but steady increase in enquiries and starting to gear up for a return to some sort of normality sooner rather than later. Read on for more…
If you’re on the market with Hannells or have a sale that has been instructed to Solicitors, please take a couple of minutes to read the following information:
In our last update, we explained some of the changes we felt were needed in order for Hannells to survive the lockdown.
Nobody had any idea of the effects it would have on the property market and with this being a once-in-a-lifetime situation, there was unfortunately no playbook of how to handle this that we could refer to and know we were doing the right thing.
We had no choice but to shut down the branches and a large part of the team was furloughed. As a result, we only had the capacity to deal with urgent enquiries and emergencies which we aimed to respond to within 24 working hours.
We now feel that from the beginning of last week things have started to slowly turn a corner and to coincide with a slow but steady increase in enquiries, we’ve started to bring back staff to the business which we hope signals the start of some sort of return to normal.
As with many businesses, for the last three to four weeks we’ve been in survival mode – looking at all of our options and doing as much as possible to make sure that we can survive a sustained period of almost zero activity whilst maintaining the capability to pick up quickly where we left off as soon as we’re able to.
We’re now in the process of getting back on the front foot, attacking the situation head on and, most importantly, getting back to regular communication and updates for our customers.
Despite the challenges of the past few weeks, we’ve been recording all interest shown including viewing requests, we’ve been negotiating sales, we’ve been instructing sales and progressing transactions, exchanging and completing where we can.
It was unavoidable that you would see a drop in the level of service that we’ve been able to provide and usually pride ourselves on.
At this moment in time, we’re still not able to arrange viewings on any of our properties and as frustrating as that my be for everyone involved, including us, all we can do is wait which will continue to impact the interest shown in all of our properties and our ability to agree sales.
From the entire team at Hannells, we would like to thank you for your patience and your understanding.
We’re sure that many of you have experienced equally challenging and difficult times over the last month and I’ve heard so often from the team how taken aback they’ve been by the positive nature of the conversations they’ve been having with our customers, the people of Derby and beyond.
Over the next few days, we’ll be getting in touch with all of our vendors who have a property on the market or a sale instructed to Solicitors. Whether it’s just to check in and say hello, or to give you an update on how things are progressing.
We’re taking calls again and are no longer restricted to just dealing with emergencies and urgent enquiries.
Whilst these can only be seen as positive signs, we’re a long way from being at full capacity and back to our usual best – so please bear that in mind if you feel the need to get in touch earlier.
Our opening times until further notice will remain as:
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5.30pm.
If you’re on the market with us, are a Hannells Landlord or Tenant and have a general enquiry or you’d like more information about a property, we’d recommend getting in touch via your local branch email address rather than over the phone:
If you have a sale or purchase that has been instructed to Solicitors, we’d still encourage you to speak directly to your Solicitor for an update as it will be quicker and easier. If there’s anything they’re not able to deal with or need us to chase, we’re more than happy to help.
The lockdown situation has resulted in a significant change in circumstances for some of our buyers and sellers and there are sales that have fallen through as a result of this. It’s not as many as we’d originally anticipated but with a number of weeks still left to go, there are likely to be more to come – we’ll do everything we can to keep your sale together and progressing.
Similarly, one of the biggest hold-ups has been with obtaining mortgages due to major changes in lending criteria and many surveys being on hold for the forseeable future. We’ve seen that some of the larger lenders are starting to relax these criteria but they’re still a way short of the loan to value ratios and financial requirements that were in place before this all happened.
If you’re a Tenant and would like to report a maintenance or repair issue, please continue to report these online via our online maintenance centre. You can find the link here – Hannells Online Maintanance Centre.
We’d just like to reassure you that whilst there has been a huge drop in market activity since the beginning of the lockdown, we have recorded enquiries from all interested parties who we’ll be getting in touch with as soon as we’re able to arrange viewings.
So, once again – ‘thank you’ for your patience during these very surreal and uncertain times and we hope that we’re able to return that by being one of the very first agents in the area to get back to normal, working hard to find a buyer for your property or progressing your sale through to completion.
We hope that you and your families have been able to stay healthy and safe and we look forward to providing you with more increasingly positive updates as time progresses.
The Hannells Team