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£4,000 – the cost of upgrading an agent’s office to meet Covid rules

Belvoir franchisee in Warwickshire reveals surprisingly high expense of ensuring its branch was safe for staff to work in and for customers to visit.

Nigel Lewis

belvoir covid

An estate agent in Leamington Spa has revealed the cost of getting her Belvoir branch ready to re-open after the Covid crisis.

Sue Warburton, who runs Belvoir’s award-winning Leamington Spa franchise in Warwickshire with her husband John, says it cost the business £4,000 in Covid protection measures to ensure her office adhered to the current legislation.

“It’s been a bit weird and everyone’s brought in their own cutlery and plates to eat their lunch and are a bit jumpy about using the kettle, but otherwise, as far as possible, it’s do-able and business is picking up,” she says.

Her branch re-opened on 15th June and most of her 18 staff had, prior to that, worked from home after being brought back from furlough on 8th June.

She says that the business has been extremely busy both prior to and after its office on Regent Grove in Leamington Spa re-opened following the Covid lockdown.

Warburton says that, although she wishes none of her competitors any ill-will, she has been surprised by some agents’ decisions not to re-open their businesses.

“I’ve heard of landlords who simply couldn’t get through to their existing letting agent because they had shut up shop and weren’t taking calls,” she says.

Kenny call

Sue also used the lockdown to good use – and was one of the first in the industry to use Agents Together’s mentoring services and was put through to Kenny Bruce for her first and subsequent sessions.

“I had to Google who he was afterwards and although I’m no fan of Purplebricks, his knowledge and advice was useful and he really listened properly to what I was saying,” she says.

“I’ve booked in all my staff to do the same mentoring as I believe everyone in the industry needs a little help at the moment, and if Agents Together is going to carry on offering for free then ‘why not?’.”

 

June 29, 2020

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