Countrywide has revealed how unprepared it was for the home working revolution that has swept the industry following the arrival of Coronavirus.
As the company furloughed nearly 80% of the estate agency’s staff, it then had only seven days to find and implement new technology to help its remaining 2,000 staff work from home mainly in property management.
It then gave tech firm Olive Communications the job of deploying a home working telephone system across the branch network.
Like many agents, home working had not been part of the plan at Countrywide and it then had to executive a rapid U-turn as the expected Coronavirus lockdown neared.
Olive Communications is lucky that the home working phenomenon has taken off during the crisis; although it had been involved in upgrading the company’s existing branch telephone system, Countrywide late last month announced that it had put its overall company IT upgrade on ice in order to save money.
“It’s critical that Countrywide property management teams are available and responsive to manage our tenants essential and emergency housing needs,” says Colin Tigg, Head of IT Procurement at Countrywide.
“The COVID-19 crisis presented a huge challenge to the business as it required us to operate our business-critical functions from home, with minimal service interruption to our customers.
“Countrywide prides itself on delivering an excellent customer experience, and with the help of the highly adept and agile team at Olive, we are able to continue to support our customers and business operations efficiently and effectively.”