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Estate agency closes branches following death of local agent from Covid

Business owner Jeff Cox says risks of keeping branches open is too high after surge in cases locally.

Nigel Lewis

covid death

An estate agency in Norfolk has closed its branches and told customers it would like stricter Covid restrictions to be introduced.

Although rumours from within government in recent weeks have indicated Ministers are mulling a housing market closure as Covid deaths hit record numbers, no decision has yet to be made.

But ITV News says Norfolk firm Henleys has decided the risks of having a branch open are too high following the death of a local estate agent in Wymondham – which is approximately 30 miles from its two offices. He is Gavin Wilkinson, who died recently after contracting Covid and being admitted to hospital.

Two-branch Henleys, which has offices in Cromer and North Walsham, has subsequently closed its high street branches, adding a note to its office door that says the decision ‘has not been taken lightly’.

“We just felt that we wanted to do our bit by closing our offices,” business owner Jeff Cox (pictured) told ITV.

Very fortunate

“We’re very fortunate that we can work from home, we have all the facilities in place to do that.

“Because of the massive increase of covid cases in the area, we’ve had to rethink things very, very carefully to just make sure what we’re doing is absolutely safe.”

gavin williamsonThe mayor of Wymondham, Kevin Hurn, was also featured on the programme, paying tribute to Gavin Wilkinson (pictured), saying he was “an extremely well liked person who was very, very good at his job”.

Wilkinson worked at the Wymondham branch of Sequence agency William H Brown as its sales manager. He is the second agent to die from complications brought on by Covid following the death of  Kent branch manager Chris Cane in November.

January 20, 2021


  1. Estate agency remains a very low risk environment with low volumes of client interaction in controllable environments.
    If you take sensible operational precautions the risks are virtually zero.
    I don’t think using the death of a colleague as a way to promote your own businesses virtues is ethical or morally justified.
    I would also remind everyone that the average age of death from Covid is 82 and that the likelihood of someone dying who is fit and well without any serious underlying condition remains extremely small.

  2. The SHG have decided it’s too high risk for now. It’s a watching brief.

  3. A good move, we’ve closed the office to minimise risk to staff and customers, and are operating “chain break” appointments where only certain staff are doing certain appointments so if there is a positive case it’s easy to break the infection chain by only isolating certain staff. Better for business, better for staff, better for customers.

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