Estate agencies should be well equipped to deal with the ‘pingdemic’ sweeping the UK as many of the ten-million plus people using the NHS Covid app are told to isolate as infections rise, it has been claimed.
Propertymark says the industry is well suited to the new challenges of staff being ‘pinged’ by the app and told to isolate, as estate agency has had since June last year to get home working systems up and running. This is in comparison with many other industries including retail and logistics which are struggling.
But the British Chambers of Commerce has taken a tough line, saying that companies were ‘struggling to make sense’ of the Covid rules which seemed to changing ‘hour by hour’.
Propertymark’s comments follow Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak decision to self-isolate after being told to isolate following meetings with health secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive last week.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer initially claimed they were taking part in a pilot programme that enable them to dodge self-isolation, but later did a U-turn.
“Since the start of the pandemic agents were some of the few businesses to remain open and have had to find new ways of working by adapting their processes as we moved through the various levels, stages, and local restrictions,” Mark Hayward (pictured), its Chief Policy Advisor tells The Neg.
“Also, many agents have found efficiencies in what they do. Consumer demand currently remains strong, but we are entering into a traditionally quieter time in the market.
“We expect agents to continue to adapt and review their processes as well as put in place staff management tools that are now well practised such as working from home, staff rotation and even considering the benefit of home testing to allow agents to continue to support buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.”
The Labour party has put it more bluntly, saying: “The ‘pingdemic’ phrase obscures the truth: that the pandemic is not over and we may as well just carry on using that word”.
Read more: Will Covid soon be a distant memory or has it changed estate agency for ever?