The first Friday out of lockdown could be one of the biggest moving days in the lettings industry’s history, predicts ARLA Propertymark’s Chief Executive David Cox.
With the next crisis recovery announcement due next week, and Friday 8th a bank holiday, 15th May looks likely to herald the start of the sector’s big bounce-back.
It follows the publication of an independent report by Conservative peer Lord Ghadia and GlaxoSmithKline’s chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds which recommended that estate agents should be one of the first business sectors to resume trading.
Sharing his thoughts on the industry’s future as part of a Goodlord webinar joined by 1,000 industry professionals, Cox said: “There’s clearly a massive amount of pent-up demand in the market. Our message is just put everything on pause – don’t cancel it.”
He advised agents to plan their post-lockdown strategies and suggested they focus on how to handle the first seven days back – when the market should see a surge in new tenancy applications – by assessing the capacity requirements and logistical changes needed to respond to this demand.
Cox (left) cautioned against forgetting wider legislative changes scheduled for 2020. “Sooner or later, the Government is going to go back to its normal course of business”, he warned, citing the need to be prepared for the abolition of Section 21, Electrical Safety Regulations on new tenancies and the Regulation of Property Agents. He believes this crisis will also drive further legislative change that agents and landlords must prepare for.
He added: “We are trying to get out ahead of that with the concept of a property MOT. If we can try and shape what comes next, it’s going to be much easier for the industry to accept than to have a whole collection of laws thrown at us like we have over the past 10 years.”