While many estate agency branches have been open for several weeks since the housing market re-started on 12th May, leading London agency Foxtons has revealed that it is only now beginning to re-open its 50+ branch network.
It has also reported that commission levels have dropped by 44% across all of its divisions between 23 March and Friday 15 May, its latest trading update to investors highlights.
The company says all of its branches will be open by next Monday and that its furloughed employees will be returning to work from that date onward ‘on a gradual basis’. Some employees will be allowed to continue working from home if they can do so effectively.
“The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is of paramount importance to the company,” the statements says.
“We have undertaken comprehensive risk assessments at all of our branches as well as our head office in consultation with employee representatives.
“Each of our workplaces has now been modified to be in line with recent guidance issued by both the government and Propertymark, the estate agency industry body.”
Staff returning to Foxtons’ branches will also have to follow social distancing procedures throughout, follow enhanced hygiene and office cleaning procedures and undergo training on how to ‘engage appropriately with customers’ during physical viewings and valuations.
Different parts of Foxtons’ business have been impacted to varying degrees by the pandemic; sales are down 61% while lettings dropped by 40%. But mortgage broking revenues decreased by just 2%.