An Unexpected Silver Lining For The UK Property Industry?

The costs of COVID-19 for customer-facing industries have been severe, and the housing market is no different. As the UK Government gradually eased the lockdown, on 29 June 2020 guidance was released for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland allowing for physically distanced viewings that adhere to public health guidance. Opening up the housing market was one of the first actions taken by the Government, in recognition of the ripple effect the housing market has on the wider economy.

“One of the founding principles of Story of Home is to provide a service that we ourselves would want.”

Notably, the Government guidance stipulated that ‘viewings must only take place with serious buyers who are genuinely interested in the property’. Of course, this was intended to stop the further spread of COVID and protect our health, but it may have unexpected and longer-term consequences for the property industry. For buyers, sellers and agents alike, this is a huge mindset shift.

We have all heard stories from buyers dragged across London, to be shown properties that aren’t even close to meeting their search criteria.

At Story of Home we are all in favour of new legislation that brings about reform in the industry, especially when it improves the customer experience. For too long, the majority of estate agents have been resistant to change, relying on a ‘spray and pray’ approach to marketing and selling property.

One of the founding principles of Story of Home is to provide a service that we ourselves would want. This means presenting a property to its full potential, using stylish photography, and property descriptions that don’t just tell you what you can see, but what you can’t – the best spot in the garden for evening sun, or which local coffee spots are most popular. For buyers, this helps them to visualise if the property is right for them, and ultimately, narrow down the search. For sellers, this means only serious buyers and a quicker sale.