Lockdown One has barely finished, but already it seems like we could be entering Lockdown Two. And we didn't even get a trailer. With national lockdowns increasing around the country, perhaps the name for the second one should be Lockdown Two: Are You Prepared?
As a letting agent, you'll want to ensure that your setup is pandemic proof if we're all told to head back inside. But how can you safeguard your agency against a second lockdown? From arranging video viewings to updating your descriptions, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare for Lockdown Two. And we've put them all in one convenient place with our handy guide.
So, read on and make sure that you're prepared for a second lockdown.
Film all of your properties
An extended period indoors could put an end to physical viewings again, so you'll want to ensure that your stock is filmed and ready for the big (or small) screen. Get the tripod out, hire the teamsters and put on your directors' hat to create some magic.
Or you could just whip out your smartphone and film an unfiltered video of the property, one that gives renters real insight into what it's really like to live there. Short and snappy walkthroughs are more engaging for renters, who can watch them and see the ins and outs of the property as well as any communal areas.
Plus, you might need to film a fair few, so short videos with no glossy manipulation is the best way to go. Keep the content nice and digestible and get renters making enquiries for your homes while they're rooted to their sofas. Video viewings are an essential part of any letting agent pandemic survival kit.
Digitise your agency
The rental market will always be a people business first and foremost, but that doesn't mean digitisation doesn't have a role to play – especially during a lockdown. Use this time to get your agency up to date in the digital sphere.
Make it easier for renters to contact you and request online viewings. And if you can have a booking feature that lets them rent online, not only will you be safeguarding yourself against lockdown restrictions; you'll potentially speed up the process of renting.
Faster lets without physical viewings, you say? Take that, Lockdown Two.
Update your property descriptions with plenty of detail
Renters cooped up inside are going to spend more time looking at properties and try to find their dream place during lockdown. So you'll want to make sure that all of your property descriptions are up to date.
Add extra detail, letting renters know everything they can expect from the property. And don't forget to update the older ones that may be out of date now. Writing an impressive property description can add an extra layer to your listings, so don't skimp on the details.
How many rooms are there, does the property have impressive features (did someone say original mantlepiece?), are there communal areas if it's in an apartment block? Go into detail and bring your listings to life with words.
In a recent survey with Movebubble renters, we discovered the top things renters need to know before they secure a home online. So here's a handy list to bring into your description…
- Does the toilet flush?
- What is the inside of the property like?
- What's the local area like?
- Is the WiFi good?
- What are the room sizes?
- Is the phone signal ok?
- What's included in the monthly price? (Bills, furniture)
- How much storage space is there?
- What's the water pressure like?
- What's the rest of the building like? (Neighbours and communal entrances/areas)
- Are pets allowed?
Make sure imagery is realistic
While video viewings can be the primary driver for getting renters in your homes, photos are still a necessary component to every property listing. Therefore, the imagery needs to be on point. But it should be realistic and provide an accurate representation of the property.
That means no wide angles or manipulation that makes somewhere look bigger than it really is. All you need to do is take realistic photos in good light to showcase the property's strengths. Then throw in a video walkthrough for added sheen.
And don't forget about the importance of a floor plan during the lockdown. Showing the accurate dimensions of the home helps renters, as they can see the exact dimensions of the property and get a better idea of its size.
And don't forget about the importance of floor plans! Showing the accurate dimensions of the home and built-in features such as kitchen units, wardrobes and restricted height areas allows renters to identify the space accurately. It also helps with understanding how the property flows and answers a lot of questions.
Facing up to the challenge
A second lockdown is far from ideal, but if you're well prepared, your agency can thrive for however long restrictions last. With video walkthroughs leading the way, you can get your agency ready for the challenges of the next few months.