The news is full of CoronaVirus (COVID-19), with opinions ranging from don’t worry to desperate panic. The fact is there is a new virus and few of us will have any natural resistance. It is still early days and at Maxine Lester Lettings, we are doing what we can to limit the spread of this disease.
We’re taking the approach of hope for the best, but plan for the worst! As our team meet many people as part of our work, we’re thinking about the steps we will take to minimise the chance of any infection spreading, and how we deliver our services if it spreads.
In the first instance we’re doing those sensible little things like minimising physical contact – so if we don’t shake your hand, please don’t take this as a discourtesy! We are doubtless not alone in singing Happy Birthday lots whilst washing our hands more than usual. However, we have also started asking people we are meeting for property viewings or routine visits whether they have been to any of the affected countries. If so, we are not going to meet them or visit their property until we know they have followed the Government isolation/quarantine advice, so we are confident they are not infectious.
If the infection spreads more widely as expected, then more people will be reluctant to meet new people, even our lovely staff. Therefore, we are looking at getting video viewings prepared for our properties, so applicants can see the property from their homes, even if they are infected or isolated. We are also starting to ask anyone who is giving notice to leave a property to review their decision. If the infection spreads, they may prefer to stay in their home rather than visit a whole load of potential properties. If we can delay any tenancy changeovers for a short while, that would seem to be in everyone’s interests.
The next issue is what happens if we have a bunch of staff not able to come to work. We have established a list of priority tasks to ensure we know what work absolutely must be done, and what work may need to wait a short while. We have also made technical arrangements to support home working and phones for our team. If we get to that, we will obviously keep you posted.
We hope all this work is not needed, but a little diligent planning seems appropriate!
If you have any thoughts or concerns then please let us know.
Matthew Lester MARLA, Director