A regional agency has thrown its weight behind an independent report which says estate and lettings agents could lead the economy out of lockdown.
Essex and Hertfordshire agency Mullucks backs the call, made by Conservative peer Lord Ghadia and GlaxoSmithKline’s chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds.
The report has been submitted to ministers as they receive advice on how to revive the economy without compromising the nation’s health; agents’ offices, along with coffee shops and restaurants, were recognised as having high ‘multiplier’ effects, leading to the generation of work throughout the economy.
“The safety of our staff and the wider public would need to be our first consideration. However, once restrictions are lifted, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t be able to practice social distancing effectively - whether it’s in our offices, on valuations or on viewings” explains Mullucks managing director Daniel Galati.
“Estate agency is a business which has one of the widest potential impacts as an economic revival ‘multiplier’, but with minimal risk of spreading infection among the population further. Once we can get back to work, then builders, surveyors, solicitors and removal firms can all resume business too” he adds.
“Obviously the world is waiting for a vaccine before we know that we can get back to business as normal. And clearly, the government would also like estate agency to resume again, because of the tax receipts it would mean for the Treasury.
“I think it would be important to avoid a ‘stop-start’ economy, which would damage public morale and business confidence yet further. But until the time comes, we welcome the recommendations in this report, and are standing by, ready to step in, as and when we are allowed to do so.”
Earlier this week epropservices, parent company of Fine & Country and The Guild of Property Professionals, sent an open letter to the government urging agents’ offices to be amongst the first to be reopened when safe.
epropservices chief executive Jon Cooke says: “Our sector can play a key part in the drive to getting the economy on its feet again. Our emphasis during this process is to ensure that every precaution is taken to keep people safe. We are pushing for the industry to be able to get back to work, but it is paramount that we all follow the correct procedures to ensure everyone is protected.”