** This Bank Holiday Monday both Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today look at how agencies have modified offices and protocols to operate safely. There are separate examples on EAT and LAT so please check out both. Back to normal stories tomorrow, but in the meantime thanks to those who have contributed today. **
It’s no surprise that one of the country’s highest profile and most respected agents has a very thorough approach to returning to business in the current climate.
Jeremy Leaf & Co’s offices are in East and North Finchley in north London and Jeremy - a former chairman of the residential faculty at RICS - has introduced a thorough risk assessment protocol which he has kindly shared with us.
- Fewer staff in offices on rotation to reduce interaction;
- Work-from-home policy wherever possible;
- Remove papers from desks, open storage areas, etc;
- Clear desk policy and e-filing for hygienic/business continuity;
- Deep clean/disinfect all areas prior to staff return;
- Clean all - especially high-touch - areas regularly eg door handles etc;
- All staff and visitors to sanitise hands immediately after entering our offices;
- Maintain two-metre rule including re-arranging/re-modelling desks;
- Improve ventilation to offices;
- One in/one out to communal areas eg WCs, kitchens, eating areas;
- Separate front and rear office access for staff/customers;
- Perspex screens on customer-facing desks;
- Distance markers for staff and visitors;
- Hand sanitisers, gloves, masks, toilet seat covers, shoe covers, with body temperature checks for staff and customers;
- Internal (not fire) doors to be propped open;
- Signs on external doors eg office users by appointment only;
- Cycle storage to reduce staff public transport use;
- More use of virtual viewings/video tours, especially initially;
- Separate regime for property viewings and visitors;
- Update customers regularly.
And Jeremy's message is: “We will carry out regular checks to ensure procedures are followed. Any breaches subject to disciplinary action. Use common sense - we are back to business, not back to normal!”