Fine & Country is one of those clever agencies employing interior designers to help stage properties, making them look their best to extract every bit of value for their vendor customers.
The company working with F&C is Derbyshire-based Lemon and Lime Interiors: its project manager, Kirsty Fisher, kindly sent us this insight into how team members keep in touch and highly motivated in these difficult weeks.
Now, are your Cockapoos at the ready?
“The Coronavirus pandemic has created a large shift in the way people go about their daily lives, in particular the majority of people are now working from home, which comes with added entertainment.
“We figured out how to ‘Zoom’ fairly early on, after a few technical hurdles, “can you hear me?”, “is my camera on?” and we have set up regular catchups with our team to find out how their days pan out. You might wonder what a furloughed home staging employee might get up to during this time?
“Well, for Harriet, it means setting up a family quiz night and doing a round of Cockapoo racing in the garden! Like going to the dogs but working with what you’ve got to hand, four family cockapoos! It wasn’t quite what we were expecting but I think it was such a hit it will become a regular occurrence.
“Kate decided to decorate three floors of stairs and landing and ran out of paint after only doing the edges! Luckily, she has sourced the remaining paint now otherwise we were worried that she might have to wing a new statement feature wall look for a few months! Elaine’s biggest worry has been whether her employer liability insurance would have to cover Kate falling from the top of her ladder whilst on furlough.
“It’s almost as bad as hearing about Hannah’s gardening efforts and moving her pile of earth around the garden four times…because her husband couldn’t decide where it should go! I’m not sure we would all have been quite so patient with him when the pile was a tonne of topsoil!
“The list goes on and each day the stories get better!
“We are keeping up with our weekly pilates session at @AndraHealth but now it’s ‘virtually’ via Skype and in our own living rooms, which can only mean one thing, pilates in pyjamas! We’ve not done this yet, but I think this could be a great idea! Watch this space!
“We also take part in The Home Staging Association, a home staging platform which we are a founding member of, regular Zoom calls which are great for catching up with other people in our industry.
“Our favourite catchup is the weekly ‘Friday Wine Afternoon’ (wine obligatory even though it starts at 4pm), the perfect end to the week! It’s definitely about adapting the business and making the most of the circumstances, get creative and think outside of the box!”
** Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today are this Bank Holiday weekend running stories about how the industry is coping with lockdown, seven weeks on. Normal news stories resume on Monday but for the moment, please check both sites to see how different agencies and suppliers are keeping up morale. **