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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Confirmed: Agents WILL have to wear masks in branch offices

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all retail staff will be obliged to wear masks when working - and it's now been confirmed that this applies to estate agency branches.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propetymark, has this afternoon told the press: “We have asked the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government how the Prime Minister’s announcement about face masks for those in retail will impact agents and have been told that agents will be expected to wear masks while working in their High Street offices. Legislation will be brought in to this effect shortly and we advise agents must adopt this measure to both protect themselves and their clients.”

It is thought that the legislation could be passed as soon as Thursday of this week.

Boris Johnson has warned that this measure - and others announced today - will last for up to six months.

The other measures are:

- work from home if you can;

- pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm (close - not just last orders);

- face coverings at work for all retail staff, taxi customers and hospitality businesses;

- additional fines for those who do not comply;

- reduced numbers allowed at weddings and funerals; 

- indoor sports involving more than six people banned.

The Prime Minister has also warned that if these measures do not bring the Coronivirus R (reproduction) rate to below 1.0 “greater firepower” in the form of more restrictions may be required at a later date. 

Strikingly, he also said the police would be able to call on military assistance if required for enforcement.

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    Propertymark pushed for Estate Agencies to be treated as retail to benefit from grants etc....so it would appear clear that masks will need to be worn. Of course, the devil is in the detail!

  • John Evans

    Maybe keep our doors closed?

    David Gibbs

    our doors have been locked throughout anyway. Only people in must wear face masks and sanitize their hands

     
    Roger  Mellie

    We, like David have had our doors closed since March. Viewings by appointment only and no one in the office unless you work there. This has worked out just fine for us so far.

     
    Welsh  Cynic

    Yes, lock all doors and when someone calls, put on a mask, before you let them in. It is utterly ridiculous!

     
  • adrian duthie

    Don't need this unbeliveably imcompetent and corrupt Government to tell us the blindingly obvious. Why would any agency not already be insisting staff and customers wear face coverings to protect everyone and keep the doors open?

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    It is simply because the Country is full of people that appear completely in denial that we have an issue that they should be concerned about. I don't think anyone needs to take offence. At least this way no one can say that they weren't informed.
    I don't think the Government can win no matter what they say or do as there is always someone who knows best and likes telling everyone about it LOL

     
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    Stick to property.

     
  • icon

    So if we are working behind locked doors do we still have to wear masks ?

  • Roger  Mellie

    Obviously the dimwitted head of Property Mark has no clue what it's like in the branch network. What about offices that are on the high street but closed to the public? What about that Mark?

  • David Gibbs

    As Robin says, if we are not opening our doors to the public, surely we do not still have to wear masks?

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    is it wrong my PA said that will brighten things up around here !!

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    So we don’t class as office workers then? And won’t be working from home?

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    Thank god I work from home.

  • Rebecca Eglinton

    would rather know if we can go back to taking just proceedable people on viewings? sick of people not even on the market trying to book viewings in light of what is going on.

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    We never book in a viewing unless they are in a proceedable position Rebecca - isn't that Covid guidelines? Tyre kickers can do one in my opinion

     
  • Rebecca Eglinton

    No it is not covid guidelines as I checked with propertymark lawyers as I had a guy totally kicking off that I would not let him view a property as he was not even on the market. Seriously. Hopefully they will make it clearer that it is only proceedable people and not just people with serious intent to purchase. Anyone can say they are serious but they cannot be if they are not on the market Urggggghhhhh.

  • Where Is The  Monii Money

    Just wear the f****** masks!

    The arguments about doors locked, highstreet presence, commercial categorisation are irrelevant.

    Get some branded masks. Leave them on appraisals, drop them through other agents properties but more importantly, wear them and show YOUR customers that THEIR safety and the safety of your STAFF is being taken seriously.

    Rant over...

  • icon

    couldn't agree more!

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    I didn’t think clients went into estate agents offices anymore anyway! Protecting the staff is very important which means wearing masks... but Rightmove has been your clients equivalent to a mask for many years.

  • Hybrid Agent

    Office or shop for estate agency? Traditional agents are on our high streets alongside other shop premises… so shops. But wait, with Covid precautions making many of these operations lock their doors and go ‘By appointment only’ for entry they become more like an office, no casual footfall.
    Look at the purpose and process of modern estate agency, connect the potential viewer from the moment of first contact with a property at 10pm on the big property portals to a booked viewing time. As a traditional agent with a retail shop/office this process is completely overlooked by the structure of the operation. See the property at 10pm and ring our high street premises the next morning at 9am..
    If you can provide a tech solution to take the internet browse to the booked viewing time then you have zero requirement for the phone answering retail premises. The other functions of agency -offers and post sales are all transferable to a more hub or tech based set up.
    Perhaps the difficulties in providing such shops/office during the pandemic and the further rise of home working will make the unsuitability of the retail agent model to consumer requirements even clearer..
    Think admin. hubs, think ‘work from home’ local agents supported by technology and think of genuine estate agency models that encompass the needs and safety of workers and the consumer beyond 2020.

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    • 28 September 2020 23:16 PM

    Being a photographer I lost some business today trying to inform a high street estate agent branch about this legislation. No one was wearing masks in the office, so asked if I they're aware of it. They ended up collecting the key of a property I was about to do a video tour on saying I shouldn't tell them what to do. Very edgy topic this.

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