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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

We Salute You! - industry tribute after the stamp duty holiday frenzy

The stamp duty holiday concluded at midnight, marking the end of the busiest period for the industry - all parts of the industry - in living memory.

We need hardly remind you but the holiday was introduced in July 2020, then extended until the end of June this year - before a phased ending. 

The government introduced the holiday in the hope that people would feel more confident about buying, selling and renovating, in turn supporting jobs and driving economic growth. 

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An unintended consequence, perhaps, was that the property industry for once sank many of its professional rivalries and worked closer together than ever before to achieve almost impossible deadlines for a general public determined to secure its stamp duty savings.

The well known founder of the Bold Legal Group, Rob Hailstone - a conveyancer from the mid-70s until 2005 - says for the last 12 months all ‘coal face’ workers involved in the buying and selling process have experienced pressure that very few encountered before. 

“I had manic periods that went on for weeks, but nothing comes close to the last year. I for one salute them and I know many others do, and on behalf of the thousands of people they helped move home, would simply like to say great job, well done. If you can, take some time off to re-charge your batteries.’”

Everyone at Estate Agent Today and its publisher, Angels Media, echoes that salute!

Rob suggested that we reach out to others in the industry who we already knew appreciated what a great job has been done. The responses came flooding in:

“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by conveyancing solicitors since the stamp duty land tax holiday began. They helped ensure buyers could complete their moves, despite operating under immense pressure and in the most challenging circumstances with pandemic restrictions” - I. Stephanie Boyce, president of the Law Society of England and Wales.

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“The combination of lifestyle changes, the stamp duty holiday and cheap borrowing has fuelled the market to unprecedented levels. This demand has of course been positive but has brought with it its pressures. Agents have worked more hours, dealt with disheartened purchasers, anxious vendors and worn out colleagues. In the midst of this they have remained professional and done their best for their clients. We are immensely proud of our members and the sector for the work that has been achieved.” - Nathan Emerson, Propertymark chief executive

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“Property professionals are not the NHS or key workers – God bless them all – but they are hugely important to the UK’s economic success. When we came out of the first lockdown and the property sector was one of the first industries to be allowed to trade there was a sense of responsibility. Agents and conveyancers around the UK held the hopes and dreams of thousands of home movers in the palms of their hands and somehow they’ve made it happen. I salute you all!” - Simon Brown, founder The ESTAS Group.

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“Very well done to everyone for their amazing efforts over the course of the last 12 to 18 months. Hopefully the end of the SDLT holiday marks something of a return to normality for everyone……and we just have the Christmas deadline to deal with next! Well done to everyone who maintained such professionalism and were kind to each other during these fraught times!” - Lloyd Davies, managing director of Convey Law and operations director at The Conveyancing Association

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“Estate agents, conveyancers and surveyors were not given the status of key worker during the pandemic. However, at the height of the first wave all of them were asked to go back to work as imperative assets in the fight to continue the wider economy. During the last 18 months all property professionals have been substantive in their service to customers by helping people fulfil their home moving needs and dreams. It has been The Guild’s pleasure to serve and protect its Members during this time and support the sector – I salute you.” - Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild of Property Professionals.

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"It's been immensely uplifting to see how agents, suppliers, PropTech firms, conveyancers, surveyors and other property professionals have reacted to a situation none of us could have seen coming a few years ago, regularly joining together in a spirit of collaboration. During the worst of the crisis, we ran a series called Conquering Corona on EAT where the very best of agency was shown each week. Since things have eased, our Agents Do Charity column is busier than ever - showing just how kind and generous our industry is. Major hats off to everyone!" Nat Daniels, chief executive of Angels Media and founder of the Today sites. 

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“The industry has placed an increased focus on employee wellbeing – with mental health first aider training and the introduction of shutdown days edging into the norm. We’re proud to have played a significant role in supporting conveyancers and estate agents during this challenging time and would like to join others in saying We Salute You for their frontline efforts in a remarkable period that I’m certain we’ll be talking about for years to come.” - Joe Pepper, chief executive at tmgroup.

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“Our clients are also our friends so we have engaged with them on many more levels and it is only through this personal interaction that you start to understand the work volumes, the pressure and the stress that individuals have faced. I’m not sure I would have managed myself. I applaud everyone’s efforts and energy. You must all be cream crackered!” - Richard Pickles, national sales director, CDS.

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“Well done to all those who've put in an almighty shift through the most testing of times - beyond emotional clients, clogged lenders (who must adapt) and egregious fraud attempts - we salute you!” - Olly Thornton-Berry, Director, Thirdfort.

“Being a conveyancer now is pretty much a thankless and pressurised job at the best of times, but the last 12 months have been so hard on our profession and associated partners. I remember the exodus of people we had leave the industry in 2008/2009, but I fear this will be worse. To those that are left and still working more hours than contracted, I and the rest of the industry salute you!” - Rob Hosier, director at inCase and former conveyancer.

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“It is clear that for many conveyancers Saturday and Sunday are just additional working days. Unfortunately, the spats and the transactions that go wrong gain the headlines, however the reality is that in these unprecedented times, the overwhelming majority of transactions have been completed diligently, professionally and to the required timescale. We salute you all.” Simon Lumb, director, The National Deeds Depository.

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"Here at The ValPal Network, we work closely with agents on a day-to-day basis and we saw first-hand the fantastic work they were doing to keep the industry moving during the most difficult of times. We are very proud to be involved with all types of agents - from small to large, corporate to independent - and they all went out of their way to help clients out in an incredibly challenging situation. We salute each and every one of them!" - Craig Vile, director of The ValPal Network(a product of Angels Media, publisher of the Today sites).

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“It is not just the conveyancing sector that have felt the frustrations and challenges the working from home added frustration brought to the process that our friends - agents, mortgage brokers, lenders, surveyors and search companies alike - all experienced an over-capacity of transactions. Conveyancers and others have worked extraordinary hours … believe me, you are appreciated!” - John Ahmed, chief executive, Movin Legal. 

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"Since the introduction of the Stamp Duty Holiday, conveyancers, property solicitors, and Estate Agents have been under a lot of stress with the increased workload. We saw every one of our law firms working late into the evenings and sacrificing their weekends to continue to provide a great service to their clients. Congratulations everyone, you all deserve a big round of applause!” – Yvonne Hirons, Founder & CEO of Perfect Portal

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Similar expressions of support and admiration have been received from Coadjute, Cashroom, InTouch, Groundsure, Search Acumen, Reallymoving and InfoTrack.

There are many others across the industry who we couldn't get to - but we are sure they add their congratulations and thanks to all those working so hard for so long during this most difficult of times.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Nice story - and it is undoubtedly the case that the vast majority of those in the property industry, like most industries, are decent, hard-working and diligent. But, more than most, the property industry needs to shout out about it because of the in-built and hard to shift negative perception of real estate professionals.

    Well done to everyone for their work during such challenging times. Hopefully the end of the holiday gives people their own little holidays to recover!

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