Latest News

How agents can help vulnerable customers during self-isolation

03 June 2020

Some customers who are self-isolating because they are higher risk may face other challenges apart from the direct risk and impact of the virus, Agents are a key part of local communities and can provide housing and support to those in need. Read More...

Pearson VUE test centres now open for Propertymark Qualifications exams in England

02 June 2020

Pearson VUE test centres have now opened with limited capacity allowing Propertymark Qualifications candidates to sit their exams. There are strict health and safety measures in place to ensure everyone's safety including reduced seat numbers so that social distancing can be followed. Read More...

Easing of lockdown restrictions in Wales

02 June 2020

First Minister Mark Drakeford has today announced the latest parameters for movement in Wales. The announcement focused on allowing some social interaction but was clear that the priority is physically limiting spread. Read More...

Greater flexibility built into Job Retention Scheme

01 June 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Friday 29 May, changes to the Job Retention Scheme (commonly known as the Furlough Scheme). Read More...

NHS announce stay at home measures on the back of new test and trace service

29 May 2020

With effect from 28 May 2020, individuals who have been notified that they have had contact with an infected person and instructed to stay at home for 14 days under the new NHS test and trace system will also be deemed incapable of work and eligible for SSP (statutory sick pay). Read More...

Property sector moves into Phase One in Scotland

28 May 2020

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that the conditions are there to allow Scotland to move into Phase One of its four-phase route-map out of the Coronavirus crisis from 28 May 2020. Read More...

Keeping your business running during the Coronavirus pandemic

Thursday 09 April 2020

Agents may be wondering how best to keep the cash flowing, cut costs and get their business ready for a return to the new normal. There are a number of steps managers and business owners can take to keep their business in good shape during this time of economic and general uncertainty.

Communication is key

Agents that take proactive action now will get a good response from their clients and will be remembered well when the crisis is over. Be sure to contact clients regularly, communicating what is or is not possible at the moment. Make sure there is a point of contact that customers can always reach too.


Keeping in contact with staff is also crucial. Daily check-ins to make sure the team can raise any issues can be a solution but ask the team what works for them. Make sure any changes to plans are communicated clearly in a timely way. Remember that staff will be dealing with their own home situations while working remotely and may need flexibility.

Is cost-cutting required?

Businesses that maintain and increase their cashflow facilities to avoid liquidity problems will be best placed to handle the challenges of the current crisis.

  • Make a realistic assessment of cash flow for the next three months. Look at all hard capital expenditure for the past three months to build up a picture of costs and evaluate whether or not this cost still serves the business.
  • Take steps to recover any outstanding payments the business is owed. 
  • Utilise bank support and Government schemes. Some businesses can call on cash reserves, but they may not last, other businesses may not have cash reserves. Businesses that can position themselves to combine cash resources and available funding support will be the best places to find a controlled way through the crisis. Advice and support are available. 
  • Review and negotiate all costs with suppliers. Business owners should pick up the phone and speak directly to suppliers, outlining their individual situation. Many suppliers will be ready to have these conversations and will be keen to keep longstanding business arrangements.

Identify opportunities and risks

Every business should have a risk register and a regular review process. Stay at home time can be used to review the risk register again and see what financial risks the business is exposed to. Beneficial opportunities may also arise, and business owners should be ready to take advantage of them.

Staffing options

Businesses may not need to rush to reduce their staff levels, bearing in mind that they will need to come out of the COVID-19 period ready to do business. Considering these options could help:

  • Government furlough scheme where you see it as necessary
  • If possible, staying with full-time pay and full-time hours 
  • Reduced hours 
  • Staff offers – discuss what is possible for each individual team member and plan from there 
  • Utilise holiday entitlement – is it possible for staff to take their paid leave now instead of furloughing them?
  • Redundancy may also be an option when considering the business’s medium - and long-term requirements, but also should not be necessary with a combination of the above.

Change your ways of working

It may seem obvious, but the quieter lockdown period may be, use it to look at the current state of the business, and what changes can be made immediately to ensure both the current and future fitness of the business. This could include:

Setting up virtual property visits. Propertymark’s forthcoming webinar on conducting 360 viewings offers more insight, including workarounds for businesses that do not currently have the infrastructure to easily support virtual viewings.

 REGISTER

Reviewing AML procedures to make sure they are both compliant and robust.

 AML resources

Looking at customer service processes and procedures – what has been working and what has not? What will customers need from the business when business properly resumes?

Auditing and updating databases and data protection procedures. This will not only ensure that the business is GDPR-compliant but means that when the lockdown is over, the data is optimised and useful.

 GDPR resources

Propertymark resources

Propertymark continues to support its members through the COVID-19 crisis. A series of online resources for members include responsive webinars, fact sheets, email updates, and CPD.

 Watch webinar  Resources