Hello and welcome to Conquering Corona, our bid to help agents through the crisis.
If you have appropriate advice to share with the industry, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do the honours.
Let's start with two webinars.
Sam Ashdown and Phil Jones from AshdownJones and Firewave Agency Marketing are hosting a one-off live strategy session this morning at 10.30am.
In their session - called 'Kickstart Your Agency out of Lockdown' - they aim to share with independent agents what they are doing to ensure a profitable out-of-lockdown recovery, including information letters, social media strategy, cash-flow protection and client retention advice.
They’ll also be holding a live question and answer session, so that agents can put their questions anonymously and directly to Sam and Phil.
Sam has been the subject of some controversy recently, and has been featured in the industry press sharing her opinions on current government guidelines and the property market, so it's sure to be a fascinating webinar.
To register free, click here.
The next webinar from a well known and respected supplier, Fixflo.
This afternoon at 2pm an expert panel will address GDPR concerns around the collection of residents’ health data, changes within the reactive repairs process, and questions on the management of residential blocks and HMOs.
They will also discuss any new regulatory guidance in relation to repairs and maintenance, lettings and property management.
It sounds a must-attend webinar for block managers, agents and operators managing leasehold blocks and rented homes.
Registration is completely free and all registered attendees will be sent a link to the full recording afterwards. Prospective participants are encouraged to register early before capacity is reached.
Finally, a sector of the industry that has got little coverage in the current crisis - buying a home overseas, and in particular Spain.
Spanish property law firm Fuster & Associates has set out some guidelines for buyers, giving agents here an insight into how another country is handling its own lockdown.
Fuster & Associates says that for those buying new build homes in Spain, delays are inevitable.
“Buyers considering signing a contract and making payments at this stage need to hire a lawyer to increase the security of the process and protect their investment … A bank guarantee can help them to do this, provided the developer has a construction licence. If a deposit was paid prior to the licence being in place, a decent property lawyer will be able to obtain other safeguards” it explains.
“Before signing the deed, an inspection visit is customary. However, with domestic travel severely restricted and international travel all but impossible, such visits cannot go ahead.
“Some vendors are taking the inspection visit online, with virtual tours, while others are making an annex in writing to the deed, so that the process can move ahead with the promise of resolution of any issues taking place after this exceptional situation has passed.”
The law firm adds that for resale properties where the purchase is already in progress, both the buyer and the seller must fulfil the obligations in the contracts that they have signed.
“If they don’t formalize the sale, the buyer could lose their deposit. If the seller backs out, they will have to pay double the deposit amount to the would-be buyer.”
David Fuster says: “The problem with this is that the buyer may find that the seller is abroad and unable to get home to hand over the keys. Likewise, the seller may need to take furniture out of the property before the sale completes but find themselves unable to do so.”
In such cases, Fuster & Associates advises the parties to agree an extension to the deposit contract. This can be done through a private agreement between both parties, without the need for a trip to the notary’s office.
The company also points out that estate agents have plenty of tools at their disposal when it comes to enabling would-be buyers to find out about properties online.
Buyers who invest their time in research during the lockdown can therefore be well prepared for when the travel restrictions ease and they can visit their preferred property and make a firm decision to purchase.
That’s it for today - back tomorrow. Until then, stay safe…