2020 has been a testing year right from the start. With Storms Ciara and Dennis causing £184m+ worth of damage to domestic properties¹ in the first quarter alone, quickly followed by the COVID-19 crisis, it has never been harder to be a property manager. During the initial weeks of lockdown, almost all facets of life were put to a halt. High street businesses normally buzzing with trade remained shut for months. Sales and lettings agents, like other businesses, had to operate remotely, many with little to no prior experience. Property managers of rented homes and leasehold buildings have had to triage repairs and maintenance works in order to prioritise the most urgent issues amidst stringent social distancing measures. This ruthless pandemic has changed our world, our country and perhaps us profoundly.
In May, the Government ‘unlocked’ estate and letting agencies with little warning, making property agents one of the first industries to come out of lockdown and to learn to adapt to the pre-vaccine, post-coronavirus business world. Many predict a paradigm shift in how technology will be used in the ‘new normal’ to fill the gaps created by a lack of social interaction. Property management, a people business, is perhaps one of the areas most impacted, and therefore, will be most altered in the future.