Firstly, we want to take this opportunity to offer our sincere and very best wishes at this time to all of our customers and their families.
Ordinarily we would use this platform to talk about the property market and how many properties we are selling together with an analysis of market data and performance. However, we really just wanted to now get in touch to let you know a bit about Sparks Ellison and how we’ve reacted to the Coronavirus crisis.
The last few weeks have been the most difficult any of us at Sparks Ellison have known in our professional lives and we are sure the same can be said for many of you out there now so we really do feel for you. The most difficult of days was Tuesday March 24th when we closed our office. No more team meetings every morning, no more viewings or valuations that day and none of the excitement from agreeing a sale for a property knowing that you were helping people fulfil their plans and no more fun and banter amongst the team. Some of our customers had already exchanged contracts so we ensured that they had the keys in what must have been the strangest of move in days.
We immediately enabled our staff to work remotely with all calls and emails going through to them at home. Our Lettings team continue to be busy with day to day enquiries. Victoria, our Sales Progression Manager, was also very busy fielding calls and emails from worried house sellers and buyers wondering what impact this was all going to have. We like to think of this as a pause in proceedings and that motivated movers will be able to finally make that move in the near future.
Never in our wildest dreams would we ever have imagined that after nearly 17 years in business we would have to close our doors under the circumstances that we all find ourselves in with the realisation of £0 revenue for weeks and months ahead. Our biggest concerns are that of our customers and the people that work for us. Our customers, the people that have placed their faith and trust in us and our people who make Sparks Ellison the great company that it is, many of whom have been with us for 10-15 years.
For our customers, we are here. We are answering your calls and emails and if nothing else we are a shoulder to lean on and people to talk to. Whilst none of us have any experience of anything like this, we are here to offer advice on anything to do with your property and the market. We continue to receive questions about our properties for sale and have many potential buyers emailing wanting to get back viewing when they can which is a massive positive.
For our people, our Sparks Ellison family. As business owners we are having to make difficult decisions every day and trying to second guess a great deal which is impossible. We have made the decision to retain every member of the team and support them. They have supported us for years and it is now our duty to support them and their families as best we can. We will be placing most of our team in to Furlough and using the Government’s job retention scheme. At the end of April, we will also be paying 100% of what they would normally receive topping up the 80% government help and also paying commission due.
This is the new reality of our company. We are now a support organisation for the people that work for us and our customers and we have always been firm believers in looking after people.
We know that for many of you, moving home is the last thing on your mind. However, one thing that we are happy to do is Virtual Valuations (we never thought we’d ever say that!). If you are simply wondering what your property is worth, get in touch and we can look at some video footage that you take of your property, carry out some research and give you an idea of the value. It’s just an idea to help and stay in touch. Knowing how to communicate with you in these times is very difficult but as we have said, please feel free to get in touch with us at any time.
As we mentioned, we like to think of this as a pause. We’d love to have the ability to fast forward, but we will ensure we can press play again in the future.
We are certain that the property market will return again, and hopefully soon, but however long that may take we want you to know that we are with you now and will be waiting on the other side to look after you.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Our warmest wishes
Adam & Mark