Cooke & Co Covid 19 Update and our new procedures. May 2020.
Following the recent changes to Governments Guidelines announcing that Estate Agents can return to work, we would like to inform you about our plans and new systems we will implementing over the coming weeks.
We envisage a slow, cautious return to work with remote working being implemented as a first step. We will make changes to our way of working with careful consideration for health and safety based upon further government and industry guidance and updates on the daily government briefings regarding the level of the virus and its impact within our communities.
Our top priority remains the safety and welfare of our team, client and all members of the public. Once we start to move towards office and location based working we will ensure:
- Social distancing and non-contact measures will remain in place at all times.
- PPE equipment will be available for all our staff who will be fully trained and will be fully equipped for your and their protection.
- Staff will wear masks and gloves where appropriate as normal working practice, please don't be alarmed, this is for your and their protection.
Cooke & Co offices (Cliftonville, Broadstairs and Ramsgate) will not be reopening to the public before June 1st 2020. The offices may occasionally have staff in them to carry out their day to day work as necessary, however, for their and your safety and security they will not be permitted to open the door to you. Please do not be offended and we appreciate your support with keeping us all safe.
Please contact the office via email or phone 01843 231833 (Margate). 01843 600911 (Broadstairs). 01843 851422 (Ramsgate). 01843 234771 (Lettings)
Certain essential activities, such as property sign ups, may be arranged by appointment. However, this will be subject to health and risk assessments and only where it cannot be done via video, zoom or other appropriate online communication.
It is expected that we will introduce a phased return to work for some of our staff over the next few weeks. We do have systems in place to allow us to work remotely from home and system security to ensure your personal data is protected.
You can contact our local branches on their normal telephone numbers and specific staff on their email addresses during our current reduced working hours which are 10am until 4pm.
We understand Estate Agency is a ‘people’ business and requires interaction with sellers, buyers, applicants, landlords, tenants and contractors etc. It is our priority at Cooke & Co to provide a safe environment for all concerned in the coming months.
If you want a general idea of your property’s value then please use our new social distancing valuation tool available here.
We would also be pleased to arrange a zoom video chat or have a telephone conversation with you to discuss in more detail.
Where a face to face meeting is necessary, we will need to assess any risk associated with the visit. At this stage this is currently under review for properties that are occupied to ensure safety for everyone concerned.
Of course this is a two-way process so we will ask that you ensure you and your household are ‘fit and healthy’ and have had no symptoms for at least 7 days before the appointment. We will also confirm the team member you are meeting is fit and healthy having had no symptoms for at least 7 days.
Please note that until we have easily accessible and wide spread testing we can only confirm to the best of our ability based on physical symptoms not showing at any point in time.
Please dont be offended, when we conduct a valuation we will avoid any handshaking and we will maintain a two metre distance. We will wear a fresh pair of protective gloves to each visit and face masks. We would also ask that internal doors could be opened.
We will keep the time in face to face contact to a minimum and we will decline any coffees/refreshments for safety reasons.
We have a superb array of virtual viewing tools on our website at www.cookeandco.com
Please only arrange a full viewing when you are in a position to either rent, proceed with a cash purchase or having a complete chain on your own property.
We will carry out the health-check questionnaire on all viewers, viewings will not currently be accompanied by a member of our team in order to minimise the risk to your household and to make social distancing easier. You will need to ensure that you tell us who will be attending the viewing and limit the number of people to no more than two at any one time.
If the property is occupied, we will check on the health of the seller before arranging the appointment via a health check questionnaire.
Where a physical viewing does takes place, please avoid any handshaking or physical contact and remember to keep your two-metre distance, wear protective gloves and avoid any ‘paper’ documents – consider using face masks.
Please have a supply of hand-gel and ‘wipes’ – when returning to the car, wash your hands, wipe any equipment you have used on the visit – avoid touching your face during any appointment.
If the property is vacant we will meet you at the property and will maintain social distancing and safety measures as above.
We have been working on sales progression throughout the lock-down and will continue to work hard in progressing any existing sales already instructed with solicitors. The team can be contacted in the normal way via phone and email.
Rental Property Inspections
At present all non essential property inspections are suspended, we will review this after June 1st 2020.
When they resume staff will wear a new pair of disposable gloves and a mask and we would ask that you allow social distancing to take place.
We will not be in a position to touch anything.
In some cases we will send you a property condition questionnaire for completion and return by email. All visits will be limited to 15 minutes maximum.
Rental Checkouts when you move or leave a property.
The property will need to have been vacated for at least 72 hours before we can enter. Clients will be asked to return keys to our Cliftonville branch. We will then inspect the properties condition. Due to these restrictions this may take longer than we would usually expect. Please be kind and patient
Maintenance on properties that are Let
All trades people will be required to observe full social distancing and if requested you need to vacate where any repairs are taking place. We will be prioritising and carrying out essential repairs at this time so please be patient.
We thank you for supporting us to ensure all our safety during this challenging time. We are hear to support you please talk to us if you have any concerns.
Founder / Managing Director.