As Australia experiences unprecedented restrictions on business, real estate and personal liberties during the fight against COVID-19, we know that many of our customers are confused and concerned about whether they can rent, sell, buy or move and how the market is responding to the effects of the pandemic.
We understand, so we’re writing to you to clear up:
- How First National has responded to maximise the advantage of our customers during COVID-19
- What real estate agents can and can’t do
- How we’re supporting and caring for our customers
Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions or we can help in any way.
THE FIRST NATIONAL RESPONSE – WE PUT YOU FIRST
First National Real Estate has led the industry in terms of providing its member agents with information and technology essential to complying with continuously changing state and territory government requirements.
We’ve gone much further than that though.
Since March, we have implemented literally hundreds of digital innovations and operational protocols to assure the safety of our customers, the success of their property purchases and sales, the support of our commercial tenants and landlords, and the continuity of all permissible rental management services – to the protection and advantage of our tenants.
Where required, our members are working from outside their offices to facilitate critical, permitted real estate functions so:
- Tenants can move into and out of properties, where permitted
- Homeowners can settle homes sold prior to Stage 4 restrictions (in Melbourne)
Where Stage-4 restrictions apply, we’ve pivoted to virtual property tours, digital inspections and online auctions.
Throughout regional Victoria, we’re showing property by private appointment and auctions are being conducted online. Our staff are performing their duties from home, unless a task cannot be executed from home.
Throughout the rest of the nation we are monitoring government announcements and directives daily, to assure our members are in full compliance with:
- Open home social distancing requirements and limits on the number of people in attendance
- Essential sanitation measures to minimise risk
- Record keeping for contact purposes
The actions we have taken to equip our members with market-leading digital technologies have:
- Protected home sellers from adverse impacts on the sale of their home due to the loss of regional newspapers nationally
- Assured buyers with ‘active intent’ are reached by First National property adverts through the efficient use of BIG data
- Enabled tenants to end leases and get their bond back quickly
We will continue to support our customers in the facilitation of property transactions, so we can enable all Australians are fully and safely supported in their property requirements
WHAT ESTATE AGENTS CAN AND CAN’T DO
Throughout Australia, real estate agents are permitted to conduct open home inspections and auctions everywhere but in Victoria.
However, various restrictions apply to the number of people who may attend open homes and auctions, as well as what they may and may not do while inspecting a property. We are taking all necessary precautions to assure the safety of our customers.
Highly specific restrictions currently apply in Victoria, and our members are communicating those details with due diligence to their customers.
SUPPORTING & CARING FOR CUSTOMERS
The impacts of COVID-19 have created enormous complications for everybody.
From the outset, when mounting business closures and job losses created distress for our tenants and landlords, we actively supplied advice about the financial support available to both. Then, we set about negotiating and implementing relief arrangements, where circumstances required.
Our members adopted remote work arrangements and enacted open home/private appointment safety protocols swiftly, while our marketing materials were refined to assure buyers and tenants understood the procedures we had (and have) in place to minimise risk.
Our all-important professional development programmes, which set the standards that assure customer satisfaction and safety, immediately switched to online delivery – with overwhelming member participation.
Then there are the behind the scenes things we’ve done that are less visible to customers, but which greatly influence outcomes in customer satisfaction. Right across Australia, our member agents have pulled together to support one another’s wellbeing and business management, because without that, we couldn’t continue to provide Australia’s best property services.
These are trying times for all Australians but rest assured, we are 100% committed to finding solutions to your challenges, supporting you as best we can, and our actions speak louder than words.
We put you first.