15 May 2020

Miles & Barr Operating Policy – May 2020

Please see our latest Operating Policy

You will be aware that on the 23rd March we, along with much of the country, followed Government advice and closed our doors to the public. Since that day we continued to operate to some degree, albeit working remotely from our homes and quickly learning how we can continue to help our clients through “digital” meetings. The feedback has been fantastic, and we are proud of how our colleagues have been able to adapt and overcome during this challenging time. They have worked tirelessly to ensure we are still able to provide a level of service to our clients that needed it most, be that tenants and landlords, clients who still needed to proceed with buying or selling property or indeed the many clients that took advantage of our invaluable financial advice and guidance. 

Following the Government announcement, on the 13th May confirming that our industry was now permitted to re-open within strict operational guidelines, we are delighted to announce that as of Monday 18th May we are back open. Our teams have taken the time to plan and adapt further so we can operate within the rules provided to us and at a safe distance, thereby meaning the safety and well-being of our colleagues and clients continues to be our priority. 

Please read on below to understand the Government guidelines, how they will be adopted at Miles & Barr and how we can continue to operate safely:

This is a summary of the guidelines issued on 13th May 2020. The full document can be viewed here:

  • Estate Agents can open for business but should consider how and when to reopen their premises given government guidance on safer working. Estate Agents should inform customers and their own staff about their procedures, so that they are safe throughout the sales process.

  • Agents should ask whether any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any viewing, or visits to offices.

  • Agents should operate using an appointment system for visits to their offices and when conducting viewings.

  • Agents should not carry out any open house viewings.

  • Agents should strongly encourage clients to view properties virtually in the first instance and then only physically inspect properties which they have a strong interest in.

  • Agents can accompany physical viewings and seek to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others wherever possible. Where social distancing is not possible and the visit is within an enclosed space, they should consider wearing a face covering in line with government guidance.

  • Where they do not accompany the visit, they should make sure that both buyers and sellers clearly understand how the viewing should be conducted safely.

  • Agents should not drive clients to appointments.

  • All parties viewing a property should wash their hands with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if not available) immediately after entering the properties, with internal doors opened and surfaces having been wiped down before they enter. Separate towels or paper towels should be used if possible and washed or disposed of safely after use.

  • Agents should ensure that any keys are appropriately cleaned before handover.

Visiting our offices.

At this current time many of our teams will continue to work from home. Additionally, we have taken steps to adapt our offices to ensure social distancing measures can be maintained by those staff working in office. Our offices are therefore now open for business, however this is by appointment only and we will allow no more than two clients into our offices at any one time. 

If you attend an appointment you will notice that we have clearly defined client areas, cleaning stations and also safety screens in place for when there is no other practical alternative than a face-to-face meeting. 

If you visit one of our offices (by appointment of course!) you will notice all Personal Protection Equipment is available for staff and clients including hand and surface sanitiser, gloves, masks and shoe covers.

To book an appointment please contact staff from your local branch here

I would like to view a property for sale or for rent, how will this work?

Over recent weeks you will notice that many of our properties are now available with online/video viewings, however if you have narrowed down your search to a couple of properties that you would really like to view in person and you are in a strong position to proceed then we may be able to arrange a viewing within the following guidelines:

If it is your property that is being viewed:

  • We will need to check that no-one in your household is unwell or displaying symptoms of Coronavirus.

  • We will ask you, where possible, to clean and sanitise surfaces such as bannisters, door handles and light switches prior to the appointment.

  • Please open the internal doors throughout the property to reduce the need for any surface contact during the visit and open windows to ventilate the property prior to the visit.

  • If possible, we will ask you to arrange to be away from the property during the visit – this could be out for your daily walk or even just into the garden or driveway.

If you are viewing a property: 

  • We will need to check that no-one in your household is unwell or displaying symptoms of Coronavirus.

  • We will use the appropriate PPE such as a face coverings, gloves and overshoes during the viewing.

  • We ask that no more than 2 people attend who are from the same household.

  • We will always seek to maintain a minimum 2m distance.

  • If we are accompanying you to the viewing, we will meet you outside the property.

  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands as soon as you have entered the property and again when you leave.

  • We aim to complete the viewing in no more than 15 minutes.

I would like my property valued; how can this be done safely during Covid-19?

We have got very used to “video valuations” during the lockdown. Feedback has been fantastic, and we have refined the whole process so that it is seamless, stress free and importantly “contactless”, so despite the recent announcement, we will continue to offer this option. If you would like to book one please click here.

Alternatively, if you would prefer us to visit your property then we can offer a two-stage valuation. This means at Stage 1 we will visit your property for a short “walk-through” and this will then be followed by Stage 2, a telephone or video call to discuss the details, marketing options and next steps.

We will follow the Government guidelines when conducting the valuation:

  • Firstly, please make us aware if anyone in your household becomes unwell or shows symptoms of Coronavirus prior to the appointment.

  • Where possible, please clean and sanitise surfaces such as bannisters, door handles and light switches prior to the appointment.

  • Please open the internal doors throughout the property to reduce the need for any surface contact during the visit.

  • Please open windows to ventilate the property prior to the visit.

  • On arrival we will sanitise our hands, apply a face covering and overshoes.

  • We will walk through the property maintaining a minimum 2m distance and will make every effort not to touch any surfaces.

  • We aim to complete the walk through in under 30 minutes.

Can I still speak to a Mortgage Advisor or get financial advice?

In a word – “Yes!” Miles & Barr Financial Services is absolutely open for business, in fact we didn’t stop! We have, like the rest of our business, managed to adapt and we continue to welcome all enquires. These meetings are being conducted by video or telephone call, meaning we can maintain a social distance and adhere to all guidelines.

You can contact your local branch here to arrange a meeting or you are welcome to call us on our freephone number 0800 870 88 22

I am a Tenant and need to speak to your Property Management Team.

I am a Landlord, who can I speak to regarding my property or to discuss renting a new property?

  • If you are a Landlord, then you can speak to our Property Management team who will be able to discuss either current properties you let through us or if you have queries regarding a new let then they are ready and waiting to take your call.

  • If you would like us to value your property, then please familiarise yourself with the guidance above which explains how we will be conducting valuations above at this current time. 

  • You can find more information here