Most excitingly, we have our entire team back in the office at Wales Street and we’re glad to be reconnecting with each other once again. Something that has really guided us over the last eight weeks whilst dealing with the COVID-19 situation, is our core principle of customer-first. This value forces us to place you, our client, at the centre of all of our decision-making processes.
We track our customer satisfaction rating quite closely and we are delighted to announce on behalf of our Property Management team that our score has increased by 10% since January this year. We’ve gone from a score of 3.9 to 4.3 with what are probably the most difficult operating conditions that we’ve experienced to date. We’ll keep raising the standards higher and please know, customer-first is what drives us.
While some of the restrictions lift, our commitment to hygiene standards remains a high priority. As we begin to re-integrate, as we’re going into people’s homes there are three areas that we’ve been focused on. The first relates to private inspections which are going to be our go-to for the foreseeable future. Meeting the Government requirement of a maximum of ten people in a property at any one time is something we feel we cannot guarantee with broad open homes. In this case, we’re still asking interested parties to register and privately inspect where they can.
Secondly, our position on routine inspections has been conducted digitally over the last eight weeks, however, moving forward we’re planning to commence these in-person again from June.
Finally, the other parties we are conscious of are coming and going from our landlord’s properties regularly, are our trades. Again, we’re making sure every person we engage with is going to commit to upholding those same standards.
Our team is settled back into the office now at Wales Street Belconnen and we feel like we’ve never been better placed to serve our landlords and of course, our tenants. We look forward to catching up on the other side as we continue to evolve in the new ‘normal’.
#1 Supply and demand remains strong.
People are taking advantage of the fact that the balance of supply and demand continues to be weighted in the seller’s favour. There are less new properties coming to the market that is balancing with the extreme supply of pre-approvals that are still in the system. We are seeing an imbalance between buyer and the number of properties for sale that in turn, is driving strength in sales prices.
#2 Digitised walk-throughs
Digital inspection numbers are through the roof as you might expect if you’re at home with a little bit more time on your hands. There has been a significant influx of people visiting our website to try and find the next available time slots.
#3 Our response to social distancing
We have worked tirelessly on our digital auctions to give our tenants and homeowners whose property we might be coming into, the confidence that we are maintaining the highest level of standards around COVID-19 compliance. Our inspection numbers are still high and we are still out there generating competition.
#4 Unmatched Turnaround Times
We know that speed is somewhat of the essence at the moment and our ability to stay in front of the curve here is driven by some decisions taken many years ago, to create our in-house digital marketing team. Within a matter of days of choosing your agent, we are able to produce beautiful photography and incredibly engaging walkthrough videos as well as a 3D scan of your property. This makes it so simple for buyers to inspect your home from the comfort of theirs. Our buyer database has over 17,000 potential homeowners that we have reason to believe includes more under-bidders from auctions than any other agency in Canberra. There’s competition out there to be had and we can have your home in front of them within a matter of days.
#5 No cost digital marketing solution
Our guarantee is making sure you bear absolutely no risk in going through with listing your property and taking advantage of what we think are excellent conditions for sellers. Our robot cameras have put us in the business of creating competition and we are as well-placed as ever to deliver on that promise to our sellers.
We’d love to talk to you further about how we might be able to help you with your selling journey.
Today, we’re sharing with you some of the key facts around Job Keeper and what that’s likely to mean in the short/medium term. Secondly, the situation around rental properties both residential and commercial, and finally, what’s happening in the world of finance where it’s never been more important not only to have a broker but a great one.
The government has made job-keeper, abundant, and transparent, which us small business owners are certainly appreciating. They will calculate the drop in revenue on a monthly basis. What has been communicated by the government is that they want every eligible worker to be able to access these benefits. There will be ongoing negotiations with the ATO to ensure an outcome where people can stay employed at comparable or higher rates of pay.
The payments are going to be paid in arrears so businesses will need to cash flow that salary for at least one month to carry that forward before they can claim abatement. There will also be reporting requirements as Job Keeper has been designed to counteract individuals gaining the system.
For commercial tenancies, there has been a release of guidelines on how to manage the implications of COVID-19. Effectively, consideration must be made around the drop in income of that particular business and the subsequent split between a rental waiver and a rental deferral. We’ve been happy to have some conversations with people around this situation because it is unique to each set of circumstances.
In the residential space, it’s more of an individual negotiation between the tenant and the landlord and we continue to facilitate these conversations.
While now may not seem like an obvious time to reach out to a broker and have a conversation, it’s probably never been so important. We’ve found countless discrepancies between banks of up to $200,000. With one particular scenario we were addressing, one lender was providing finance up to $869,000 whereas the other was only at $688,000. This is such a significant gap for potential purchases.
Another reason why you should consider having a great broker in your corner is the quick turnaround times. To give you one example, one of the major bank lenders will offer general brokers turnaround times of approx. 21 days. However, if you’re recognised as an elite broker, you get fast-tracked which can provide you with approval in just 2 days. That’s an incredible ability to provide confidence for potential buyers knowing we can save them that three week period of uncertainty where they are waiting for the finance approval to be processed.
Finance at the moment is about confidence. An average broker might get 70% of their deals approved, whereas our in-house finance specialist sticks at a rate of 96 to 98%.
We’re here to support you whether you’re a homebuyer or even just looking to refinance to make sure you’re in the best financial situation possible whilst we navigate these challenges together. Like everyone, we’re operating in a very fluid environment, we’re certainly doing our best to keep people and our clients well informed.
The Ray White Canberra team was able to pivot quickly to respond to restrictions that were brought in by COVID-19. Select agents from our team proxy-bid on behalf of buyers over the phone. Our customer-centric approach is designed to allow you to buy and sell property, from the comfort of yours.
Here at Ray White Canberra, we pride ourselves on our high standards at the best of times and ensure we run the very best auction experience for our clients.
If you’d like more information about the digital auction process, please contact our office and speak with one of our qualified Sales staff because digital auctions are here to stay!