As we start to move on from isolation there is no doubt many things remain unknown. I have written many times about adjusting to the ‘new normal’ but it is increasingly clear that as a result of the pandemic a huge range of personal, business and government priorities and policies might yet change. I think we’ve a long way to go until we do find a new normal, but I’m excited at the possibilities that might emerge.
There are the simple things that I think may come as a result of our enforced isolation. From a personal perspective I have no doubt the way we work will be forever changed. More businesses will be open to more flexibility and so I think there will be an increased focus from potential buyers on the availability of a home office space. Rather than a ‘nice to have’ it will be a ‘must have’. It’s true that our team of sales agents are already advising clients styling properties for sale to consider showcasing a ‘working from home’ space.
I also wonder if our love of open-plan living spaces might also be redefined. The reality of having the whole family hanging out a single room, even if that’s a large room with multiple living zones, has probably been shown to have some limitations over the extended lockdown!!
For our business, thanks to some timely management decisions, Morton had already adopted platforms and procedures so we could continue to provide quality personal service to our clients even whilst in lockdown. Buying, selling, leasing and managing property is a very personal process and relationships with our clients will always be our focus but every property transaction comes also with a heavy administrative burden.
We are already exploring opportunities that will see Morton continue to set the benchmark for offering our clients fast, efficient, transparent, and secure access to information. Our aim is to identify and utilise technology wherever possible to make things easier for our clients and which enables our team to focus on providing the personal service that technology will never be able to replace.
Beyond that there will also be more fundamental changes that have the potential to influence and impact the residential property market. I hope the debate around stamp duty and payroll tax reforms will become more focussed. In my view now is the time to move on from the emotional and concentrate on the practical cost-benefit of those taxes and I am encouraged those discussions have already been flagged as essential post-pandemic considerations.
There is a lot to consider and I believe significant opportunity to deliver positive outcomes for our clients, our profession, and the economy. I am looking forward to moving on from the pandemic and am determined from the stress of recent months that we will create a new normal that is bigger and better than before.