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Actions speak louder
18 Aug 20

How We're Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As First National Neilson Partners responds to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we appreciate how vitally important it is that we continue to communicate clearly about what actions are being taken with our clients.
 
We also know that as Victoria experiences unprecedented restrictions on business, real estate and personal liberties during the fight against COVID-19, 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 advise of the current situation:

  • How FN Neilson Partners has responded to maximise the advantage of our customers during COVID-19
  • What Victorians can and can’t do with property in Stage 3 & 4 restricted parts of Victoria
  • What real estate agents can and cannot do
  • How we’re supporting and caring for our customers

 Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or we can help in any way.
 
THE FIRST NATIONAL RESPONSE – WE PUT YOU FIRST
 
Since March, we have implemented literally dozens of digital innovations and protocols to assure the safety of our Victorian 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/landlords.
 
Our team members are working from outside our offices to facilitate critical, permitted real estate functions so:

  • Tenants can move into and out of properties, where permitted
  • Homeowners can settle their homes that were sold prior to Stage 4 restrictions

 
Our staff are performing their normal duties from home unless a particular task cannot be executed at home.
 
As stage 4 restrictions were applied, we have pivoted to virtual property tours, videos, digital inspections and online auctions.
 
We will continue to support our customers in the facilitation of property settlements and the execution of leases, so we can keep Victorians homed and safe.
 
WHAT VICTORIANS & ESTATE AGENTS CAN AND CAN’T DO
 
No movement is permitted from Melbourne to regional Victoria for the purposes of inspecting a property. Inspections for Stage 4 restricted Melbourne residents may only be conducted virtually. If you had already arranged to move before Wednesday 5 August, you may proceed, but subject to the 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew.
 
Selling homes
 
In Melbourne, you can put your home on the market for private sale or auction but all inspections and auctions must be carried out remotely, and we’re unable to enter new listings to do photography or styling. Homeowners can provide us with photos or videos, electronically. We don’t anticipate, however, that many buyers will commit to a property purchase in Melbourne while Stage 4 restrictions prevent physical inspections.

  • If you were committed to settling when Stage-4 restrictions began, you can proceed
  • Agents can facilitate valuations, pest and building inspections, pre-settlement inspections, and contact-free key collections

 
Leasing homes
 
In Melbourne, tenants can end a lease and start a new one, where circumstances would make it unsafe for them not to do so i.e. domestic violence and/or the home is no longer suitable or available. Otherwise, they should stay where they are.
 
However, there are significant restrictions on the movements our property managers are permitted to make under Stage 4 restrictions. We are permitted to conduct final inspections on outgoing tenancies to facilitate bond releases, and tenants are allowed to arrange removalists and cleaners (if required due to disability, impairment, or their tenancy agreement). While we are performing these tasks, we can take steps to facilitate the commencement of a new lease, but only then.
 
 
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 team 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 success.
 
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, First National 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.

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