Covid-secure working practises, estate agents

Ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers remains our absolute priority as we market properties for sale during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ocean’s sales negotiators will carry out all of the tasks needed to successfully market our clients' properties with their usual expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to providing the best possible customer care.

We do however have to follow the strictest social distancing guidelines as set out by the Government’s Ministry of Housing and Ocean property service groups' Risk Assessments. Here are our Covid-secure working practises, if you have any concerns or queries please contact your local office’s Sales Manager. 

Ocean’s employees & workplaces: 

Health screening - Ocean Property Services Group has surveyed the workforce to identify employees or close family members whose underlying health conditions may fall into a high-risk category as published by the UK Government. Individual working practices and special measures may be implemented to protect these individuals.

No-touch forehead thermometers are provided at each office to monitor the current health of all staff. Fever checks in place twice daily to monitor for signs and symptoms of Covid-19. Staff with fever (over 37.8c) will be asked to go home and self-isolate

Awareness - Staff are to be reminded daily of the importance of social distancing both in the workplace and outside of it.

Hand washing - Stringent hand washing is taking place especially on return from viewings or appointments outside of the premises. Gel sanitisers are available in any area where washing facilities not readily available.

Cleaning - Frequent cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly particularly in areas of high use such as door handles, light switches, reception area using appropriate cleaning products and methods are carried out.

All property for sale keys are sprayed with antiviral spray after use.

Monitoring - Rigorous checks are being carried out by line managers to ensure that the necessary procedures are being followed.

Working schedules – Steps are taken to review work schedules including start & finish times/shift patterns, working from home etc. to reduce the number of workers on-site at any one time.   

Social distancing - Covid Distancing Lines are installed allowing for minimum 2-meter separation between staff and clients.

No desk or IT equipment is to be used by more than 1 person. Hot desking is strictly prohibited.

We do not have an open-door policy in the offices. We use an appointment system for visits to all offices.

Company car drivers – Staff are not permitted to carry anyone outside of their family in their vehicle. 

Seller’s homes & appointments:

We will ask if any party is showing symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate before going ahead with any appointment.

Market appraisal appointments 

All meetings must be booked at least 1 day prior to the valuation taking place. Our Covid-secure instructions will have been communicated prior to the visit taking place.

A valuation may not take place where the seller or anyone in the property is displaying signs of or has tested positive for Covid-19

There will be no person to person contact, for example, handshaking.

Sellers are discouraged from accompanying staff on the property inspections/walk-throughs. Ocean staff will be required to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others. Where social distancing is not possible, they may wear a face-covering in line with government guidance, or elect to not view this part of the property as is their personal choice.

Appraisal discussions are to be conducted either outside of the home, for example in the garden at a safe distance, or alternatively via a follow-up online meeting (FaceTime, Zoom, Skype etc.) at the seller's convenience. 

Viewing property for sale (including ‘property take-on’) 

Viewings are strictly scheduled and controlled; we will not carry out any ‘open house’, ‘block’ viewings.

We encourage buyers to view properties virtually in the first instance and only physically visit properties which they have a strong interest in.

Sellers, family & residents must vacate the premises for viewings and take-on, viewings/take-on will not take place while sellers are present.

Viewing appointments are to be kept as short as possible preferably no longer than 10 minutes with a cut off at 15 minutes.

We must allow a minimum of 15 minutes spacing between the end of 1 appointment and the commencement of the next.

There will be no person to person contact, for example, handshaking.

Ocean will encourage viewers to wear face coverings prior to arriving for a viewing.

Our negotiators will accompany physical viewings where safe to do so, they will be required to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance from others. Where social distancing is not possible, they may wear a face-covering in line with government guidance, or elect to wait outside as is their personal choice.

Sellers are asked to open front & back doors when possible, all internal doors must be opened for property viewings.

Gloves will be worn on viewings. Hand Gel to be taken on appointments.

Ocean will not drive clients to appointments.

Ocean will discourage children or extended family members from attending 1st viewings and any subsequent viewings possible for buyers who have expressed serious interest. 

Buyers interest will be determined after each viewing outside of the property, discussions will be made at a safe distance whenever possible. Negotiators will conduct timely follow up of all viewings as is the usual practice. 

Once the viewing has taken place, homeowners should ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard household cleaning products. 


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