What’s your loo roll?

I can put people into three broad “buckets” at the moment:

  1. Those who are in denial and waiting for something to happen
  2. Those who are wasting their time and energy on social media or ranting against things out of their control
  3. Those who are taking action to improve the situation

On Friday, I joined the virtual morning meeting at Preston Baker, an 8 branch business based in Yorkshire. Cofounder and longstanding Property Academy member, Ian Preston, asked me to share some examples of positive news from around the country and I was delighted to take part and hopefully make a contribution. But I fear my role was insignificant compared to what I saw from the PB team and the results they are achieving thanks to Ian asking them a brilliant question earlier in the week: “What’s our loo roll?”

Let me explain.

Ian and his team sat in a meeting room and asked each other, “who’s benefiting from this crisis?” and concluded that manufacturers of handwash and loo rolls were probably punching the air every day as the sales figures come in. Ian then asked, “OK, what’s our loo roll?” he continued, “what do we have that people want right now?”

The conclusion was Personal Income Protection insurance and in just one day alone a single member of the PB team sold 23 policies.

This is echoed by another Property Academy member, Greg Barnes of Breckon & Breckon in Oxfordshire. Greg’s team has contacted all their landlords and enabled many of them to buy Rent Protection insurance.

I’m hearing stories from across the country of agents still carrying out market appraisals, still conducting viewings, still receiving offers and doing deals. Is it the same as usual, no. Is it harder than usual, yes. But there’s still business to be done. And even if we go into lock down and viewings can’t go ahead we can still set up appointments for when things allow.

I’ve suggested to all our members that they just need to contact every seller and every prospect buyer and ask them both one simple question:

“When this situation is over, do you still want to move?” If they say “yes” (and the majority do I’m told) then your job is to explain that waiting for the situation to pass will only delay an already protracted process and that you have a “Safe Viewing” process to enable them to get ahead of the market.

Here are three positive things that are happening right now:

  1. People are spending more time at home. In many instances this will encourage them to move shortly.
  2. It’s likely people will have a lot of time on their hands – they’ll be on Rightmove and Zoopla for hours.
  3. Many of your competitors will have given up to various degrees, some completely.

Of course you must confront the brutal reality of the here and now but please make sure that your team sees this for what it is – deferment of income rather than a loss of income. The market was flying before Coronavirus hit, it might well soar even higher once this is behind us.


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