Coronavirus real estate: Agencies’ united front in Melbourne’s east

With public auctions no longer possible, agencies are working on new sales tactics.

Agents across Melbourne’s east have pledged to keep the real estate market ticking along online and behind closed doors after public auctions and open for inspections were axed.

Social distancing measures implemented by the Prime Minister to combat coronavirus flipped the nation’s auction capital on its head, but agents have vowed to carry on.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria confirmed private inspections of properties for sale and lease were still possible after the changes took effect on March 25 at midnight.

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Ray White Croydon managing director Tamara Lloyd talks with other agency heads before social distancing measures were introduced.

Agency principals from across Maroondah and Lilydale came together to discuss the best industry-wide methods to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Ray White Croydon managing director Tamara Lloyd said it was important for buyers to see consistent measures in place when viewing the properties of different agencies.

“Early on, we felt we needed to support each other to make sure we were doing the same thing,” Ms Lloyd said.

“We’ve opened up more lines to (become) a more sharing environment, which I think is great. In these sort of times it’s not about your competition, it’s about the industry and people’s homes.”

Jellis Craig Mitcham director Matthew Scafidi said the industry would have to “innovate” in light of the changes.

“Things are tracking reasonably well, there’s a lot of people in much worse ways than us,” Mr Scafidi said.


Even paperwork is now being signed digitally. Picture: Sarah Matray

“We’ll keep moving forward – we’re all in this together and we’ll all get out of it together.

“The prudent thing at the moment is to ensure that us as agents aren’t being out there just being typical agents – that we’re out there giving the right advice. Advice we’d give our family and friends as well; that’s the most important thing.”

Barry Plant Doncaster East director Mark Di Giulio said there would be no activity during an expected lockdown, but conditions would favour the industry afterwards.

“The moment we’re out of lockdown, there is so much government stimulus that’s driving the current market and there’s going to be low stock,” he said.

“Our dollar, (record-low) interest rates and scarcity of stock levels – that’s just a recipe for a booming market.”

Biggin & Scott Glen Waverley director Ming Xu said all staff meetings were now being done online to minimise contact.

“We sanitise the whole house’s surface and agents wear gloves to open and close doors, we spray handles and all the things we touch,” he said.

Mr Xu said he expected more agencies to use online bidding platforms and carry out off-market sales.

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