The easing of lockdown restrictions has resulted in a record quarter of sales and lettings for an estate and letting agency based in Newport and the creation of two new roles.
Smooth Moves Property Agents have been selling and letting residential properties along the M4 corridor between Cardiff and Chepstow for over a decade. Working with private buyers and sellers as well as landlords and investors, Managing Director Alison Jarman has built a successful business based very much on word of mouth recommendation and referrals.
It was widely reported the property market in South East Wales was experiencing a high level of activity pre-Covid due to a variety of factors including the removal of the Severn Bridge tolls, favourable price comparisons with neighbouring areas including Cardiff and over the Severn Bridge in England, investment in the infrastructure of the city of Newport and the new build developments on former industrial sites such as Llanwern Steel Works. As well as most other industries the Covid pandemic brought the property market to a standstill.
“The phones and emails quite literally stopped,” explained Alison Jarman. “For a couple of weeks, I really did fear for my business. We furloughed our team and eagerly awaited news regarding what was going to happen next. We used the time to work on tasks I had wanted to do for a while but had simply not had the time. One was to improve our online presence and the other was to seek new premises to enable Smooth Moves to continue to grow and expand. We made sure we were optimising our online presence and worked on our social media platforms and this almost immediately bore fruit. The lockdown enabled homeowners and landlords to carry out their own DIY and upgrading projects, so they were ready to place their properties on the market for sale or rent when lockdown restrictions were eased. The phone calls and emails began to come in and we were able to build up a very healthy waiting list of new and existing clients. Not being in the office we realised that we did not need a city centre location and could focus our efforts on finding a property we could all safely return to and with better access to the area we cover. We opted for a large suite in Beechwood House, Newport and were able to secure favourable terms with Newport City Council who own the property.”
When the restrictions were finally eased it was like releasing the cork from a bottle! “We were almost overrun with requests for valuations and viewings and struggled to keep up,” said Alison. “Demand has eased a little but due to the growth of both our sales and lettings departments we have made the decision to recruit a business development manager, sales negotiator and valuer to add to our team and anticipate potentially creating an additional role before the end of the year, subject to the no further Covid related restrictions.”