LOOKING AHEAD: Mark Simpson at Ray White Biloela said his branch will operate as normally as possible through the Covid-19 bans.
LOOKING AHEAD: Mark Simpson at Ray White Biloela said his branch will operate as normally as possible through the Covid-19 bans.

Biloela estate agents respond to government virus crackdown

MARK Simpson from Ray White Biloela didn't sugar-coat it when he said things will become extremely tough for some people in the short term future.

Following the PM's announcement last night to ban real estate auctions and open house inspections, Mr Simpson and his team have adjusted to continue managing their sales and property management portfolio.

"We still are operating, our staff are all busy whether they are in property management or sales," Mr Simpson said.

"At the end of the day we still have our property management portfolio that we still have to manage for landlords and owners regardless of what happens.

"At a moment's notice we can work remotely and manage our property management and sales portfolio if we have to go into lockdown."

Just around the corner at First National Real Estate Biloela, principal auctioneer Ross Munroe also said his team could work easily from home.

However he said that there should be an expectation that the frequency of house sales will fall in the short term.

"For rentals on the market, it may be okay given that people are already here and even if there are job losses, people need to be housed somewhere," Mr Munroe said.

"We would be of the opinion that the vacancy rate won't vary that much.

"And in relation to residential rental property we are back to a bare minimum as to how many inspections we will do."

While he doesn't have a crystal ball, Mr Simpson believes that although a number of residents will likely become unemployed under Covid-19 bans, there is enough support their for them to keep up with their rent and mortgage payments.

"Our understanding is there will be funding to assist people who have lost their jobs to pay rent so landlords aren't in a situation where they could be in financial distress," Mr Simpson said.

"Indications from the banks is that they are there to help people defer repayments.

"I don't believe in the short term you will see properties slip into situations where mortgagees are acting on them.

"It is a little unknown where we are going to end up with that but we will work through it."

Mr Simpson said that Ray White Corporate have lobbied the Federal Government to class real estate as an essential service, in the hope that property management at the very least will continue to tick over.

"The government is dependant on the private sector in supplying housing for over a third of the Australian population," Mr Simpson said.

"I can't see that part being closed down but just restricted.

"The government ran out of time last night but I expect tonight they will talk more about real estate and rental side of things."