Agencies welcome furlough extension but worry about future

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first_imgYesterday’s momentous decision by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the government’s furlough initiative for a further four months will help the thousands of estate agencies in the UK which have many of their staff currently in the scheme.This means that a quarter of the workforce, or 7.5 million people, will continue to be covered by the scheme until the end of October, at a cost of £56 billion to the exchequer.It also means estate agency bosses will now have much longer to plan the re-opening of their businesses rather than having to rush their preparations as the June 31st deadline loomed.Now, staff can be returned to branches in stages as agencies test the water to see if there is demand for their services, and whether their former branch turnovers can be banked once again.We asked some of the industry’s best known agents and commentators what the announcement means for the industry and their businesses.Jeremy Leaf, Jeremy Leaf and Co“I was pleased to hear of the furlough extension as it removes lingering uncertainty regarding its viability particularly after receiving mixed messages from government over the past few days,” he says.“We will have to withhold judgment until we see the extent of the transitional arrangements for staff who could be transferred perhaps to part time duties initially in anticipation of resuming a full time role soon after.“We originally furloughed about 75% of staff in our offices but brought some back to deal with lettings and management enquiries which have increased considerably over the last few weeks.“If we are able to open safely by say, the beginning of June at the latest then we do intend to bring more staff back to work but on a rotational basis to reduce public transport journeys and office interaction.”Steve Wayne, Benjamin Stevens“I think all the focus on the furlough scheme is less important than thinking about whether my business can open and if there is enough demand to support all my staff coming back to work full-time,” he says.“Everyone is going to have to be cautious – there may be a very busy first few weeks after the lockdown but after that I think reality will set in – remember I need £60-£70,000 a month turnover per branch to support my current levels of staff.“I think everyone’s going to have to clever about reinstating staff – we’re bringing back one lettings and one sales person in each of our two branches next month and taking it from there. The furlough extension means we won’t have to rush that plan.”Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals“The furlough scheme extension alleviates some of the pressure on businesses to pay staff costs as they start to go through the process of re-opening their revenue streams”, he says.“The recommendation should be that staff are un-furloughed in line with sector activity and office income generation.“The extension provides estate and lettings agents with the opportunity to increase staffing profiles to previous levels based on customer activity and income generation, it will also allow to retain great staff.”Mike Day, Integra Property Services“Extending the furlough scheme appears at first to be a good thing as it could help estate agencies rebuild pipelines and when, in the third quarter, cashflow issues are likely to bite hardest,” says Mike.“Of course, if staff are furloughed they can’t work so the possibility of a phased approach involving part furloughed, part time working may, if managed well, be a lifeline.“But I feel that, while the Government does not want a stampede to the job centre, the spectre of greater unemployment in the industry still hangs like the Sword of Damocles over many.“The ability to get back to a more normal business operation and to try and secure transactions quickly will be the best way to save businesses and employees.”Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops“It is promising to see that the Government has attempted to safeguard against the cliff edge many industry bodies have warned against by tapering off financial support from August,” he says.“This may coincide with greater activity in the housing market as pent up demand from buyers pushes through a flurry of transactions in Q3 this year.“The option to bring back some members of staff part-time may also be useful until we are in these busier months.”Neil Fox, HouseFox“We have furloughed a couple of staff but we were are planning to have everyone back by early to mid June, and still intend to do that, unless the lockdown dramatically changes again.“That’s based on the expectation that the rules on viewings will have changed by then, albeit with certain guidelines to be adhered to when doing them.“With regard to the furlough extension, I think businesses will suffer from that loss of personal contact, and staff who have been furloughed for seven months could quite easily lose their working momentum  and struggle to pick up.”Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth“This is a welcome move. It buys employers important time to ensure they make the right decisions for their employees and for the future of their businesses, to avoid exacerbating any negative effects of the lockdown.“The extension makes perfect sense for estate agents, allowing a phased return to work and for momentum to return to the sales market. This could save many jobs which may have been lost without this continued support from the Government.”Read the full government guidance on furlough.neil fox furlough Rishi Sunak Iain McKenzie Mike Day Jeremy Leaf Nick Leeming Steve Wayne May 13, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 14th May 2020 at 1:42 amA considered reaction by some clearly business focused individuals, showing that for some ‘rushing out of the starting blocks’ and putting the sales teams back on a full-time basis might actually not be the best strategy.It is all about cash flow, judging the consumer appetite to do business and the way the economy drag may came into play. Not much point loading your company with staff wage costs if no public are transacting property.Spending money on listing property stock may seem an imperative but will the buyers and renters come forward and buy and rent, and if so in what volume and will it be a buyer’s or seller’s market, a tenant or landlord market.Lots of variables, I do not envy those running companies at present, as these questions are of course in the mix with health and safety for staff and clients and subject to the government – calling lockdown phase-2 if the pandemic starts to increase again.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » COVID-19 news » Agencies welcome furlough extension but worry about future previous nextCOVID-19 newsAgencies welcome furlough extension but worry about futureExtension has gone down well but many agents worry if their post-Covid turnover can support normal staffing levels and whether staff have ‘lost their mojo’.Nigel Lewis13th May 20201 Comment2,425 Viewslast_img read more

Alexander: Brewers’ Game 5 starter Wade Miley has been tough for Dodgers to solve

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first_img“It’s hard to get the ball in the air. I know our intent wasn’t to put the ball on the ground and create soft contact, but … he’s done a good job against us. So when we do see him, obviously, we’ve got to make an adjustment.”His cutter, which darts inside against right-handed hitters and results in broken bats and weak contact, has become a potent enough weapon that he now throws it close to 50 percent of the time. But when asked if that pitch might have saved his career, Miley wouldn’t go that far.“Throwing strikes, I think, saved my career more than cutters – just being able to throw pitches in the zone,” he said. “Obviously the cutter has been a big pitch for me, but if I didn’t locate it I don’t think it would be all that great. (It’s) just being able to command the baseball again.”Part of fixing that was mental, part mechanical. A year ago in 30 starts with Baltimore, Miley led the American League with 93 walks in 157-1/3 innings, 5.3 per nine innings. In his 16 regular-season starts with the Brewers this season, he walked 27 in 80-2/3 innings, a more manageable 3.0 ratio. He talked of having a hard time repeating his delivery last year and spending “a lot of time trying to clean my mechanics up.”There are, of course, no guarantees when you come to camp on a minor league contract. But Miley said Manager Craig Counsell and his staff assured him after he got hurt that he was in their rotation plans, and they convinced him to stick around and rehab for six weeks on a minor league contract.Even so, Counsell said, Miley has exceeded expectations.Related Articles The Dodgers, as you probably have heard by now, love home runs. Can’t live without them; counting the postseason, they’re 81-46 in games in which they’ve homered, 15-28 when they haven’t. Miley, a 31-year-old lefty, specializes in soft contact and ground-ball outs (a ratio of 1.67 ground outs to fly outs this season), just the sort of traits that can frustrate a team of big swingers.He has faced the Dodgers three times this season. The first was July 20, shortly after coming off the 60-day disabled list; Miley allowed four hits and an unearned run in six innings, with two walks and two strikeouts.The second was 11 days later in Los Angeles, and the line was similar: Seven innings, two hits, no runs, two walks and five strikeouts.The third was Saturday: two hits and three strikeouts and nothing else in 5-2/3 innings in Game 2 of the NLCS. He might have gotten away with a victory, and the Brewers with a 2-0 series lead, if not for Jeremy Jeffress’ bum luck in leaving a splitter in Justin Turner’s hitting zone in the eighth inning.“I know he’s had his way with us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Miley. “There’s (the) pitching to soft contact, keeping the ball down. He’s got a cutter that he uses a lot more than he did in years past to right-hand hitters. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start LOS ANGELES — The man who could be the Dodgers’ kryptonite took quite the unconventional path to get here.Wade Miley wasn’t expected to be here, preparing to pitch Wednesday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was looking for work last winter after a frustrating 2017 season with the Baltimore Orioles. He landed with the Brewers on a minor league contract just before spring training in February, and actually started the season in Double-A on a rehab assignment, after suffering a groin injury in the spring. And after briefly returning to the majors in May and suffering an oblique strain that landed him back on the DL, his season didn’t really get going until July.There were few expectations from the outside. But Miley had reinvented himself. A cutter he hardly threw until late in the 2016 season became his out pitch, and he rediscovered the joy of throwing strikes consistently.And so Wednesday afternoon Miley will share a mound with Clayton Kershaw, a slightly more accomplished left-hander, but he’ll be armed with the knowledge that his strength matches up precisely with a Dodgers weakness.center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “Obviously (he’s) a player who’s been a staple in rotations for multiple years and with multiple teams,” he said. “He was coming off a difficult season.“In Wade’s case, this is a guy that’s had enough success that (it’s evident) success is in there. And talent is there. Experience is there. Wade had made some adjustments, and I think (pitching coach) Derek Johnson has done a really nice job with Wade … He’s really pitching as well as he’s ever pitched at this point, with different stuff.”This is new territory for Miley, who broke in with the Diamondbacks as a September call-up in 2011 and has made 216 regular-season starts with Arizona, Boston, Seattle, Baltimore and Milwaukee.Until Game 3 of the NLDS against Colorado, he had never pitched in a postseason game. And Wednesday will be the first time he’s pitched on three days’ rest.“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”Are the [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitterlast_img read more