The tremendous impact of COVID-19 on the property market

Odette McMullan Property

Odette McMullan from Open Realty, shares her insights about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local property market.

A passion for property…

Let me introduce myself – my name is Odette McMullan from Open Realty – a Real Estate Agency located in the Eastern Cape. I am a seasoned property expert and have been in the property profession for 21 years.

Finding the perfect home for my buyers is my absolute passion – and helping sellers sell their homes with ease and without stress makes me truly happy.

Matching a buyer to their dream home is one of the best feelings in the world for me.

But in the property business, just like any other business, things are not always just moonshine and roses… This chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are all finding ourselves in right now – is without a doubt – the most trying time that I have experienced in all the years that I have enjoyed marketing homes.

The strict lockdown regulations meant that our hands were tied. We were unable to show prospective buyers homes…full stop… This means that for 3 full months no property sales were made.

Lockdown protocols hinder property sales…

Agents, like myself, are solely reliant on the commission we earn from property sales – so we were not able to earn an income at all. And then – when we were finally able to show homes to prospective buyers – there were very strict protocols in place that we needed to adhere to.

Another stumbling block that we constantly have to deal with, is that the deeds office and municipality offices often close down completely – to decontaminate – delaying the property transfer process and basically stopping registrations in their tracks. Leaving us frustrated – again our hands were tied…

Thinking out of the box…

But, you ALWAYS have a choice – either be inactive and just wait for things to look up eventually – OR you could think out of the box and formulate a plan – to make best of the hand you have been dealt!

And here is what I did…

In the first three months of (hard) lockdown – I kept in touch with my sellers via all the digital channels that I had at my perusal – email, WhatsApp, social media… I also created a new contact lists from old clients from years back.

If there were any queries on properties that I already had listed on the Open Realty website – I made sure that the prospective buyers get pre-approved by the relevant bond originators – to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, during that stage of the lockdown there was not much else we could do – but as soon as we reached Level 3 – the agents could finally do viewings…AND THE MARKET WENT CRAZY!!

The advantage of the new lower interest rate resulted in a substantial influx of new buyers. Property sales are booming at the moment and we truly hope that the intense growth that we are experiencing now – sets the tone for a thriving property market for a long time to come.

About Open Realty…

Open Realty has 46 agents representing the company throughout Port Elizabeth. Sellers in all price ranges rely on Open Realty for our experience, discretion and attention to detail. To market a distinctive home requires the professional services of a property consultant who understands that a home, regardless of its price range, reflects the incalculable value of the life within. Equipped with uncommon knowledge and resources, we pride ourselves on understanding the discerning needs of our sellers, who deserve a high level of service throughout the entire real estate experience.

Whilst we do not believe in over- evaluating properties purely to secure sole mandates from our clients, we always recommend an initial marketing price with a cushion built in for your protection, so that you find comfort that we have your best interest at heart. We will jointly adjust the offers from price if necessary, depending on the response from the market, to ensure that your home is effectively and efficiently marketed.

Open Realty believes in the following core values:
Integrity – We do the right thing, not the easy thing. Our work with our customers is special.
Partnership – Teamwork is paramount in all that we do, in our relationships with clients and with alliances and with the community.
Communication – We have clarity in understanding our mission and our goals. We seek first to understand…we listen.
Success – Open Realty is successful because we serve our clients successfully. It’s a win-win philosophy that works for us – and you.
Our beliefs are the keys to who we become and the foundation of our open way.


For more information or a one-on-one consultation you can contact Odette on 072 344 7341 or send her an email on

Follow Odette Mcmullan on FaceBook

If you are interested in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economic landscape – why not read our article on how the recruitment industry is affected by the Coronavirus.

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