So, here we are again. Another year gone and Christmas is so close you can almost hear the sleigh bells ringing. 

To say things feel slightly different this December, though, is probably the understatement of the century. What a year 2020 has been?! In hindsight, the message from Wuhan back in January and February was loud and clear, but March still came as a huge shock to pretty much everyone here in the UK.

Despite things being turned on their head seemingly overnight, Team Petty’s performed admirably. The gratitude that Jenny and I have for every single member of staff is beyond words. Thinking back on how hard everyone has worked this year actually makes me quite emotional.

Like so many small, independent, family run businesses, 2020 has been centred around adapting and, quite frankly, surviving. Without the staff we have, I’m not sure we would have made it.

Within a week of lockdown being announced, we had completely transformed the way we do business. We embraced the virtual world quickly and deeply, proving once again that Petty Son and Prestwich is a company with its finger on the pulse. Traditional values are at our core, but it’s our digital capability that has shone through this year.

Shifting to virtual viewings and valuations, producing video tours to showcase properties, and even conducting webinars to help keep physical contact to a minimum was the priority from the start. We knew it had to be done in order to protect our staff and clients.

We also recognised very early on just how this pandemic had the potential to hit people hard in terms of their mental health and wellbeing. Both Jenny and I knew we couldn’t expect anyone to do anything they didn’t feel comfortable with, as the impact it could have on their lives would be far too great. This goes beyond individuals.

Our staff and clients' family members had to be taken into consideration as well. Keeping EVERYONE safe was our overriding concern, and it still is as we continue to work within what has now become known as the ‘new normal’. Petty’s is very much a community business, after all.

Speaking of which, I was also delighted by the response to PSP Homecare when we opened it up to everyone back in April. Previously, this service had only been available to our landlords, but we wanted to give something practical and tangible back to the local neighbourhood, so we opened the doors to anyone who had home maintenance problems to deal with during lockdown. 

Being able to help so many members of our fantastic community, in what proved to be an incredibly testing time, was extremely gratifying. However, it would be remiss of me not to highlight the generosity of others as I bring this message to a close. 

One example that springs to mind was a landlord of ours who offered their tenant a month’s free rent, only to have it turned down. The tenant said their work had been unaffected by the pandemic, so they wouldn’t feel comfortable accepting the offer, suggesting instead that the landlord donate an equal amount to a worthy cause where people needed the help more than they did.

It’s that sort of honesty and generosity that makes it such a privilege to serve you, the good people of E11 and beyond. Thanks so much to all of you. Landlords, tenants, vendors, and buyers, you’ve all been brilliant this year, adapting as you have without a gripe or grumble. Once again, thank you.

And finally, at the risk of repeating myself, I’d like to reiterate my heartfelt thanks to the whole team here at Petty’s. Your loyalty and devotion to Petty Son and Prestwich is truly appreciated and I’m delighted to head a company that continues to deliver a five-star service, even when presented with such extreme circumstances. 

You’re a credit to yourselves and this community.

Merry Christmas everyone. See you all in 2021,

John Wagstaff MNAEA, MARLA

Managing Director