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As reported to you 2 weeks ago Meares & Associates have heeded the Australian Government advice and have set up an office structure with staff working remotely. In the meantime, the business remains open and continues to function on behalf of its clients.

As we mentioned in our previous email, we would prefer clients to communicate over the phone, via email or skype, whichever is most convenient. The office phone line remains manned and our staff levels allow us to continue operating virtually on a 24/7 basis.

Obviously, the Government is recommending that non-essential businesses virtually cease operation – this will have an effect on the advice we give clients, especially those who are contemplating marketing their rural property in the near future.

What has happened in the past fortnight is that virtually all investment markets have ceased to operate for the time being and therefore our recommendation to clients considering going to market is to hold off for the time being.

However, in saying this we suggest that clients continue to communicate with us, whether we can give you an update on market activity or for that matter giving you advice on possible marketing strategies in the near future.

In the case of considering a marketing strategy for when the markets resume normality, we would suggest that we commence putting together any marketing information and material required during a possible campaign e.g. information memorandum, electronic brochure, website production etc. To allow this work to commence we would carry out an “on farm” inspection with you, at no cost, and collect all the raw data required for us to produce our documentation. Obviously during any “on farm” visits we would respect the Government’s advice in relation to personal distancing and maximum numbers.

As far as markets go, it is the writer’s belief that based on the pandemic lasting in Australia for a short-term of say 2 – 3 months only, there most likely will be minimal damage to current rural property market values. However, if the Government restrictions are required to remain in place for say 6 – 9 months due to an extended pandemic, then there is no doubt that there will be an effect on market values.

In summary, we encourage you, our clients, to continue to communicate with us for whatever reason – we are there to support you at all times. In particular re possible marketing of property in the future, which would allow us to utilise the ‘down time’ to prepare any marketing information. There is no doubt in the writer’s mind that whilst the economy has plummeted dramatically over the past 2 – 3 weeks it is our view that if there is a short-term turnaround that the markets will reactivate relatively quickly. Therefore, it is important for us to have any marketing information at the outset.

Also, for those people wishing to purchase land, once again please let us know what you are looking to buy. We will then be in a position to advise you if any opportunities arise, even during the downturn.

Let us hope that the virus dissipates quickly, with the Australian Government restrictions and lockdowns appearing to be working to “flatten the curve”. Please feel free to ring our office, or myself on 0414 770 703, or Sam Johnston on 0412 896 602, to discuss any of the above, obviously on a confidential basis.

Keep well.

Sincerely,
Chris Meares

Wednesday April 8th 2020Chris Meares