Faced with the challenges of selling rural and lifestyle properties throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, Bayleys Whanganui soldered on with a "business as usual" approach and now looks to reap the rewards.

Knud Bukholt, who specialises in selling rural and lifestyle properties, said there was no evidence to suggest that people would no longer be interested in buying properties during the coronavirus pandemic,so he and the team decided the best approach would be to continue marketing and just push all closing dates out till after the lockdown period moved to a more manageable level.

"The level of enquiry, number of emails and viewing of web listings were way beyond what we had expected," Bukholt said.

"We continued to actively market five rural and lifestyle properties during lockdown. All five properties are due to close over the next few weeks and indications so far point to multiple offers on most of them."

Once the country moved into Alert Level 3, the greatest challenge Bukholt and his team faced was working out how to manage being allowed to oversee only two viewings per property per day.

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"With so much interest in our listings, some days felt like we were herding cats. The paperwork was also a challenge as everything had to be processed electronically to avoid direct contact, however, everyone has been very, very understanding and a delight to work with," Bukholt said.

"The impact of Covid-19 has been huge. It has affected people's employment, financial security and some have taken the time to reassess their lifestyle choices. Attention is starting to turn toward the primary sector and its importance in the economic recovery which reinforces the enduring value of the rural/primary sector.

"In regard to buyers, the Reserve Bank's decision to remove LVR restrictions for 12 months will help more people get into property.

"Ex-pats may also decide that returning to settle in New Zealand is a safer option when compared to living overseas. Also if there was any further threat of another virus outbreak, there may be an increase in the number of people looking to buy rural property - this can only be great news for the provinces," Bukholt said.