Previously enjoying a successful career in music, Sandra Casali began her property career in 2004, initially working with Octagon on the award-winning Richmond Lock development in 2007.

Sandra is now a Sales Manager on the new Broadoaks Park development in West Byfleet – working closely with clients to help them find their dream Octagon home.

How has your work day changed in the past few weeks? 

I would usually be on site at Broadoaks Park – while our amazing new sales suite won’t be open until autumn, we do have a temporary sales cabin there, which is where I would work from most days. I find it useful being on the ground and seeing what’s happening, I think it’s important to have that level of contact with the homes you’re selling – and theamazing team building for us!

We’ve adapted considerably in the past few weeks, so I have been spending the majority of my time at home in Putney – speaking to clients on the phone and via video calls. It’s been a really smooth transition, and I’ve found that while I have been missing the face to face contact with clients, I’ve been having more in depth conversations, as people have has more time to focus on their requirements, which is definitely a positive!

How have you found the shift to virtual viewings’?

Virtual viewings are nothing to new to Octagon – given the considerable international interest that have always accompanied our schemes, we have always offered video tours and provided lots of detail to people who cannot visit.. At Broadoaks Park, not being able to physically view the property means clients have to rely much more heavily on me – I have been their eyes for the past few weeks, but hopefully I’ve done a good job!

How are you transitioning back to face to face appointments?

With the government’s recent announcement, we are now able to offer clients an appointment to visit the development, albeit with additional safety measures in place. Being a working building site means we already have strict health and safety guidelines, and the team have been working incredibly hard to ensure the correct cleaning measures are in place, so that everyone can practise social distancing throughout their visits. It has been a challenge, but we’ve risen to it and are grateful to our clients for their patience and working with us to ensure we get it right!

Have clients’ priorities changed in the past few weeks?

I think a lot of people have taken the past few weeks at home as a time to reflect on the importance of their surroundings. We have had many new enquiries from buyers looking to move out of London – West Byfleet is unique in that it is a wonderful countryside village, but with a fantastic train service – it gives people the opportunity to work from home and still be connected to London from just 28 minutes.

What’s changed for you personally in the past few weeks?

Working a lot from home with my Fiancé has had its ups and downs – apparently, I am quite loud on the phone (and I am of course on the phone a lot!). We have been trying to keep to a routine as much as possible and get fresh air every day and going for evening walks but coming from a large Italian family, the thing I miss most is seeing everyone. Every meal is a celebration, and I hope we can enjoy being together again soon!