ONCE we’re able to step back and look at the lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, one will surely be to make the most of every opportunity in life.

Whether at work or home, people are undoubtedly looking at things with a different perspective – often questioning how or why we do the things we do.

There’s no avoiding the heartache and upheaval we’ve all faced in the past eight months. That should never be overlooked or forgotten as our political leaders look at what a safer, more sustainable society looks like in the post-pandemic world.

Yet there can be no denying either that one of the consequences of Covid-19 has been to open our eyes to new ideas and opportunities.

Take home working, for example. For many, the chances of returning to a full-time office existence are slim. They’ve discovered a way of working from home which often finds them more productive professionally and more fulfilled personally as they enjoy aspects of family life that they may not previously have always been there for.

I’ve spent more than 20 years working in the property industry and I’m convinced that history will view coronavirus as a watershed in how we buy and sell homes, whether through technology or challenging convention.

That’s particularly true for the buy-to-let market, especially in the area of selling properties with tenants in situ, in which I specialise.

For so many of us, circumstances are undoubtedly shifting our outlook.

In my world, the emergency legislation introduced around evictions during Covid-19 – increasing the notice period that landlords must give tenants from between one and three months to six months until March 2021 – has awoken many to the benefits of selling buy-to-let properties without first asking tenants to leave.

This is an uncommon concept – generally estate agents recommend the removal of tenants before a sale – and we are the only agency in Scotland to have made this activity our sole focus.

For landlords seeking an efficient sale, selling a property with sitting tenants is the only way to do it – the advantages of which many are now becoming alert to.

It's a method which we at Portolio champion as one which keeps costs down, reduces risk and maximises net returns for buyers and sellers by maintaining a constant rental income, an important factor when, more than ever, investors want to secure the most from their assets.

Importantly, it also reduces upheaval for tenants who can stay in their home despite their landlord’s decision to sell, reducing any uncertainty they would otherwise face.

Whether the current rules remain in place for longer than March amid many of the economic uncertainties that tenants face remains to be seen.

Even before coronavirus, we were great advocates of 3-D viewing technology, but there’s no doubt its wider adoption to address physical distancing and travel concerns will be a huge influence on the property industry’s future.

In many ways experiences of the last few months have taught us there are game-changing ways in which to live and do business which can be more effective, personally and financially.

I’m an optimist and always like to look at life through the prism of positives.

That some things have changed forever as a result of Covid-19 is a given. Exactly what all of those forever changes are remains to be seen. However, I am convinced that – if embraced – many can help define a more fruitful future.

Chris Wood is managing director of Portolio